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BowieTalk
   >> Interpretation
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strangeDivine
(stardust savant)
12/03/03 04:14 PM
The Supermen and the Waffen SS  

In reply to:

Hitler told Hermann Rauschning, the Nazi governor of Danzig: "The new man is living amongst us now! He is here! ... I will tell you a secret. I have seen the new man. He is intrepid and cruel. I was afraid of him."


It is a commonly held notion today that many within the National Socialist movement were interested in, and inspired by certain occult topics - up to the very top of the line of command. And even though Nietzsche probably would have despised Nazism as an intellect-destroying herd movement, it is doubtless that the concept of the Ubermensch (albeit a perverted version) provided some inspiration to the movement.

I think that it was in 1984 that Orwell said that the new man can smile while looking into the face of a machine gun.

I have before entertained the notion that all non-pure-survialist acts performed in life are a search for meaning. Wars are fought because of greed, because of power, and for the chance to matter. The top Nazis may have been total bullshitters. Who knows whether they were sincere in their belief in their foolish movement. If nothing else they were just a band of criminals holding the world at a ransom.

What is known, though, is that a lot of people did see them as very much sincere. The Hitler youth - children of the Lost Generation - with their well-manicured hair and blank stares certainly believed, in many cases.

The SS was the advanced guard. They were the greatest achievement of groupthink. Many of them would not think twice about dying for their cause. Many would happily step into the line of bullet fire - destroying the fear of personal death and becoming, for a while, a superman, inhuman.

In The Supermen, this sad group of young men is being compared to the gods of old who roamed the earth long ago. But what superman "would walk in file"? In this upsidedown ideology, the supermen are totally without a self.

The "Strange games they would play then," are the games of war. Men fight wars because they are afraid that their lives are without meaning. Therefore, they surrender their self in order to escape personal meaninglessness and embrace something "larger" than themselves.

"Where all were minds in uni-thought
Power weird by mystics taught
No pain, no joy, no power too great
Colossal strength to grasp a fate"

The "mystics" are the leaders of Nazi Germany. They show the budding "supermen" how to be supermen. This triumpth of the will is an intentional, or perhaps unintentional, destruction of humanity. To smile in the face of a machinegun, one must destroy his humanity. Soon, he can no longer experience "pain," or "joy." The only result of such desperation is destruction.

"Nightmare dreams no mortal mind could hold
A man would tear his brother's flesh, a chance to die
To turn to mold"

After going though this process, he must take life and he must will his own life to be taken.

"Far out in the red-sky
Far out from the sad eyes
Strange, mad celebration
So softly a supergod dies"

There was no honour and no superhuman status achieved by anyone. Only death, pointless, meaningless, death.






So I carried the boat of incense then at Clongowes. I am another now and yet the same.

gemorma
(mortal with potential)
12/03/03 05:32 PM
Re: The Supermen and the Waffen SS new [re: strangeDivine]  

great post! very well said.

what aspect did bowie desire about the "supeman" condition years later?

of course-"fearlessness, strength" and a sort of ethic ect ect ect.

but what do you think appealed to bowie about that?



strangeDivine
(stardust savant)
12/03/03 06:10 PM
Re: The Supermen and the Waffen SS new [re: gemorma]  

I know that Angie Bowie had a believe in what she called "star people," and she believed that David was one of these people. I'm not sure what exactly she believed they were; perhaps her conception was similar to that of the supermen. I do not know whether David shared this belief or not.

I think Bowie's idea of the superman is more about artistic creation than anything else. But I could be wrong.

So I carried the boat of incense then at Clongowes. I am another now and yet the same.

Strawman
(cracked actor)
12/03/03 06:51 PM
Re: The Supermen and the Waffen SS new [re: strangeDivine]  

Liken to it or not, you have to admire this interpretation. Makes one wonder if Bowie rarely skims these boards for the preference of simmering piles of discharge at his own site?

Tick.



gemorma
(mortal with potential)
12/03/03 07:42 PM
Re: The Supermen and the Waffen SS new [re: strangeDivine]  

wow! thats very interesting. do you know where i can find more on that?



johnnysitar
(kook)
12/03/03 08:19 PM
Re: The Supermen and the Waffen SS new [re: strangeDivine]  

Ashes to Ashes Superman was`nt funky
Bowie was god
But he wanted to come down and join us
So let`s Dance and love me



strangeDivine
(stardust savant)
12/03/03 09:46 PM
Re: The Supermen and the Waffen SS new [re: gemorma]  

I read that in Angie's book "Backstage Passes." A lot of fans are critical of her and this book, for obvious reasons. But I must admit I found it an extremely fun read. Just keep in mind her bias.

So I carried the boat of incense then at Clongowes. I am another now and yet the same.


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