Art reaches the highest heights when it not only catches up with reality, but overtakes it.
Right now this is happening in Germany, where they are trying everything to either ban the concerts of Roger Waters (one of the founders of Pink Floyd) or to put denunciation labels on Waters. First, they tried to label Waters an anti-Semite because he holds positions critical of Israel and supports the cause of the Palestinians. Waters won in court and was allowed to play all concerts. Now the Berlin police are investigating him for incitement of the people: in his stage show he is said to have glorified the Nazi regime. It could hardly be more abstruse: anyone who warns against hatred and totalitarianism gets the police on his back. The state can hardly show itself to be more totalitarian.
Apparently, the Berlin police urgently need an update on artistic freedom and stage shows. With a little research, it would have been easy to find out that Pink Floyd released an album called “The Wall” in 1979, in which they warn of the rise of a totalitarian dictator, among other things. There is also a 1982 film of the same name with political activist Bob Geldof in the role of the dictator. Waters has been slipping into the role of this dictator in his stage show for years, wearing a long leather coat, an armband with two crossed hammers and firing a dummy machine gun into the audience. This is accompanied by the iconic song “Run like Hell,” the lyrics of which, when applied to Germany, must now be understood as a call to flee the Republic.
Those who have understood how to read between the lines know that, as is so often the case in Germany, fighting anti-Semitism is least of all about fighting anti-Semitism or protecting public peace. Genuine Nazi symbolism among Ukrainian soldiers and commanders, up to President Selenski, has not yet attracted the attention of any censor, prosecutor or even critical reporter in “the best Germany ever”, but many eulogists and laudators. No, it is quite clearly about Waters` political messages. When art becomes uncomfortable, the artist quickly becomes right-wing extremist. Waters disturbs the self-image of the West as a moral superpower like no other artist. His offense is that his art seems to hit the sore points of today with content from 40 years ago better and better, so that art not only catches up with reality, but overtakes it.
Waters has been a left-libertarian thorn in the flesh (“In the Flesh?”) of the establishment for more than 50 years. Wherever the issue is corruption, concentration of power, totalitarian aspirations, war crimes or the violation of human rights, he raises his voice.
Waters has been a left-libertarian thorn in the flesh (“In the Flesh?”) of the establishment for more than 50 years. Wherever corruption, concentration of power, totalitarian aspirations, war crimes or the violation of human rights are concerned, he raises his voice. In his stage show he is more than clear: Hardly any U.S. president was not a war criminal, Waters shows excerpts of the video “Collateral Damage” published by Wikileaks, which shows the killing of civilians and journalists by American soldiers in Iraq and demands unequivocally: Free Assange! The latest accusation of sedition is a transparent attempt to remove the messenger of these messages from the public eye. After all, Waters reaches an audience of millions with his shows, and the tour is as good as booked up, although the tickets are not exactly bargains.
How long will Germany continue to make a mockery of itself? Authorities violate artistic freedom and do a disservice to genuine anti-Semitism when criminal law is misused to censor inconvenient artists. Will Steven Spielberg soon be indicted? After all, in “Schindler’s List” many SS men walk through the picture wearing leather coats and real swastika armbands. It’s about time that the judiciary apparatus defended itself against such obvious political instrumentalization. At least the whole thing has one advantage: even more people will now get to know Roger Waters, go to his concerts and listen to his parodic warning against totalitarianism.
Thank you, Berlin police!
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