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Obama! The musical

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Until recently my favorite piece of Obama kitsch was unquestionably the mind-blowing, bizarre paintings of the president naked, astride a unicorn, fighting  a naked Sarah Palin or wrestling with a fat, naked Rush Limbaugh. If you have never seen them then I urge you to waste no more time and click on this link. the images will be seared onto your retinas forever.

Today however the unicorn pictures were knocked from their pedestal once and for all, courtesy of this  astonishing Youtube clip.

Play it and then play it again. And again. O my friend, your eyes and ears are not deceiving you! This Sunday the “Jahrhunderthalle” in Frankfurt am Main will premiere the spectacle of the century: Das Interaktiv-Musikal HOPE: Eine Neuen Generation, an all singing, all dancing staging of the 2008 election campaign. Hot damn but I wish I was in Deutschland right now so that I could shell out 151 Euro for front row seats for this technicolor car crash. I mean just listen to this:

“Seeing through the eyes of the inhabitants in an apartment-sharing community, we experience the American society which is distressed by the prevailing economical-political chaos, lost in social helplessness – disoriented. People of different origin and political parties find themselves united in the hope for a new beginning. Hence, the battle for the election of the 44th president of the US finds its way into their everyday lives and starts affecting the people in an unprecedented way, letting them share the hope for a better future, despite all the differences.”

Now that is some amazingly profound sheisse right there. And with rapping no less. Better yet, in a piece of totally berserk post-modern irony the woman who plays Hilary Clinton doubles up as Sarah Palin! Even the Reverend Wright gets a singing role! A song about his massive house in a gated community mostly populated by white folks?  Or maybe ‘them Jews’? Actually, in Germany- probably not.

But how? And why? What manner of madness is this? As a musical takes a long time to prepare my guess is that this genius idea was born when Obama did his messianic pre-victory rally in Berlin in July 2008, and became a lock when he won the election. If only the Germans had known then how he would snub them at the anniversary of the collapse of the Berlin Wall, sending a video message of congratulations, like Metallica do when they can’t be f*cked to attend a shitty awards ceremony in Estonia! But even then I don’t think that would have stopped them, not these fine damen und herren. No, this is the product of people caught in a weird, dreamlike trance, lost in music, caught in a trap!

But really, what is going on here? Some might hint at Germany’s history of irrational political enthusiasm. But I think that is much too dark an explanation. What it reminds me of is the peculiar German fascination with the American Indian, exemplified by the novels of Karl May. In these books, which were published in the late 19th century, the Indians are the heroes and the cowboys the villains. They sold millions of copies; spawned East German ‘Westerns’ and remain popular today. Hitler forced his generals to read them; when he shot himself in the bunker his shelves were lined with them. In East Germany, some people like to dress up as Indians and sleep in Teepees, but they model their fantasies on Karl May’s Indians and not the actual tribes that inhabit America today .

It gets better. You see, May only visited America once, at the end of his life, and even then it was for a couple of weeks and he never got further inland than Buffalo, NY. He never encountered any Indians; he never wanted to. He preferred the products of his imagination, as do his countrymen.

And thus I suspect that what we are looking at here is a similar dreamland Amerika, a dream Obama, a fantasy construct in which our German friends may lose themselves for a few hours. It is politics as play, as innocence, as a willful act of escape into fantasy land.  And in that sense, I suppose it is the very apotheosis of the 2008 election campaign.


Daniel Kalder is an author and journalist originally from Scotland, who currently resides in Texas after a ten year stint in the former USSR. Visit him online at
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7 Responses to “Obama! The musical”

  1. Perhaps the fascination comes from those folks in Germany who think Obama is from the Schwarzwald!

    By the way, where is old Surehand when you really need him?

    We have gone from Arbeit macht Frei to Arbeitslos macht Frei!

  2. The word Scheisse is appropriate!

  3. It would be funny if Obama weren’t such a disaster for our country.

  4. Obama, the poopyhead, he told me what to do…ooh, eeh, ooh, ahh, ahh…and what to think, how much to make, how much I can own, and who the money I thought was mine really belongs to.

  5. “All this machinery making modern music
    Can still be open hearted
    Not so coldly charted
    It’s really just a question of your honesty, yeah
    Your honesty”

    Thanks for the insight on Karl May. It will take some time for me to forgive you for the Naked Obama With Unicorn images…a long time. Damn Brah!

  6. I have an ongoing humorous observation — and see if I am wrong — that (in the US) with about 200-400 TV channels, you can ALWAYS find…. Nazis. Always. At any time. Somewhere, some way, some place on those hundreds of channels, you WILL find Nazis, be it in documentary form or WWII movie or whatever (I include Japanese in WWII in that equation just… well, because). No matter when you look. (Not 100% true, of course, but try it out, it’s actually rather funny.)

    This isn’t even really ‘anti-German’. It’s just that that era is an eternally compelling tale.

    Obviously the Germans aren’t going to see that compelling tale in the same way, but I think they their weird take on America is probably related. I would call it the ‘us / not us’ effect. Namely, people who are enough like us that we can morally condemn them for their horrible moral transgressions in order to enhance our own feelings of moral superiority (which you cannot do with an “other”, essentially defined as one of third-world heritage), but who are in fact NOT “us” enough, that we can condemn them from arms length as being, well, not “us”.

    None of us are immune to this, of course, but other than the contemptible PC nature of letting the so-called third-world “other” off the hook for the most obscene transgressions that we will dwell on interminably if committed by a Westerner, it’s an interesting but probably meaningless phenomena.

  7. Maybe this is revenge for The Producers!

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