Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Ja, Das ist Amerika

My coworker pointed me towards another interesting music video. This is a German hard rock/metal band called Rammstein. Their take on American culture is an interesting one even if I can't understand the words. Ladybug, Infogeek, and Moody might be able to pick out some catch phrases here...


Pandabonium said...


Lyrics are about the American Empire's domination of the world. Perhaps surprising as Rammstein has been accused of having neo-fascist leanings. Or maybe they really do think it is wunderbar.

You can find an English translation here: AMERIKA.

I like the set.

ladybug said...

Ha! I liked it, but of course the Red Hot Chili Peppers album "Californication" was much along the same lines; i.e. The spread of Hollywood type ideals/materialism throughout Western society and the rest of the world. Personally, I think the best presentation of this idea is in the movie "Koyanaanisquatsi".

But of course, the original use of "Californicate" is little closer to home -

"Californication is a portmanteau of California and fornication, seen on bumper stickers in the U.S. state of Oregon during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The stickers said "Don't Californicate Oregon" in reference to the ongoing influx of Californians into Oregon. This shift was brought about largely by the completion of Interstate 5 from California in 1964. Prior to that time, the main route into Oregon from California was through the twisty, two-lane Oregon Highway 99. Towns including: Medford, Eugene and Portland have tripled or more in size since 1964, and this population shift has been added to by the massive movement of both legal and illegal immigrants into the West Coast states from south of the border.
" (from Wikipedia)

ladybug said...

I screwed up - the Quatsi trilogy film I meant is the 2nd one - Powaqqatsi

"Powaqqatsi is a Hopi word meaning "parasitic way of life" ... While Koyaanisqatsi focused on modern life in industrial countries, Powaqqatsi, focuses more on the conflict in third world countries between traditional ways of life and the new ways of life introduced with industrialization" (Wikipedia)

The Moody Minstrel said...

Dark, dirty, brutal, and German!

I could understand words here and there (of the German lyrics, I mean), but I had trouble piecing together what they were trying to say. Thanks for the link to the translation, Panda-B!

Perhaps surprising as Rammstein has been accused of having neo-fascist leanings. Or maybe they really do think it is wunderbar.

I took it as being sarcastic...kind of an "are you sure this is good" sort of thing. Kind of like DEVO's "Beautiful World", only more nationalistic and less pointed.

Oregon wound up Californicated anyway. The best proof of that was efforts made by the Oregon state government in the late 80s to stifle former governor Tom McCall's famous statement "Come here to visit, but, for God's sake, don't come here to live" and replace it with "Oregon: we're open for business".

Made me want to puke, I dare say.

Swinebread said...

Don't forget there are few jabs at not only American junk culture but our nutsto government folks as well.

I think the second time this lyric is repeated:
"We’re all living in America
Coca-Cola, wonderbra"

They sing this
"We’re all living in America
Coca cola, sometimes war"

Africans eating pizza... awesome!

Saying Mickey Mouse in German is great too! It’s so threatening!

Hey moody "we love dreamers" now (new Oregon slogan

Swinebread said...

Hey, I found an English version although the lyrics are different

I really like Fuck You is the magic word!

Pandabonium said...

Maui was sure "Californicated". I was always amzazed (disgusted) at people moving there because it was different, then turning it into a copy of the place they left.

Swinebread said...

Another thing I realized is that this video recalls MTV's early days when they used the moon landings for promos.