Saturday, September 5, 2009

brutal with the millimeter

nitro deluxe - let's get brutal

A milestone in classic house, instantly recognizable not only for its peppy 80s synth riff but for its nonsensical vocal sample, "brutal with the millimeter!," "let's get brutal" is perhaps a fitting track to cap off a summer spent dissertating in Germany. For who else gets more brutal with the millimeter than Germans?

Why are Germans millimetrically brutal? Because they're afraid of disorder. The German consciousness, particularly in engineering, design, and politics, is palpably sensitive and fearful about chaos, about waste, negativity, about shit. Go to any residential German courtyard - the site of ten different trash bins for all the various subcategories of waste should be evidence enough that they are serious about shit, about calculating and containing it. Germans are brutal with the millimeter because they have a slippery-slope mentality: if things start to get a little out of hand, it's only a matter of time before they plunge headlong into the flames. This explains larger political gestures, like the government attacking Scientology, as for good reason the Germs are rather wary of cultish, power-hungry ideologes, as well as smaller gestures, like never ever jaywalking ever, or when passersby call to you when you're biking, to indicate that you are in fact biking on the wrong side of the street. It's not about the particular instance, but the fear of the inevitable spread of social decay that your particular transgression will no doubt contribute to.

Why are German milimetrically brutal? Because it's fun. Ruthlessness gives them sadistic pleasure. Take the bouncer at Berghain, last time I was there. I rolled up with a female friend from the States and two Argentinians named Nico. My friend attempted to make a casual, flirtatious joke, the kind one imagines American bouncers would warm to courteously. The Berghain guard in contrast remained glacially serious, before replying with all the threatening weight of a military officer during interrogation: "You've made a joke, but it's not funny. Look, no one is laughing."


dj slow said...

i laughed out loud reading this for many reasons, mostly because it's true, and also because the bouncer's response was hilarious. did you laugh at him?

William said...

While my companions got nervous and shifty under the bouncer's withering gaze, I triumphed in a silent ten-second staring contest with him, and we were allowed inside. then later I laughed my ass off.