I don’t know, I’ve only been living here for 10 years, but will someone please explain to me this German fascination with fighting the last war? No no, not That War. That’s the one we’re not supposed to mention. I mean the Cold War. East vs West. Communism vs Capitalism. Trabant vs Triumph.
I ask this because the first of May is coming up again. As a Canadian, this date usually passed me by with no special meaning, because we along with the Americans have our Labour Day the first Monday in September. But in many countries of Europa it is a national holiday set aside for advancing the cause of workers’ rights, a worthy goal which as a voluntary dues-paying union member I do support.
But there are parts of it I just don’t get. Take this poster. A quickie Babelfish will tell you that under the slogan of “Destroy what’s destroying you,” they want everybody to rally against Wages, the State and Capital.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t we try that already? The State pretended to pay everyone by handing them near-worthless money, so the workers turned around and pretended to be at work. Result: the Trabant, delivery in 11 years, give or take. Hundreds killed trying to escape the country’s borders. And enough material for a few good films illustrating just how bleak a life it must have been.
The far left is not alone in this endless display of long-spent political capital. The extreme right demonstrates whenever and wherever it can get a permit, usually a handful of peeled eggs in leather boots facing a much larger contingent of left-wing counter-demonstrators, with 10 times their number decked out in full police riot gear just to keep the two sides from tearing each other apart.
I’m not advocating people abandon their beliefs, or that they have no right to demonstrate for them, nor even set a tire or two on fire if that’s how they get their kicks, but please, get a grip people. If mental illness can also be defined as doing the same thing over and over, year in and year out, expecting results to be different every time, especially if history shows that what you’re screaming about has been tried and failed, time to face reality.
All for now,
PS: I can’t believe that in the States they gave that film a Restricted rating. No wait – I can believe it.