Censorship

First They Came For the Sadists…

|

Rammstein: Didn't the Beatles do a cover like this in, like, the 13th Century?

Gloria Brame's great vintage sex blog turns up news that controversy-courting ironists and tireless Tanzmetalmusikers Rammstein are having their long-awaited album Liebe ist Für Alle Da pulled from store shelves for its graphic cover image.

The album … currently at No. 2 on Billboard's European Albums Chart—has been banned from public display in German stores with effect from Nov. 11 on account of its depictions of sadism/masochism, which have been deemed to be harmful to children and young people.

Announcing this ruling, Petra Meier, the deputy president of the Federal Office for the Examination of Media Harmful to Young People, cited the track "Ich tue Dir Weh" ("I Want to Hurt You") as well as the artwork showing guitarist Richard Kruspe with a masked, naked woman on his knees. The Federal Office objected to the fact that the track includes lines such as "Bites, kicks, heavy blows, nails, pincers, blunt saws— Tell me what you want."

Many reports, such as the BBC's here, repeat the claim that the packaging shows "scenes of sadism," but it's actually a scene of ideated dismemberment. Fans of low-impact, safeword-protected BDSM should be offended by the association with amputee fetishists—who in turn consider themselves a distinct group united by their love of the Star Wars films. But so far nobody has spoken up.

Question for music fans: What is your economic loss when Germany's Federal Office for the Examination of Media Harmful to Young People forbids you to display a record in stores? I thought I read somewhere that the last person who remembers hanging out in a store looking at album covers became eligible for Social Security recently. 

On Amazon, you've already got your choice between the dark, edgy cover and a safe-for-work replacement. The edgy version gets lower customer ratings.

Rammstein has been named as a person of interest in every major massacre of the last ten years (though I suspect Maj. Hasan will turn out to be more of an Abba man). But the band members showed their pro-American feelings by naming themselves after a U.S. Air Force base, and here they sing our country's praises in a song so catchy it makes me want to be German just so I can rhyme "Santa Klaus" with "Mickëy Maus."

NEXT: How Green Are Your Nukes?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

    1. First thing I thought of. An assault on the eardrums…in a good way.

    2. DU HAST MICH!

      1. Du hast mich gefragt

        1. und Ich hab nicht gesagt!

  1. Look, when my band Scrotal Agony released our black metal opus Her Obsidian Torment, the cover featured a goth chick impaled on a bed of sharpened dildos.
    There was also a blood-covered crucifix and some chains, but we have that on every cover.
    Anyways, there wasn’t any controversy about it. It wasn’t for lack of trying. We thought our concept album Hell’s Screaming Labia, with an asian girl giving birth to a full-grown Balrog, was sure to get us banned.
    Rammstein needs to stop hogging the spotlight so other ridiculously desperate bands can immaturely vie for just a little attention.

    1. “Look, when my band Scrotal Agony released our black metal opus Her Obsidian Torment, the cover featured a goth chick impaled on a bed of sharpened dildos.
      There was also a blood-covered crucifix and some chains, but we have that on every cover.”

      Cliche’ much?

    2. “Anyways, there wasn’t any controversy about it. It wasn’t for lack of trying. We thought our concept album Hell’s Screaming Labia, with an asian girl giving birth to a full-grown Balrog, was sure to get us banned.”

      That was my favorite modeling gig ever! Was amazed how makeup and the post-production artists made me look pre-teen.

  2. I forgot how insipid that video was.

    ACH! THE NATIVES IS ENJOYING AMERICAN PRODUCTS MEIN GOTT IN HIMMEL

    1. Yeah, this is one of my least favorite Rammstein videos. Even though many of the others (Links and Ich Will for example) are leftist or otherwise preachy, they are fun to watch. The more misogynistic videos (Sonne, Du Hast and Rosenrot) are, of course, the best. Pussy is good, but gets old pretty quick.

  3. Ve have vays of making you rock…

  4. “First They Came For the Sadists…”

    I came for sadists once. They only charged $600.

  5. I’m beginning to think that some artists try to shock people on purpose…

  6. That’s my next album title!
    Cum for the Sadists!

    1. …stay for the party.

  7. Wasn’t our Virgin Killer cover enough for you people?

  8. Laibach called. They said you ripped them off.

    1. Lieben heist lieben, Mr. Neue Slowenische Kunst, lieben heist lieben. I hear your Laibach and I raise you an Opus. 😉 And yes, I find Laibach superior to Rammstein in almost every way.

  9. I love Rammstein.

    But I imagine a lot of that affection would disappear if I understood German. Although not terribly enlightened, in this case I choose ignorance.

  10. Actually, they didn’t name themselves after the airbase so much as the airshow disaster in 1988 when three aircraft collided

  11. Rammstein’s alright. Rob Zombie’s better.

    1. Laibach is better, mostly because they choose absurdity and artistry over commercialism.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuGf6PykkCM
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..amp;fmt=18

      1. Absolute agreement, especially since Laibach started when Slovenia was still part of communist Yugoslavia. Making the kind of music they do under a communist government takes some balls.

        1. Till took a big dump during a trip to Slovenia. That’s how Laibach was born.

  12. it’s actually a scene of ideated dismemberment

    It’s also a copy of a Rembrandt. Kultur!

    And “Office for the Examination of Youth-Endangering Writings” is the translation I always preferred, because it’s Nazi-er. They earned it.

  13. On a related note, Sade was actually a brilliant philosopher, and it is worth wading through the, uh, Sadism in order to read it. He was a sort of proto-libertarian, in a way. In any case, anyone who subtitles a book “Good Conduct Well Chastised” is bound to be fun.

    1. Oh, the Marquis. I thought you meant that former-pornstar-turned-80s-R&B-singer Sade, and I thought, ‘she can read?’ But yeah, thanks for the book review.

    2. bound to be fun.

      LOLZ!

  14. Debauched Necrophile
    Anusrazor
    Sacrament of Feces
    Whoreblast
    Bloodwhore
    Whorewhore
    and the Jim Rose Circus…

    1. You left off Abra Cadaver.

  15. It’s such a fine line between stupid an’… ..and clever.

    1. Ah, you never go wrong with Spinal Tap.

      1. This band did:

        Announcing this ruling, Petra Meier, the deputy president of the Federal Office for the Examination of Media Harmful to Young People, cited the track “Ich tue Dir Weh” (“I Want to Hurt You”) as well as the artwork showing guitarist Richard Kruspe with a masked, naked woman on his knees.

        Remember when Spinal Tap was told to change the cover of Smell the Glove because they had the woman in a submissive position, but another band was okay with the man in a submissive position?

  16. ‘Twas ever thus. Blind Faith, 1969.

  17. Coca-Cola, Wonderbra

    That line always bothered me. The Wonderbra is a Canadian invention.

    1. Only a canadian would know that.
      CANUCK
      CANUCK
      CANUCK

      1. Forgive my ruthless blurting, I’m sure I’m sorry. I was just reading some text from the Obama Administration about their recently-begun trade war with Canada, and I suppose I was temporarily overcome by a wave of jingo superiority. Forgive me.

        CANUCK

  18. I like Rammstein, but I can’t exactly see how the song Amerika is a reflection of pro-American feelings, especially since the song explicitly states “This is not a love song.”

    1. No question…this is clearly a satirical critique of global American hegemony, not a song “… sing[ing] our country’s praises…”

  19. They’re nothing compared with Finnish trio Absolute Steel. Really. Google them. And buy their debut album, “The Fair Bitch Project.”

  20. Catchy tune,
    but if “we are all living in America”, then
    why are the fuctards not singing in English?

    1. They have an English version too Fucktard.

  21. No feces, no problem.

  22. Love that they threw a reference to Mickey Mouse into the lyrics. Yeah, not too cliched…

    1. I don’t want to suggest how anybody else should choose to rock, but I always find the best way to enjoy pop music is to assume that everybody involved in the making of it is a complete imbecile, that any apparent irony is actually a surplus of earnestness, that all double meanings are accidental, that nobody would ever waste time singing about something just to make fun of it, and that Rammstein believes astronauts and Coca-Cola and Mickey Mouse are completely awesome — otherwise why would they go to all this trouble reproduce them in song and on film?

      In a weird way, viewing it like that makes political rockers seem less shallow and idiotic than they are.

      1. Read more Nietzsche.

        He advises to take your own story from someone’s art and use it to your purposes.

        Who gives a fuck what the artist meant? They made the art public and put it in other people’s heads. It’s ‘meaning’ is no longer theirs.

      2. BTW, Tim, I loved that video.

        Never saw before.

      3. While I agree that “viewing it like that makes political rockers seem less shallow and idiotic than they are;” but I can hardly see how ignoring the artist’s effort to be meaningful, regardless its shallowness and idiocy, is anything but self-serving denial.

        I could accept the argument that they view astronauts, Coca-Cola and Mickey Mouse as awesome and their ditty is not one of love of all things America but one of gleeful acceptance of what they see as an empirical truth…but happenstance? I doubt it.

  23. I fucking hate Nazis.

    Too bad Germany still has a few of the dickless fuckers running around.

  24. I usually listen to punk rock, hardcore punk, rock, goth, some metal, etc. but I’ve always been a fan or Rammstein. they got fined for indecency in the US back in 1998 on the Family Values tour for nudity and for simulated sodomy during one of their shows. the video for their new song Pussy shows the members of the band fucking women its pretty crazy. I believe that is the first major label band to show the band members engaging in sex acts in a music video.

    1. that should read: I’ve always been a fan OF Rammstein.

      on a Rammstein fan site it said, “It has been decided that the lyrics of “Ich tu dir weh” contain depictions of S&M practices that are harmful to minors and it was even ascertained that “Pussy” encourages unprotected sexual intercourse without regard for AIDS. Ain’t them politikers smart?”

      1. Here is the XXX version.

        Lots of hardcore:
        http://visit-x.net/rammstein/

  25. Seriously, if you’ve ever been with a chick or dude for that matter who is a sadist. They should at least have warning label tatt’s… Nothing funny or fun about getting hand cuffed, thinking your gonna get teased then getting your ass kicked, flogged and bitten unless your into that sort of thing I guess… just sayin.. sorry post flogging ptsd vent post..

    1. err…this isn’t me though I do like the warning label.

      Once met a chick with a handcuff key on a necklace. Matched mine on my key-chain.

    2. Make sure you eek out your safeword before the gag goes in, Sir.

  26. Er, first attempt blocked by reason nanny filter.

    Trying again. Very NSFW version:
    http://visit-x.net/rammstein/

    1. YOUVE GOT A PUSSY
      I HAVE DICKAAAAAA
      SO WHATS THE PROBLEM
      LET’S DO IT QUICK

      Probably one of my favorite music videos ever. The song is awful, but the hilarity of it all makes up for this shortcoming.

  27. Where is that guy who calls everybody Rohmites? Tim’s post is custom made for him!

  28. “Ich tue dir weh” means “I hurt you”, not “I want to hurt you” (which would be “Ich will dir weh tun”) unless there’s some idiomatic usage of which I’m unaware.

  29. I never liked German music until I heard this song.

    1. When the woman on the news show started spouting her statistics, I wrote them down to verify them.http://citishop.com.au/adult_toys_ao/bondage_gear

  30. When the woman on the news show started spouting her statistics, I wrote them down to verify them.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.