A Potpourri of Political Insanity

One of the symptoms of Trump Derangement Syndrome is the staging of grotesque anti-MAGA theatrical productions on Broadway and in other urban enclaves of Progressives in the United States.

Based on the following article, a similar process is underway in Germany concerning the AfD (Alternative für Deutschland, Alternative for Germany). This is a review from the Swiss Daily Neue Zürcher Zeitung of an anti-AfD production that recently opened in Dresden. Many thanks to JLH for the translation:

Theater Against the AfD: At Them With a Roar

Premiere in the Dresden State Theater of “A Nasty Surprise.”
A grotesque aimed at the AfD. And unfortunately also at the audience.

by Daniel Haas
January 28, 2019

This piece is played with a megaphone. Although there is actually no megaphone. But that is the acoustic effect. Bellowing, ranting, wailing, all at maximum volume. The idea appears to be: When the circumstances are jarring, protest must be even more jarring.

Premiere of “A Nasty Surprise” at the Dresden State Theater. Full house. Tension. It is a grotesque aimed at the AfD and beyond, at the new rightists and the zeal of their identity politics. The director and PR team had reckoned with disruptions. It wouldn’t be the first time AfD followers disturbed a premiere.

But nothing happens. No uproar, no scandal. And you would have to say that interrupting shouts or other disturbances would have disappeared in the general tumult. “A Nasty Surprise” — staged by Volker Lösch — drowns itself out. Whatever there is of extreme political attitudes in Germany, “A Nasty Surprise” scrambles them into a potpourri of political insanity.

Höcke, Gauland, Poggenburg

Eight of those somehow left behind by history, the losers in the Wende, victims of Treuhand,[1] fans of conspiracy theories and concepts of ethnic/national renewal move the action. Together, they set sail in an iron steamboat. The ideational compass is the “bluebook”—a collection of quotations from rightist-nationalist popular songs.

Höcke, Gauland, Poggenburg. Anyone who has uttered scandalous opinions is given voice. “Political Correctness lies like a blight on the land,” is quoted from “Preacher Höcke”, and that is the salvation utopia for this traveling band. That you can escape the left-liberal mainstream if you hew closely enough to the commandments of radicalization.

At some point the thing gets out of hand. The veneer of German brotherhood develops cracks. The ship’s company dissolves into rich and poor. The sausage and sauerkraut diet weakens both body and soul. Paranoia spreads, driven by a cadre of informers. Ultimately, common cause is made with representatives of the Islamic State. Swinging their machetes, they have boarded the boat. After a skirmish, however, they prove to be ideologically compatible. The finale shows them all steering for a landing in the Saxon legislature among shouts of “Heil Allah.”

Saxony, like Thuringia and Brandenburg, is attuned for the elections. The legislative election takes place on the first of September. The latest polls predict that the SPD/CDU coalition will lose its majority. The AfD meanwhile is at 25%. The fear of a coalition of CDU and AfD expressed by democratic spirits at the State Theater is understandable, but ultimately senseless. A blue-black coalition is now off the table, since National Intelligence has made the AfD a surveillance test case.

Orgy of Shouting

Certainly it is probable that the rightists about to come to power in the legislatures will have game plans and cultural subventions. This premiere is thus a preparatory defense by means of which German Theater is trying to stem their own fear. A shouting orgy of German chauvinism, however, is of little help and, after a half hour, simply tiresome.

Appearances between acts by engaged, young Dresden activists against rightist violence were more effective, informative and to-the-point — musicians, teachers and bloggers who talked of their passion. The audience was fascinated by their appearances. The rest was an annoying accessory.


1.   The Treuhandanstalt, colloquially referred to as Treuhand, was an agency established by the government of the German Democratic Republic to reprivatize / privatize East German enterprises, Volkseigene Betriebe, prior to German reunification. — Wikipedia

2 thoughts on “A Potpourri of Political Insanity

  1. Leftists and the zeal of their identity politics calling out rightists and the zeal of their identity politics. Reality trumps satire…

  2. Leftists are convinced they are being suppressed by the government and police, that rightists are planning to attack them in the streets, that their arguments are ignored by the press.

    It’s all projection, but that’s what they consider to be reality. They tell themselves that nationalists are getting concentration camps ready for leftists, Muslims, and Jews. They feel that shouting down or attacking opponents delays the construction of the concentration camps.

    Appropriately enough, they look to fuzzy-headed actors reading lines to corroborate their view of reality.

    There is a logical disconnect between leftists and rightists. Talking logically to a leftist is like arguing with your dog. At least the dog wags his tail.

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