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September 10, 2004

Amerika ist Wunderbar

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Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.*

* Rammstein translation assistance would be much appreciated. No wait, here are the lyrics. What they sing in irony I sing in earnest.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at September 10, 2004 09:27 AM

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Comments

And they're named after the biggest U.S. military base in Europe. Wow - there's so much irony happening here I'm amazed these guys can order coffee or take a piss without killing themselves smirking it up.

Posted by: rick mcginnis at September 10, 2004 09:50 AM

My sneaking suspicion is this is some kind of meta-irony where Rammstein relies on the young, "lefty" part of their audience to assume it is a joke. Either way, I am sure they will be just as happy to become wealthier from US album sales in much the same way a variety of Hollywood-types seem happy to sneer at the country that has made them wealthy and famous.

Posted by: Flea at September 10, 2004 09:54 AM

I seem to recall that the band members are (former) East Germans, which may have something to do with their attitudes.

It certainly explains the very dark, nihilistic imagery they used in earlier years.

Posted by: Varenius at September 10, 2004 08:21 PM

I wonder. Yeah, they're East German and kinda lefty, but I think it may just be an observation that, for good or for ill, we're all living lives with American culture.

Posted by: Ben at September 10, 2004 11:43 PM

Except that "this is not a love song" bit... :)

Posted by: Flea at September 10, 2004 11:46 PM

True... but I'm not sure it's malicious. (Showed it and the lyrics to my (American) mom, & she didn't think it was insulting, either.) It's just that America is almost like a force of nature.

Of course, the whole German thing comes into it -- the twentieth century really should have been the German century, if you look at where the talented people came from. Except that they weren't ready just to trade and get along with people. Oh well -- shows that political institutions will win out.

Posted by: Ben at September 11, 2004 12:06 AM

Of course its just an observation Ben, a very intelligent and important one, about how American culture spreads around the world like a virus and erodes other cultures and traditions. I'm glad you sing in earnest what they say in irony Flea, good for you. You obviously just read the chorous and don't understand metaphors contained in the verses. Idiot.

Rammstein kicks ass.

Posted by: Pat at September 13, 2004 03:12 PM

Come on, Pat, that "very intelligent and important" observation has been repeated so much for so long that now it's simply a trite cliché. It's time to move forward and ask some meaningful questions such as:

How much Western concern over this comes from a patronizing desire to preserve "traditional" cultures for our own satisfaction, regardless of what the people affected actually want?

How do "traditional" peoples not wanting to take on American influences successfully do so, given that those influences will not go away?

How can "traditional" peoples selectively take what is best from American influences while still preserving what they wish to keep from their own cultures?

These are the sorts of questions that need to be asked, both for our intellectual integrity and the well-being of non-Western cultures. Superficial, faux-sophisticate sneering that pleases self-important teenagers, on the other hand, does absolutely nothing worthwhile for anyone.

Posted by: Varenius at September 13, 2004 04:25 PM

Wait a minute... I am an idiot and Rammstein kicks ass! I'm convinced!

So, Pat, now I need your advice on how to live without using "the internet" (Gore™) to download Rammstein tracks or listen to rock-and-or-roll (USofA™) by bands like Rammstein because both are from AmeriKKKa.

Posted by: Flea at September 13, 2004 05:09 PM

No, Pat, you're quite right. I had no idea that American culture had any influence whatsoever beyond its borders before Rammstein showed me the way.

Whatever would I have done without such an intelligent and important insight? ... I'd just have stuck to eating at the McDonalds outlets in Petersburg, Moscow, Vienna, and Prague, I suppose. Oh, how enlightened am I!

Posted by: Ben at September 13, 2004 05:09 PM

Of course, it could also be the metaphors are ironic and Rammstein sing their chorus in earnest. I mean, look at those burgers. Wunderbar!

Posted by: Flea at September 13, 2004 05:13 PM

"Wunderbar" certainly seems to be the assessment of those little Thai novices enthusiastically wolfing down their big fat burgers. A nice break from rice and veggies, I daresay!

By the way, what about that blatantly racist portrayal of American Indians in the video? And the hateful implication that the Indian's sacred weed is poisoning poor old Sikhs?

Posted by: Varenius at September 13, 2004 07:49 PM

I'd just like to mention that 1st of all Rammstein does kick ass (except for the homoerotic parts of their songs/videos) and 2nd that Rammstein is just telling it how it is in this song. Its very obvious that America is an Empire and is spreading its own culture all over the world.
lets see what response this gets......

Posted by: Chubson at September 25, 2004 02:16 AM

Hi "Chubson", the first thing you should know is that I delete comments that are pointlessly argumentative, particularly from people who, like yourself, choose to comment under a pseudonym. I would take your intervention more seriously if I was certain it was made in the spirit of debate. As it stands your remarks strike me to be both ill informed and prejudiced against both the United States and gay men. This combination is all too common and is shared by fascism in its communist, neo-nazi and islamist varieties. Perhaps you will outgrow the insecurities and feelings of worthlessness on which both prejudices are based. Try being a man and taking responsibility for your own responsibilities and accomplishments instead.

We agree, however, that Rammstein does kick ass.

Posted by: Flea at September 25, 2004 08:44 AM

To clear up the "This is not a love song" bit, which includes the line "I don't sing my mother tongue", I take that as being a sarcastic stab at all the bands like The Rasmus who sing songs in English that they don't really understand, because if you sing in English you sell better to the American market.
Also, all of the band members speak very good English; they just put on totally over-the-top accents for fun and to make their point.

Posted by: CiCi at October 6, 2004 08:47 AM

We wanted to show you few things and exactly , you should fly with yours american ideas of liberty and freedom, second everybody knows that americans are fucken nation in the world,video for song amerika show you're all bloody fucken idiots and this is revenge for a second war and exactly for a things what you've done for a world to make him worse.You should stop get in at problems different nations and really take care about your country where few milions of people are living like beggars,thats way we made video where we show ourselves as a Indians,cos you daunted Indians as a second nations.I dont want to write about your fucken girls and your fucken life stile,sexuall harrassement and....cos all world knows what you do to make that world impossible to life, and one more thing you're not welcome in Europe before and now everybody there is your enemy that way you should fly on the moon or antarctica for a vacation or holiday.I think I should now write song about american girls to show world who they are,and propably I would call that "American Victory" over Arnold when I was there,but I survived I think I didn't say last world to fuck your country.ARNOLD

Posted by: Arnold at October 21, 2004 11:33 AM

Dear Mr. Rammstein,

Thank you for your commentary on international relations. I should note, however, that I am Canadian and not, as you seem to have inferred, American. I take it the "second war" to which you refer was the one in Iraq. At first I thought you meant the Second World War. Best to keep schtumpf about that one!

The Publisher

Posted by: Flea at October 21, 2004 11:50 AM

Lieber Arnold,

Ich glaube es waere besser fuer dich wenn du weniger Zeit damit verbringst Rammstein zu hoeren und anstelle die Zeit nutzt um dein lausiges Englisch zu verbessern. Ich wuerde dir ebenfalls empfehlen ein Buch ueber die Geschichte Deutschland's im 20igsten Jahrhundert zu lesen um mehr ueber "get in at problems different nations" zu lernen.

Posted by: Varenius at October 21, 2004 06:16 PM

Amerika should learn to leave the world alone. We shouldn't meddle in other countries affairs. I mean a united Nazi Europe would have been "Wunderbar"

America is an empire? IF that is true we would be ruling Japan, Germany,Italy, Mexico, Cuba, etc. America has never been an imperialistic nation. Unlike MOST of the old European countries (i.e France, Germany, England, Holland, Spain, etc.) Now look at Europe..and the European Union.....Pathetic and weak. LOL...what a joke. America will no longer rest on its laurels while other nations and people plot against us.......welcome to the New World Order..... What country can stand against the US?

Posted by: Double R at October 29, 2004 11:26 AM

ok so yes american culture does span the hole world and erodes other cultures but so what? its been like that with every superpower in hitory take the romans there culture still influences us today, think about it military sayings whats printed on U.S currency latin is not even spoken as a official language anymore, but yet all thing scientific are named in it. and they have lasted so far alot longer then us and they where MUCH more brutal then we ever where in fact most of modern society stems from ideas first pioneered by the romans. And we have done much more good then even the romans ever did, the romans conquered everything and would not give a shit what happened out side their borders. We on the other hand are yelled at for trying to help. Rammstein is still a awsome band if they want to gripe go ahead its their right

Posted by: Curry at November 4, 2004 09:09 PM