marie antoinette... maria stuart...ulrike...gudrun

uber "die Spielformen weiblicher Herrschaft, die am Ende alle in den Tod führen" –
“…over the forms of the play of feminine domination, which in the end leads to everybody’s death.”

The big deal about Coppola’s Marie Antoinette has passed – but I’d much prefer to see Jelenik’s new play: Ulrike Maria Stuart. The combination of Schiller’s play and the Ulrike Meinhof story (and I admit that I still have a bit of a thing for Ulrike Meinhof) sounds like an idea hatched in hell – where all the good theater comes from. The lines, at least the one’s quoted in the Spiegel review, are – for anyone who remembers the old New Left style (I remember, long ago in France, reading an Autonomen manifesto demanding that parents masturbate their children to lead them out of the toils of bourgeois repression – oh, that was a long, long time ago. Who knew the years of lead would turn into years and years of fool’s gold?) – of a champagne like, ticklish deliciousness. Here’s a lament from the “youth” of today:

"Ach, wie gerne hätten wir die repressiven ideologischen Apparate selber noch erlebt, doch diese Offensivposition gab's nur für dich, wir hatten nicht die Wahl."

That language, ripped directly from the dictionary of the Comintern directives and employed as though it were the everyday speech of the working masses, or as though Europa, circa 1976, were like Malraux’s Shanghai, 1929 – oh, I admit, I rather miss it. It is far more entertaining than the vulgate of biz inspirational speech that now stalks the tongues of the young.

Reading the Spiegel review does remind LI, though, of what Meinhof faced – the concatenation of pure media cant and hatred is still par for the course for the “radikal Links.” Maria Stuart, of course, stages the confrontation between two queens – Mary and Elizabeth – and Jelenik’s play apparently confronts Meinhof with her RAF rival, Gudrun Ensslin. Here’s a blast from the past – Ensslin’s communication of 5 June, 1970, after a liberation action – was this the torching of the stores? No, it was the jailbreak engineered, if such a precise word can be applied to such a sloppy procedure, by Meinhof and Baader.

Genossen von 883 - es hat keinen Zweck, den falschen Leuten das Richtige erklären zu wollen. Das haben wir lange genug gemacht. Die Baader-Befreiungs-Aktion haben wir nicht den intellektuellen Schwätzern, den Hosenscheißern, den Allesbesser-Wissern zu erklären, sondern den potentiell revolutionären Teilen des Volkes.

“There’s no point in explaining the correct action to the wrong (false) people. We’ve done that for long enough. We don’t have to explain the Baader-Liberation action to the yammerers, the one’s who shit in their pants, the know-it-alls, but to the potential revolutionary section of the people.”

Let’s scratchtapose here, without telling you why, to an article in Slate, today’s home of the know-it-alls and the ones who shit in their pants, although only at the thought of modifying NAFTA or something important like that. There was an article last week on the terror that stalks London (HOOODIIEES!) that perfectly represented our cocooned moment. Here’s how it begins:

“The other night, my girlfriend and I were sitting on the upper deck of one of London's bright red buses, staring out the window with the drowsiness of early evening, when we came to a lurching stop. Just then, six boys clambered up onto the second deck. They all wore hooded sweatshirts. The boys moved toward the back and began, in an exuberant way, to make a ruckus—shrieking, laughing, speaking in a peculiarly adolescent patois. There wasn't menace in their adolescent singsong, exactly, but its brazenness made their message clear: We own this bus. I gripped my girlfriend's hand. We stared stiffly forward, our lips tight, hoping that whatever the boys were saying didn't concern us.”

Can’t you just see the movie version? The boyfriend, who we’ll call Abba, separated from the girlfriend, who we’ll call Baba. The London evening coming down. Abba streaking through the streets in his new, 400 dollar trainers. Ah, every muscle strained. But then, cut to Baba, surrounded by the sinister hoodies, like the gang in Touch of Evil. They close in … and now they … and now they… oh, fiends in human form! They force her to drink whole milk, thus spoiling the whole gifted child soy program she was on! Goodby Harvard, hello Duke. Such is the violence of modern life. And poor Baba, how many years will it take her to get over the trauma! Abba himself will curse the shoestore where he got his trainers and go for a much more expensive pair, next time.

And yet, why did LI, reading this article of the true gated community angst end it humming:

When you’re a Jet
you’re a Jest all the way
From your first cigarette
To your last dying daaaay!