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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Olliver Wichmann introduces and translates Zugezogen Maskulin

Zugezogen Maskulin (newcomer masculine) is a German duo consisting of Grim104 and Testo. They like to mock stereotypes of gangster rap or use sarcasm and irony to deal with ignorant attitudes of people caught up in groupthink or propaganda. But there’s also the concrete grey of urban gloom hanging over their lyrics, where individuals fail to cope with their monotonous life in isolation and get lost in alcohol and drug abuse. As their record label Buback [1] writes, their motif is “a hunger for truth that is not afraid of radical looks” and “[a] longing for authenticity that is real and not just ‘authentic’”.


Zugezogen Maskulin - Finally war again

I’m a hipster, camouflage jacket and red Airs [1]
The AK [2] for the vintage look, retro like the Red Khmer
There’s finally a war again, from the Berghain [3] to the front, kids
First there is shooting and then bombing
Lilac clouds have disappeared in the turbine’s hissing
1,000 robots – smoking ruins
Through the mud on all fours reciting Ernst Jünger [4]
Bloodland [5] instead of urban beach – everyone is cheering
What MDMA [6]? I’ve got PTSD [7]
Lars Mährholz [8] is the first to be torn apart by rockets
My father is watching “die Brücke” [9] with tears in his eyes
My eardrum is playing marching songs, can’t understand him

Finally war again, finally war again
Finally again, finally again, finally war again
Finally war again, finally war again
Finally again, finally again, finally war again
Finally war again, I sleep till 1 pm
Hurrah, the school is burning, war doesn’t need A-levels

Shrapnel shelling will turn us into a case study for books on medicine
We don’t need a Vietnam, we need two, three, many [10]
Laser beams will scalp your skull
We turn our swag on [11] from Mars to the Memel [12]
Yeah, public viewing in the “Fanmeile” [13]
Me and my mates, staggering flags of Germany
“Trümmerfrauen” [14] are dancing on the tables

Finally world war again
bodies, beer and tits
Hashtag “#ww3”, sexy uniforms by Adidas
And the Oranje-rabble [15] is beaten up
And tumblers are flying, here in the beer garden of Eden [16]
Each shot on target
Fighting and winning, I’m drumming my paunch
In each hand a pork knuckle
All of a sudden aircraft noise
And a bomb crashing into the “Fanmeile”
Only minced pork remains

Finally war again, finally war again
Finally again, finally again, finally war again
Finally war again, finally war again
Finally again, finally again, finally war again
Finally war again, I sleep till 1 pm
Hurrah, the school is burning, war doesn’t need A-levels

[1] Nike Air line of shoes
[2] AK-47, also known as “Kalashnikov”
[3] Techno nightclub in Berlin
[4] German writer and militarist, known for the work “Storm of Steel”, a graphic yet uncritical account of trench warfare on the Western Front during WW1.
[5] Reference to “Bloodlands”, a book by historian Timothy D. Snyder about the region which included today’s Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and the Baltic States between the years 1933 and 1945
[6] Organiser of the first “vigil for peace” in Berlin, which inspired other vigils throughout Germany and are criticised by politics and mainstream media for deploying conspiracy theories or having ties to
[7] English “the bridge”, a German film from 1959 depicting the last days of Nazi-Germany in April 1945, where seven schoolboys of about 16 years are recruited into a local army unit. Their task is to defend a strategically unimportant bridge from the approaching American forces.
[8] A psychoactive drug more commonly known as “ecstasy”
[9] Posttraumatic stress disorder, an anxiety disorder that can result from severely traumatic events.
[10] Derived from a quote by Che Guevera: “…should two, three or many Vietnams flourish throughout the world…” (Che Guevera – “Message to
the Tricontinental”, 1967)
[11] Derived from “Turn my swag on” by Soulja Boy:
[12] Wordplay on “from the Meuse to the Memel”, a phrase from the first stanza of the “Deutschlandlied”, the German national anthem.
[13] English “fan mile”, an area specifically designated to football
fans of a particular team
[14] English “rubble women”, women who helped clearing debris in
Germany after WWII
[15] Dutch for “orange”, colloquial reference to the Dutch national football team, after the House of Orange-Nassau.
[16] Derived from “Biergarten Eden” by K.I.Z, a song mocking German patriotism during the FIFA world cup:


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About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I came to the US in 1975, and have also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of a non-fiction book, Postcards from the End of America (2017), two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), six of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007), Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009) and A Mere Rica (2017), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories From Around the World, etc. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013). My writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.