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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Black and Blonde

As published at Smirking Chimp, OpEd News, LewRockwell, Unz Review, CounterCurrents and Intrepid Report, 1/3/16:

Nowadays, the United States exports almost nothing but weapons, noises, images and attitudes, and among the last, the black ghetto, keeping it real, thug, gangsta life is being gobbled up eagerly by millions all over, from Jakarta to Istanbul, to Berlin. White, yellow or brown, many pose enthusiastically as dwellers of the American black ghetto.

Their fantasy makeover is derived entirely from music videos and Hollywood films. In East Germany, the catalyst was Beat Street, one of the first hip hop movies. Released in 1984, it was shown in East Germany merely a year later. Communist censors deemed it an indictment of Capitalism and the United States. To East German youths, however, it provided a mental escape from their Communist confinement. By spraying graffiti and break dancing, they could imagine themselves as living beyond the Iron Curtain.

Germany’s fascination and identification with American minorities started with the American Indian, whom many Germans still admire for his purity, simplicity and toughness. There is a saying, “An Indian feels no pain.” “Ein Indianer kennt keinen Schmerz.”

Just as the Germanic chieftain Arminius resisted Rome, defeated it in 9AD, the Amerindian is seen as a heroic warrior against much superior force. He’s also the antidote to the white man’s corruptions. Of course, Germany is still very white and, in many ways, the epitome of white civilization. Nevertheless, there is a longing among many Germans, at least occasionally, to strip away the deforming gown of civilization and be savage. Pagan impulses tug at the brand name underpants of each German.

Since the Amerindian is the ideal man, his society must be perfect, or nearly so. A most curious German, Christian Prieber, even had a plan to turn a Cherokee settlement into Utopia. Born in Saxony in 1697, Prieber was chased out for his subversive ideas, so he fled to England, leaving behind his wife and children. In 1735, Prieber arrived in the New World. After brief stops in Savannah and Charleston, Prieber ended up by 1736 in Great Tellico, a Cherokee town in present-day Tennessee. Accepted into their community, he quickly became their counselor. Prieber’s residence with the Cherokees ended after seven years, however, when he was arrested by the British. Accused of being an agent for the French, Prieber died in jail a year later.

Ludovick Grant, an English trader, described the prisoner, “he is a very extraordinary Kind of a Creature; he is a little ugly Man, but speaks almost all Languages fluently, particularly English, Dutch, French, Latin and Indian; he talks very prophanely against all Religions, but chiefly against the Protestant; he was setting up a Town at the Foot of the Mountains among the Cherokees, which was to be a City of Refuge for all Criminals, Debtors, and Slaves who would fly thither from Justice or their Masters […] being a great Scholar he soon made himself master of their Tongue, and by his insinuating manner Indeavoured to gain their hearts. He trimm’d his hair in the indian manner & painted as they did going generally almost naked except a shirt & a Flap. He told these people that they had been strangely deluded, that they had been tricked out of a great part of their Land by the English […] He proposed to them a new System or plan of Government, that all things should be in common amongst them, that even their Wives should be so and that the Children should be looked upon as the Children of the public and be taken care of as such and not by their natural parents […] that they should admit into their Society Creeks & Catawbaws, French & English, all Colours and Complexions, in short all who were of these principles […] He enumerates many whimsical Privileges and natural Rights, as he calls them, which his citizens are to be entitled to, particularly dissolving Marriages and allowing Community of Women, and all Kinds of Licenciousness […] it is a Pity so much Wit is applied to so bad Purposes.”

There is no evidence the Cherokees went along with Prieber’s social engineering, though they did accept his practical advices on how to deal with the treacherous and exploitative white man. He also taught them English measurements of distance and weight. An enemy of private property, organized religion and the nuclear family, Prieber was a Communist before his time. His gravitation towards the Cherokees is further proof of his rejection of Western Civilization. The Indians also provided him with a more malleable clay, he thought, to sculpt his Utopian masterpiece.

The more one identifies with the primitive, the more one rejects the elaboration and refinement of advanced civilization. Germans are among the most civilized, and I don’t measure that by bombastic monuments, but by the subtlest civilized gestures. Outside the entrance of a shopping mall toilet, I noticed management had left bowls of water and dog food, and inside each bathroom stall at my university, there is a toilet bowl scrubber to use if necessary. Germans also rarely jaywalk or litter. Of course, they have also produced guys with names like Bach, Beckmann and Sebald. I work on Beethoven Street. Hey, rambling schmuck, and what about dudes with names like Mengele, Heydrich and, uh, Hitler?! I’m talking about civilization’s forms, not its moral contents. Except when they go berserk, Germans are among the most domesticated. In this, they resemble the Japanese. Both have been superbly toilet trained.

Urbanized and cultured, Germans miss their earthier, more savage selves, and this persistent longing has surfaced in movements such as Wandervogel [Wandering Bird], Völkisch [Folksy] and Blut and Boden [Blood and Soil], the last of which painted the Jew as a degenerate, urban egghead, and the true German as a rigorous, pure and timeless being that’s dirt coated, sun splashed and wind lashed, not unlike an American Indian. In the 70’s, some German anarchists dubbed themselves Stadtindianer, or Urban Indians. (They were modeled after an Italian group, Indiani Metropolitani. “We have unearthed the battle ax!” went a rallying cry. “Abbiamo dissotterrato l’ascia di guerra!”)

With the advent of hip hop, German malcontents have a contemporary role model. Instead of the mythical American Indian, they can now mimic American ghetto blacks, as purveyed by Hollywood. In Beat Street, there are many panoramas of the South Bronx, with its abandoned homes, garbage and graffiti. With no such slums, Germany didn’t look quite gritty or cool enough, so the ghetto had to be willed into being. So far, German graffiti sprayers, window breakers and litterers are only partially successful, but give them time. They’ll get there.

Leipzig’s most ghetto-like neighborhood is Connewitz, and it’s not because poor people live there, but because it’s a stronghold of Communists and Anarchists. There’s hardly a building that’s not repeatedly marred by spray paint, and most of the graffiti are free of political contents. It’s just vandalism. Defending it, a young female Leipziger explained to me, “They don’t really care about private property.” All of the mom and pops that make up the majority of Connewitz businesses must be repainted constantly. That this is such a huge waste of manpower and resources doesn’t bother the “green” progressives of Leipzig.

On December 12th, 2015, the left went violent when less than a hundred rightists marched through Connewitz. A thousand Communists, Anarchists and other self-proclaimed militants hurled stones and bottles, set fires, injured 69 cops, damaged 50 police vehicles and broke scores of windows in their own neighborhood. Banks, including local credit unions, were particularly targeted. As an indication of the German police’s restraint, none of the raging leftists were hurt, though 23 were arrested.

I walked through Connewitz the next afternoon. Seeing all the broken windows, I could easily picture a day when all of these businesses would be forced to evacuate, leaving this once lovely section to resemble the menacing and dismal black ghetto of the hip German rebel’s fantasy. You can’t be oppressed if you don’t dwell in the ghetto.

Rap has gone a long way since Beat Street. Though it is a diverse form, its most salient characteristic is aggression. One doesn’t even need to understand the lyrics to grasp this. With its extreme narcissism, glorification of violence and contempt for women, quite a bit of rap is also against any civilization, not just the white man’s. Other musical genres, such as punk and heavy metal, also flaunt anti-social attitudes, but they don’t have the circulation of rap, and some of their worst practitioners aren’t international icons.

Ya, ya, I’m just an old head who don’t know nothing about creativity. I’ve never heard of Blumio, the Japanese-German who fillets and fish wraps the news in rhymes, and I ain’t got no appreciation for the exhilarating, rapid fire flow of Samy Delux when he claims, quite rightly, of course, that he’s Germany’s best poet, “Ich bin so Schiller, so Goethe / So bitter, so böse / Noch immer der größte / Poet der hier lebt.” “I’m so Schiller, so Goethe / So acerbic, so wicked / Still the greatest / Poet who lives here.”

One of the earliest German hip hop albums was called “Krauts with Attitude,” a clear nod to N.W.A., “Niggers with Attitude.” N.W.A. has become very mainstream, of course, as attested by the 2015 release of Straight out of Compton. Around Leipzig, I now see stickers and posters of seven masked German militants, under the heading “STRAIGHT OUT OF CONNEWITZ.”

With their hatred of the state, nation and law and order, German leftist radicals see American ghetto blacks, as portrayed in movies, music videos and newscasts, as kindred spirits. Of course, they have no familiarity with ordinary black folks who go to work and church, and cherish quite traditional values. Seeing blacks rioting in American cities, these Germans cheer and look forward to doing the same. Hating not just the worst aspects of civilization, but nearly all of it, they just want to tear everything down, for Utopia, you see, is just beyond the blood red horizon.

In Berlin, there’s a graffiti of a black man pointing a gun, “HANDS UP.”

In Leipzig, there’s a painted silhouette of a man hovering over an upturned skateboard, with a balloon tied to his wrist, “KILL COPS.”

In Leipzig, one end of a bench has, “NO BRAIN.” The other end, “HATE COPS.”

All of the anti-cop graffiti I’ve seen in Germany are written in English, by the way. This is only appropriate since many of these radicals’ firmest and most up-to-date beliefs have also been imported from the USA. Even the slogans are often the same, i.e., “NO MAN IS ILLEGAL.” Believing themselves so progressive, they’re actually just puppets of the empire. No Arminiuses, they’re bit players in Rome’s master scheme. Media masturbated, they’re preparing their own kind for rape.



Anonymous said...

Thanks Linh. There is less graffiti then there was, here in 'Murica. Broken windows, gettin' tough on crime, zero-tolerance - fixed up New York's subways for example.

"No man is illegal" sounds like a good all around slogan for bankers and defense contractors.
So Euro-youth admires the American hood, gangster or more derisively the gumba, and the American Indian.

American Indians are popular with 'Muricans too. Genocides, reservations, alcoholism, casinos, missles like zuni, helicopters like Apache, black hawks. The military is probably going to have to clean up those names, since the military loving professional left will see to it.

Ian said...

Hello Linh Dinh.

After only a few months in Germany,you see the leftists for what they are.The last paragraph nailed it.I had fruitless discussions with them(they are the same here in Switzerland),trying to tell them that their banner"No Nation,No Border"sounds right out of Rockefeller,that there`s high-fiving at the cia about them,but they wouldnt have any of it.Seems Mark Twain was right-Its easier to fool people,than to convince them that they have been fooled.
For a number of years now,I`m always happy to see your name above an article,appreciating your lucid take on politics.I wish I could donate a security detail for your trip to Kiev,if I was your mother,I`d say,dont go.But I cant and I`m not,so,take care,man.maybe at least a kung fu lesson.Truth seems to be a main enemy of the PTB,and you got some.

LJansen said...

Thanks for the Prieber info, Linh. I stand vigils for Palestine. Lots of people ask me why I'm not vigiling for American Indians, whose land WE stole. I do, when asked, like for Leonard Peltier. But I aksi try to explain that Palestine is being erased NOW, so why should I stand around and watch it happen. Specially since our gov't pumps billions into Israel and supplies weapons when they want to bomb the shit out of Gaza. Anyway, take care. Linda

Senior Dogs Abroad said...


Really a very, very interesting post. We despair at the total lack of ideas, except the anti-social trends coming from the American entertainment-industrial complex, among youth today. It has begun its spread here in Turkey, all along the now-being-trashed Istiklal Street which 8 years ago, one could see the beautiful art nouveau buildings instead of the eye being distracted by, for example, a huge ugly bear screaming "Krok!" What kind of world do we want to live in? No one seems to have the slightest idea. Oh well, don't get me started. In contrast, your idea-rich article is much appreciated.

Linh Dinh said...

Thanks, everybody, for you very thoughtful comments. Much to think about. OK, I must run. I have to prepare for class.


Ian Keenan said...

Brecht initially ignored the proles in favor of lumpenproles a while ago but didn't turn around and moralize about other Germans doing the same thing later, or caricature ideological traditions.

Rudy said...

Hi Linh,

As usual, you point out problems and hammer them home with detailed examples, both with verbal acuity and magnificent photographs.

As Ian remarked above, please mind how you go in Kiev.

Thanks, Linda, for this: “why should I stand around and watch it happen”. I also stand vigils for Palestine and in opposition to Israel. I’ve also encountered the argument about American Indians. It’s a frequently used ploy by supporters of Israel’s ongoing atrocities.


Anonymous said...

Linh Dinh: I have wanted to tell you how much your writings have meant to me over the years. I don't always agree with you, and you probably have had to drink too much hanging out with tavern-dwellers, yes. In the present, our greater reality is so hard to understand, but your exquisite writing skills and insightful observations somehow make the unbearable seem bearable. So, thank you, sir.

salish cedars said...

Say WHAT!?! You're going to Kiev!?! (cue Munch's 'The Scream').

swindled said... For Linda. I too stand vigil for the Palestinians.

swindled said...

Sorry! For some reason I thought that would "publish" as a link. This is easier: YouTube search: Palestinian Unit "We Teach Life Sir" (Official version). And I also recommend DAM "Born Here," Hebrew/Arabic with English subtitles. The first is beautifully done, the second makes me think that if rap music is a political call to action then this is where the tire meets the road.

Linh Dinh said...

Hi everybody,

Thanks again for all your thoughtful comments. I was horizontal for much of yesterday. When my mind shuts down, I don't get headaches, I get eye aches, which is as evil as it sounds. I feel much better today. OK, I must run. I have to prepare for today's class.


Chuck Olroski said...

Linh; Is there any way the stinky down hill trajectory might stop short of war, and then the introduction of a new continental order?

I am not too surprised about "HATE COPS" signs appearing in Germany, but I'm very disappointed about the US dangerous exported contagion. This past Christmas Day, while Carol was too ill to go out, my dear friend & retired Scranton cop, Joe Kollra, invited my sons and I to his family dinner where we enjoyed homemade lasagna! Afterward, while I sat in Joe's living room, he excused himself for a moment to cross street, and deliver a big plate of food & dessert to a guy who just suffered a stroke, lives all alone.

Must go on P.M. school bus run soon, and after the lethal fall of Scranton Patrolmam John Wilding who chased 2-young blacks and 1-white kid, all three having committed armed robbery, I still see many "I Support Scranton P.D." signs in the windows of local restaurants, businesses. (I don't hold anything against Paul Craig Roberts though for describing how militarized US police forces have become. That's real too!)

Wish you well!

LJansen said...

Linh, hope you are feeling much better. Nothing like being sick away from home, but it seems like you are probably pretty used to that since you're out there so much. Still not fun!

On another note, what are the odds, swindled and Rudy, that there would be 3 of us Palestine justice people on Linh's site? It's great! And thanks for the links, swindled. I had seen a video of the poet reciting "We Teach Life" but not the musical one. I hope DAM is still going strong. #FreePalestine!

LJansen said...

Ddn't mean to suggest that people on Linh's site are not all justice lovers. It's just nice to know there's more folks out for Palestine.

swindled said...

Yep Linda, I've seen both "We Teach Life Sir" vids. Great stuff!!

I like to say I'm not into politics (I'm really not!), I'm into social justice.

Support the BDS movement!! That's bondage and sodomy for all tight-assed Israeli mo'-Swindled, shut your mouth!!! No, obviously, that's the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement seeking an end to the Israeli occupation and justice for all Palestinians.

Linh, I got a cellophane wrapped package of these square-shaped cookies .. banh dau xanh. Not bad.

DAM has moved into film and are premiering "Junction 48" in February at the Berlinale. I think that's about a two-hour bus ride from Leipzig.

Linda, if I can remember my password maybe I'll catch you on #FreePalestine! Later guys ..

Linh Dinh said...

Hi swindled,

I'm glad you like the banh dau xanh. I can't say I'm a big fan of Vietnamese cakes, cookies or even puddings. There's a meat filled rice cake, though, that's pretty good. It's called bánh chưng.

Wikipedia, "Bánh chưng is a traditional Vietnamese rice cake which is made from glutinous rice, mung beans, pork and other ingredients.[1] Its origin is told by the legend of Lang Liêu, a prince of the last king of the Sixth Hùng Dynasty, who became the successor thanks to his creation of bánh chưng and bánh dày, which symbolized, respectively, the Earth and the Sky. Considered an essential element of the family altar on the occasion of tết, the making and eating of bánh chưng during this time is a well-preserved tradition of Vietnamese people. Beside the tết holiday, bánh chưng is also eaten all year round as a delicacy of Vietnamese cuisine and one of the national dishes of Vietnam, in addition to chả giò and phở."


Anonymous said...

Hi Linh,
I have been enjoying very much your photoblog for a long time now. I find your comments to german society and politics really enlightening. While I used to consider myself to be a leftwing leaning, your final sentences in the article (and the article "Germany to Introduce Comfort Women") really brings it to the point. The left/right scheme appears to become a failing narrative for an increasing part of german population. While I can only speak for myself, but disgust with politicians of either party and mainstream media has been growing for quite a time. Maybe it is this breed of politicians and media that make anarchy appear a honest approach.

Your observation, that "left" slogans are mostly in english may also be related to the fact, that such slogans in german language sound even more silly to german natives (same reason why german academics love to use modern-appearing words such as "takeaway". Saying the same thing in german would make you look quite outdated in the faculty). In english it also leaves the doubt, it may only be a pose not meant entirely seriously. Hope you return healthy from your visit in Ucrania.

Linh Dinh said...

Hi Klaus,

Many thanks for your comment. I haven't left for Ucraina yet. I still have two more weeks of classes to teach.

The demonization of nationalism is very extreme in Germany, but citizens of other countries have also lost sight of what's in their best interest. One can defend and be protective of one's city, region and nation without trampling on anyone else's rights, without being a fascist, though in many Western countries these days, to be a nationalist is equated by the media with being a fanatic or a fascist. Even in the US, with its insane amount of flag waving nationalism, people have lost sight of what's in their best interest. Deceived and manipulated, many Americans harm themselves and their nation while considering themselves patriots.


Anonymous said...

Weapons, noises, images and attitudes are the goods exported by the States, but also invalid fiat currency, in all the forms it comes in.

And all of it is coming to a decrease first, and a good end later, as soon as more countries and empires manage to trade using other, non-invalid, currencies.
Many steps to that direction are being silently taken by both China and Russia (we can think of the incoming SPIMEX).


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.