Censorship

First They Came For the Sadists…

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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."