RE: love parade

Johannes Birringer (
Sat, 19 Jul 97 22:41 +0100

To answer the query:

the Berlin Love Parade was stunning, both on the level of the actual dimension
of the event, and on the level of its implications. I listened to the music for
a while, and watched the parade on tv & internet, I was not "in" it. I tend to
get claustrophobic among 1 million dancing bodies. But I know of some of the
dj's and wanted to see how the music was, and it was great, and the parade got
stuck because of the amount of people and wouldn't move for some hours, which
made folks dance on the same spot or climb trees and columns and buildings,
dancing on high. The slowing down or stillness of movement was an amazing sight,
since the stillness was vibrating and exuberant, unlike the frozen ice time in a
staging of Bob Wilson.

The commercial sponsoring and the corporate organization of the parade, its
pseudo motto (let the sunshine in your heart), DJ Dr Motte's press interviews,
and the attitude of the participants are amazing. Since thoroughly and
utterly ironic in its affirmation. And who cares (about the affirmative
character of 90s techno, since it is affirmative in a destabilizing and
cooperative sense, at least as far I can see the underground music scene and
its overground business).

One needs to know that a "parade" of such dimensions (taking over several
streets and city blocks) cannot take place in Germany except if the event is
registered as a political demonstration, thus legal, protected by police, who
were given water guns and who actually sprinkled some heated up ravers to
refresh them.
I saw the footage of that, and it made me swallow hard, since I got shot at by
water cannons by police with riot gear in the 70s.

This has angered cultural critics on the left, which comment severely about the
decadence of hundreds of thousands of techno dancers and ravers being perfectly
happy and peacefully engaged in dancing non stop for 24 hours to drum and bass.
That is how the "bam bam bam" reviews are being written, full of scorn and
loathing about the "apolitical yuppie generation" exposing their stupid ecstasy
on public streets for no reason except infantile slogans of sunshine and love.

It is interesting to me that the writers (probably 60's leftists) scorn the
"love" thang and the public exposure (the love parade is intimately connected to
the self-demonstration and politics of the gay parades) of a certain new rhythm
that in itself is of course (if you think of house, and dub, trip hop, and
jungle and techno) symptomatic of a rather different generation and era of late
global technocapitalism, which generates a different sound, a more nakedly
brutal capitalism than there was at the time of Isle of Wight and Woodstock with
the Joe Cockers and Janis Joplins of late (god bless her).

I'd prefer to dance to techno anytime, rather than visiting the revivalist tour
of Emerson Lake & Palmer, now coming to a town near you. Poor old Keith is back
lying under his Hammond as in the late 60s when he played with The Nice. Nice.

any comments form someone who was "in" the parade?


Johannes Birringer