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Rammstein’s “Stripped” & “Links 2-3-4″ Videos

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The “Stripped” Video

In 1998, the German hard rock band Rammstein covered “Stripped” (1986), by the English electronic/New Wave band Depeche Mode, for a Depeche Mode tribute album called For the Masses (1998). Later pressings of Rammstein’s second disc Sehnsucht (Longing) include “Stripped” at the end as a “hidden” track, i.e., it is not listed on the cover.

The video for “Stripped” is simply a brilliantly edited montage from Leni Riefenstahl’s Olympia, her two-part documentary film on the 1936 Olympic Games held in Berlin during the Third Reich. The video merely features Greek statues and ruins, attractive athletes, and cheerful spectators. Hitler and the National Socialist flag do not appear. (The American and Japanese flags, among others, do appear, but they simply make the German flag more conspicuous in its absence.)

But such fine points did not matter, and the video provoked an international controversy. In particular, the Anti-Defamation League and various magazine hacks made it known that our Jewish overlords were not amused by images of good-looking, healthy people having fun during the Third Reich, lest people get the wrong idea.

The band, for their part, responded that the video had no political significance whatsoever. They used the Olympia footage simply because of its beauty.

The video and the controversy not only promoted the song, but also contributed to wider interest in Leni Riefenstahl.

http://youtu.be/M4SmZkmLRjQ

In “Stripped,” the singer addresses an object of love or lust: “Let me see you stripped.” Although Rammstein has a reputation for dark and violent music, their version of “Stripped” actually softens the Depeche Mode original, which runs, “Let me see you stripped down to the bone.” Rammstein also omits the line “Let me hear you crying just for me.”

“Stripped” is not merely, or even primarily, a song about sex. It is about a return to nature, which requires the stripping off of artifice, of which clothes are merely one part:

Come with me
Into the trees
We’ll lay on the grass
And let hours pass

Take my hand
Come back to the land
Let’s get away
Just for one day

Let me see you
Stripped

Modern urban life is characterized not just by artifice, but also by pollution, both physical and mental:

Metropolis
Has nothing on this
You’re breathing in fumes
I taste when we kiss

Let me hear you
Make decisions
Without your television
Let me hear you speaking
Just for me

“Stripped” praises nature over artifice, the rural over the urban, leisure over work, fresh air over smog, and thinking for oneself over parroting the propaganda of the television. Although the narrator does want his partner speaking “just for me,” which may not exactly be freedom, but it certainly is a more intimate and natural form of thralldom.

How does the video mesh with the message of the song? In the most literal sense, the video shows beautiful bodies in sculpture and in life, some of them nude. Most of them are Olympic athletes, of course.

The fusion of images and music is brilliant. During the opening electronic drones, we see Greek statues and ruins. Then the Greek discus thrower is replaced by a living athlete (around 0:45). The moment the discus is released, the drums and guitar enter in, followed by images of athletes in explosions of energy. During an electronic bridge (starting at 2:03), we see a vast field of young women swinging gymnastics clubs in perfect synchronization with each other and the music. When the last verse has been sung and the chorus repeats toward an increasingly ecstatic climax (starting at 3:00), we see high divers leaping into the water—and out of it in reverse footage, to delirious effect.

Is there a political message here? At 1:52, when the Olympic flame is kindled, suddenly we see a vast crowd assembled, with close-ups of beautiful, smiling faces. Then we come to the vast field of synchronized women. So we are now in society, but it is a different form of society—not a society of constricting artifice, pollution, and television propaganda. Sports, of course, are based on rules, which are social conventions. But these conventions function in harmony with nature, leading to the development and expression of physical beauty. Moreover, people gather at sporting events to witness and honor human excellence. Athletic competition is peaceful and constructive, leading to the upward development of the race. This is, of course, a description of the Olympic ideal, but one might wonder why one can’t organize a whole society on such principles. That, of course, is a question the ADL does not want you to ask.

Beyond that, the “Stripped” video is indirectly political precisely because of its purely aesthetic, apolitical treatment of Olympia. The “Stripped” video shows Olympia stripped of tendentious post-war commentary. By showing beautiful images from the Third Reich without informing viewers that what they are about to see is “tainted” by association with demonic evil, the video interrupts the dominant cultural narrative, which seeks to justify the post-World War II order: liberal democracy, expressive individualism, global finance capitalism, and multiculturalism. The chief architects and beneficiaries of this order are Jews. And Jewish power rests ultimately on the conditioning Europeans to feel reflexive horror at all forms of European ethnic pride and advocacy by demonizing them as somehow like National Socialism. By giving us a glimpse of a non-demonic Third Reich, the “Stripped” video short-circuits that conditioning.

The “Links 2-3-4” Video

In 2001, Rammstein released their third album, Mutter, which includes a song entitled “Links 2-3-4” (Left 2-3-4, the equivalent of “hup 2-3-4”). The band asserted that the song and its associated video were a response to the accusation of being right wing. In 1999, Oskar Lafontaine of the Social Democratic Party declared that his heart “beats on the left.” (That’s the difference between them and us, apparently.) In 2001, Lafontaine published a column in Bild entitled “Das Herz schläght Links” (The Heart Beats on the Left) opposite a column by a Christian Democratic politician, Peter Gauweiler, entitled “Mein Herz schlägt auf dem rechten Fleck” (My heart beats in the right place).

Rammstein incorporated both phrases—the heart in the right place, the right place being on the left—into “Links 2-3-4” and had the cheek (or tongue-in-cheek) to proclaim it proof of their leftist sympathies. The music is in 4/4 time with the sound of marching jackboots. But the lyrics are simply about the heart:

Kann man Herzen brechen
können Herzen sprechen
kann man Herzen quälen
kann man Herzen stehlen

Can one break hearts?
Can hearts speak?
Can one torment hearts?
Can one steal hearts?

. . .

Sie wollen mein Herz am rechten Fleck
doch seh ich dann nach unten weg
da schlägt es in der linken Brust
der Neider hat es schlecht gewusst

They want my heart in the right place
but I see it down below
It beats in the left breast
the envious don’t know it well

If one chooses to interpret left and right metaphorically (i.e., politically), this is an avowal of leftist sympathy. But one could just interpret it literally, which would make it politically vacuous, since Hitler and Stalin both had hearts in the right place, i.e., on the left. The song, then, is politically ambiguous in a studied way.

As for the video:

http://youtu.be/x5dm7AYZ-tg

The setting is an anthill. Using mixture of live and animated ants, we see scenes from ordinary ant life: ants playing soccer, ants watching soccer on TV, an ant getting a beer from the fridge, ants going to a rave where a DJ plays a Rammstein album, ants pouring into a theater to watch a film of a Rammstein concert.

The film is grainy and black and white. As the movie starts, we see countdown symbols flashed on the screen, including crossed hammers, like the fascist emblem in Pink Floyd’s The Wall, but not unlike Soviet the hammer and sickle either. We see a wheel with pointed teeth, not unlike the cogwheel used by Laibach. We see Rammstein’s version of Laibach’s cross. Till Lindemann wears stage makeup reminiscent of old German Expressionist films. It takes one back to the 30s, the heyday of fascist and communist collectivism.

But the film is a bit of nostalgia, for the overall setting of the video is the present day. Individualists love to use the anthill metaphor to dismiss collectivism. But in fact, with their soccer, beer, and Rammstein consumption, the ants and their anthill represent modern liberal democratic Germany.

Suddenly, the screen is ripped asunder by a huge beetle. Three of them are attacking the anthill. The ants scatter, many are killed, but then they are rallied by a leader ant, who addresses the masses. He raises his feelers in a gesture reminiscent of the Roman salute. The masses raise their feelers in response. Then the ants pour out of the hill, marching in formation. The marching ants take the shape of the Rammstein-Laibach cross. These displays of precision marching were staples of fascist and Communist mass rallies.

Then the ants form three columns and swarm the beetles, overwhelming and killing them. What the ants lack in individual size is compensated for by their numbers. It is collectivism at its finest, the use of organization to create strength through numbers. After the beetles are dead, the leader ant raises his feelers in the ant salute, and the ants celebrate their victory with more precision marching, creating a toothed wheel formation around the dead beetles. As the video ends, we see a dead human hand in the foreground crawling with ants as well. (This is cut off in the video embedded above.) Foreshadowing of things to come? (If I had to venture a guess about the identity of the dead hand, I would say it is the American Occupation regime. But more about Amerika later.)

With some justification, critics of the “Links 2-3-4” video immediately likened the whole thing to Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will, her documentary of the NSDAP’s 1934 Nuremberg Party Rally. The ant salutes look like the Roman salute, and Triumph of the Will is the only mass party rally most Westerners have ever seen, even though the Communists continued to elaborate and perfect it for decades after 1945. (The whole genre apparently developed from the half-time shows at American college football games.) During the chorus, one hears a crowd shouting “Hi!” Claire Berlinski even hallucinates a Hitler mustache on Till Lindemann.

But the members of Rammstein are not Nazis. They are modern Germans. Like the ants in the video and the fans of their music, they like soccer, beer, raves, and Rammstein. Politically speaking, their hearts are on the left. Not the totalitarian left, but the liberal left: the individualist, consumerist left.

But the problem with modern Germans is that this identity is part and parcel with national self-hatred and guilt over the Second World War. Rammstein wishes to restore a “healthy German self-esteem.” They are trying to establish “a natural relationship with their identity.” To do that, they have to teach modern Germans to look at the Third Reich through new eyes. Not to promote Nazism, but to clear the impediment of Nazism to a healthy patriotism.

Thus I do think that Triumph of the Will is intentionally being alluded to. But the message of the video is not a return to Nazi totalitarianism. Instead, the message is that even a modern, individualist, consumerist, leftist society can come under attack. And when it comes under attack, collectivism and its trappings become necessities of survival. All democracies become fascist when they go to war. Thus, even if your heart is on the left, one must make peace with things conventionally associated with the right. (Of course the members of Rammstein, who grew up in East Germany, saw this sort of stuff all the time from their Communist regime.) Rammstein’s keyboardist Christian Lorenz said that “Links 2-3-4” shows how militant and aggressive the left can be.

Mass collectivism is always-already latent in consumer society, particularly in the activities the ants are shown engaged in: sports, raves, and rock concerts. In an interview reported by Berlinski, Richard Kruspe, Rammstein’s lead guitarist, claims that international soccer is the one arena of life where Germans feel comfortable taking their own side. Raves are mass gatherings where music and drugs produce an ecstatic sense of collective consciousness, orchestrated by a DJ/leader. The same thing takes place at rock concerts. As Mick Jagger once said, “Hitler was the first rock star.”

Rammstein is again trying to teach Germans to see their past with new eyes, and to link it organically to their present, so that mass patriotic gatherings no longer automatically connote fascism and the Holocaust.

In another article, I will discuss three more Rammstein videos: “Amerika,” “Ohne Dich,” and “Mein Land.”

To most people, it seems absurd for organizations like the ADL to police rock videos. But we should not be so dismissive. Perhaps they know something we do not. My hypothesis is that Jewish power is stretched very thin. Jews are working at full capacity to contain positive white self-consciousness, and white pride is virtually nil. This means that even a modest jump in white ethnocentrism — even an essentially liberal-democratic form of patriotism, which is what Rammstein seems to represent — might exceed the ability of Jews to control it. Thus they feel they must smother every little spark, lest it ignite a firestorm that might consume them utterly.

Note: Both the “Stripped” and “Links 2-3-4″ videos are available on the Rammstein video compilation Lichtspielhaus.

 

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13 Comments

  1. RedSpaniel
    Posted December 6, 2011 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    I recently watched the movie “The Edge” with Alec Baldwin and Anthony Hopkins. It is a movie about survival and betrayal. The character played by A. Hopkins mentions at one point in the movie that most people who die in the wilderness die of shame – shame that they allowed themselves to get lost in the first place. It doesn’t matter whether this is true – it has a kernel of truth in it – and I think this is exactly the Jewish strategy: to kill us with shame while we are lost in the wilderness into which they have led us.
    Videos like Stripped (and more specifically, Leni Riefenstahl’s Olympia) show that we have nothing to be ashamed of.

  2. Posted December 6, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    heres greg writing some good copy. interesting stuff and you have the knack for it.

  3. Posted December 6, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Another great analysis, looking forward to more.

    Good point re “Till Lindemann wears stage makeup reminiscent of old German Expressionist films.” I took it as a shout out to Metropolis.

    My youngest boy had the observation that the ants are like the ants being watched by the aliens/Martians from H. G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds”. He’s on a prolonged kick with that book/soundtrack so could be a little biased, though I think it fits the theme. And supported by his observation at the end where the ants are eating the beetle’s large green eye in closeup. For him the ants are like the humans trampled by the invading tripods which are the beetles. Unlike War of the Worlds, the ants rise and defeat the aliens by communal action, rather than a virus. The ants are the crows eating the aliens eyes out.

    Good points too re Rammstein’s socialist/communal core – their fraternity. Two other videos in support are “Du Hast”, a David Lynch style rendition – with again flames purifying (good observation by that commenter). The protagonist is going with his lover to kill his brothers and break from brotherhood. But he changes heart inside the hut (while his lover waits outside) overcome by his brothers’ love. He departs joined with the gang again and his lover is blown up in the background.

    The other vid is “Keine Lust” where they all rock up individually, decadent, wealthy and grossly fat, Lindemann looking like Goering in his later years. They join in backslapping brotherhood, rock out amidst decadent scenes, now gone past and through the decadent phase to not being able to be aroused anymore by decadence – the lesbians putting on a show for the unimpressed and flaccid Lindemann in his limo.

    Again, flames abound with Barbarian style female flame throwers. At the end they all depart individually and alone, the brotherhood broken. Such is the annihilating nature of individualism that causes one to gorge on decadence: lust, gluttony which leaves one rich and too bloated with material to enjoy anything anymore, and community broken, despairing – lost.

  4. Posted December 6, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    One other point re the David Lynch influence (you noted that you first heard Rammstein in Lost Highway).

    The hut/house in “Du Hast” is similar to the house in Lost Highway where the Mystery Man resides. It has the same significance as “The Room above a Convenience Store” in Fire Walk With Me, and also the Black Lodge in Twin Peaks. It’s a place where decisions are made, good and evil meet, you enter as you are, decide, and leave purified as either pure good or pure evil.

    The masks in the clip the band members wear are like that of the boy in the convenience store room, also hopping about in the carpark when Leland Palmer goes to fuck prostitutes but realises one of them is his daughter. The boy taunts him, mocking him as a chicken.

    One of the band members even looks like Bob, long haired and wild, evil incarnate.

    Point being, take off your mask, decide which side you are with, become pure for your brothers is the gist. Also, like Lynch, it questions superficiality of individualism and materialism and goes to spirit, primordial soul that beats within each and in community. Soul animates whereas individualism/materialism leads to decay and death. In community is eternity, past, present and future meet, and reside outside time, just as they do in Lynch’s rooms.

  5. Derek Hawthorne
    Posted December 6, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    In my essay on the film “North Face,” I mention that its director, Philipp Stoeltzl, also directed Rammstein’s “Stripped Video”:

    “Stöltzl courted controversy in 1998 with his video for Rammstein’s ‘Stripped,’ which featured images lifted from Riefenstahl’s Olympia. More than one German review of North Face made mention of this, accusing Stöltzl of having a fascination for the ‘fascist aesthetic,’ and criticizing North Face as a revival of a ‘contaminated genre.'”

    North Face is a pretty unapologetic revival of the 1930s genre of the “Mountain Film.” These films, especially the classic ones by Arnold Fanck, were brimming with a basically naive and unreflective (and essentially apolitical) German national pride.

  6. Fourmyle of Ceres
    Posted December 6, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    THEIR GOAL IS GENOCIDE. OURS. WHAT’S YOURS?

    Greg Johnson in blockquote:

    During an electronic bridge (starting at 2:03), we see a vast field of young women swinging blowing pins in perfect synchronization with each other and the music.

    Those are gymnastics clubs, and were part of the phys ed curriculum at West Point until the late 1950’s, and perhaps later.

    They are coming back into vogue, incidentally, among elite athletes.

    More on your excellent essay later.

    Red Spaniel’s excellent comment goes directly to the heart of the demoralization that is the Adversary’s primary tool of cultural destruction. (Bezmenov spoke about this.) If memory serves, the psychological foundation of suicide is shame. And what is the source of that shame? Accepting the FALSE Values of others, so erroneous in foundation and yet drilled into your Minds with such repetition that you accept the false Consensus Trance.

    Most people seem to have avoided taking the Red Pill, for now. When they run out of SSRI’s, we will see exciting things happen.

    What’s In YOUR Future? Focus Northwest!

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted December 7, 2011 at 3:57 am | Permalink

      Thanks, I made the correction.

  7. CompassionateFascist
    Posted December 6, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Based on conversations with Jews married into several branches of my family, Johnson is on target: their power is vast but also shallow and brittle; an apparent ocean that turns out to be…six inches deep. Zion knows this, and so reacts violently against any real – or imaginary – challenge. Now, as their globalist debt ponzi regime approaches collapse, they quake in fear….still capable of killing millions of us, and will probably do so, but in the end themselves doomed.

  8. Fourmyle of Ceres
    Posted December 7, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    THEIR GOAL IS GENOCIDE. OURS. WHAT’S YOURS?

    Greg Johnson in blockquote:

    Hitler and the National Socialist flag do not appear.

    There is a popular version of that video, featuring a break where the music pause, waits three seconds while you see where the camera is – focused on a Mr. Hitler – and THEN Uncle Adolf declares the Olympic Games open – a pause – and THEN, the crowd bursts into overwhelming applause, shout of Joy, as it were – and THEN, the band kicks it up a notch with power, volume, and the absolute certainty there are right. It’s damn impressive.

    It’s what can happen when the circuit breakers formed by the Consenus Trance are removed, and it is no less true for us.

    I’d like to tie this back to Horus the Avenger’s concept of the Consensus Trace, and the combined observations of CompassionateFascist and your selves; their power is a mile wide, and an inch deep. You literally have to CHOOSE to be placed in their power, you literally have to CHOOSE to accept the words they use, and the pictures they show you, wile linking them to emotional states of Consciousness. You control people with the heart; without heart, their is no Will, and their is no action. Stop the heart from Feeling- anaesthesize it, whatever – and you have demoralized them to personal impotence, and collective ineffectiveness.

    That is why est, and it’s successor, the Landmark Forum, is so important, as it martial arts, as they all encourage the development of your accepting that Core and working with it. Heinlein’s DuBois described it as the “hump” in “Starship Troopers.” It’s the feeling that people join “Fight Club” to feel. It’s the foundation of Conquest; it’s exemplified in the statement of Kevin Alfred Strom, “We’re Going To WIN!”

    When a group of people, united by blood, FEEL this as true, accept it and work with it, miracles can happen.

    THIS is the hidden Foundation behind Harold Covington’s Northwest Republic – the unspoken, felt more than understood, certainty that WE are right, WE do not have to prove a damn thing to anybody.

    Not only do we have a “right” to existence, we have a duty to fulfill.

    That is why people should remember the importance of contributing to counter-currents regularly; annual fundraisers are simply the necessary foundation. Necessary, but not sufficient, it the metapolitical purpose is to be met, and fulfilled.

    What’s In YOUR Future? Focus Northwest!

    • Kennewick Man
      Posted December 9, 2011 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      You can see the version with Hitler here:Stripped alternate version

      Interestingly, as the athletes pass Hitler’s review stand, not only the Italians, but also the French and Greeks offer a Fascist/NS style salute.

      Really a beautiful video (in either version). Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

      • Greg Johnson
        Posted December 9, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        The other version, of course, was not created by the band. It may, indeed, have been created to smear them.

  9. Posted December 7, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Greg I would like to see you add Sonne to the Rammstein songs you intend to mention in your future article….

  10. Sandy
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    I just had a pop-up and if you live out West you might want to see your favourite band live: http://www.livenation.com/Rammstein-tickets/artist/781114?c=rmk-lncanwest_goog_rammstein_vcr_175#artist_table_focus

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