On “Music”

There is music. And there is rap. And in one of the circles of hell, there is German rap in an endless loop.
I am prejudiced, of course. Rap, in German Sprechgesang, surely has a tradition etc., it has a political message, perhaps, it is an expression of something – yo, all granted. All this does not change that I “do not get it” & that the texts I heard were outrageous and – what is more important –  dumb. At some point some moons ago, I simply gave up on this “form of art”, and chose to ignore it. All this personal nonsense does of course not mean that there is no intelligent, witty, even likable, rap somewhere out there ; I simply did not find it, and I did not search for it.
This is connected with my advancing age. From one point onwards one has to make decisions about what to explore and what to follow, (what to read !), forms and artists, like e.g. opera and single artists, music of a certain epoch, guitarreros … There is so much to discover, but time runs out, and if I do not like what I hear, I skip it – there is simply no need to take the effort to work one into something one does not like at all.
Then there is German rap.
Over the last years, while driving my kids around, I was exposed to regular radio programs of different stations around here. I noticed that more German-speaking music is broadcasted than I was expecting. Of course, it is ages ago that I was a regular listener to radio programs, and the only one I still listen regularly to today is the classic station of the Bavarian Rundfunk, channel 4.
What I heard can be divided into two sections. On one side are juvenile singers who wail about something they do not understand or lost, or whatever. It is disgusting larmoyant crap. One of the worst troubadours sung about how it was to be with “you” here on “cloud four” – it was enough for him, good enough, he had no implications to go to the proverbial “cloud seven” citing the fear of emotional hurt. When I heard this for the first time I thought it was satire. But no, it counts as actual “love song”.
Another disgusting example is the whiney litany of a young lady who says that “all my friends” think that she’d be “leiser”, more quiet, than usual since she is in a relation with “you”. Because of the inarticulate way she “sings” it always comes out as “Alle meine Freunde finden, daß ich Scheiße bin” (“All my friends think I’m shit”) – and this is exactly how my boys in the vehicle sing along this song happily.
And then there is the second section, the oh so real-tough rappers. These “lyrics” are usually subterranean, belted out in a (fake ?) accent that shall imply that the “artist” is of a some kind migrant origin. In fact it is Kauderwelsch (Ger., Eng.) of the worst kind.
And of course they all are tough macho men : Xenophobic, homophobic and mysogyn, lousy petty bourgeois gone wild.
This may all be as it is, or as I do picture it here, or not.
But there is a border, and this border was crossed when the German Echo-award was given to two of these “artists”. Who sung about their bodies being “more defined than those of Auschwitz inmates”. It escaped my attention that Auschwitz was a fitness camp.
Let me be clear here. German rappers of a certain ilk (in my humble opinion, all of these arseholes) are retarded idiots who happily celebrate the fact that they carry a prick in their trousers & celebrate a worldview that is basically rooted in stone age. Sadly enough there is a market for their products, and enough adolescents of a certain background choose these troglodytes as role models. This is bad. It is a development in this society that not only needs to be observed & watched, but in a way tackled. In the end it is a subject of family, school and society as a whole.
BUT : It is not in order to give these antisemites a prize for their harassment. It is not okay to decorate arseholes, who’s merit is that on German school yards “Jude” is a swear word again.
Interestingly the only one who took the mic and thundered against these pricks was Campino, an old punk rocker. The rest of the assembled media personalities sat in silence. (More or less ; some booed a little, some clapped their hands.)
As rappers would put it : One man, athousand pussies. And to put the crown on this disgusting crap, these antisemites were decorated on jom ha shoa (Ger., Eng.).
It can’t be more disgraceful.

Interesting Women : Else von Richthofen

Let us assume that you are a sociologist with an interest in the history of your science. Then you surely have heard the name Max WEBER (1864-1920) (Ger., Eng., SEP). And you surely know that he has a younger brother Alfred (1868-1958) (Ger., Eng.), who is also a sociologist, occasional collaborator and critic of his brother, and there is Marianne WEBER (1870-1954) (Ger., Eng.), the wife of Max. And Else ?
Else is the “woman between” them *, short-time mistress of Max, long-time living partner of Alfred, and a bit more.

Elisabeth Frieda Amélie Sophie Freiin von RICHTHOFEN (1874-1973) (Ger., Eng.) had a sister, Frieda (1879-1956) (Ger., Eng.), who later became the wife of D.H. (“ram-bam”) LAWRENCE. Yes, I invented the “ram-bam”.
Of course they were related to Manfred, the “Red Baron”, but very distantly. Else was the oldest of the Richthofen-sisters. The usual life script for a young noble lady of the late 19th century would be : Get married, become pregnant, and do as your husband tells you. Getting married would involve an endowment – sadly daddy Richthofen (Friedrich Ernst Emil Ludwig Freiherr Praetorius von RICHTHOFEN, 1844–1915) was not only a heavy gambler, but also a lady’s man : One of his mistresses gave birth to his son in 1886 – there went the sisters’ marriage portion.
Nevertheless Else received a good education. She learned early that she would need a material basis of her own. So she becomes a teacher (examination 1891) – and with this first degree, and here she leaves the official trail, “listens” at the university of Heidelberg – matriculation for women is not yet allowed – National Economics, represented by WEBER. He recommends her to Gustav (von) SCHMOLLER (1838-1917) (Ger., Eng.) in Berlin, where she again “listens” for three semesters, and makes contacts that will shape her future life. In the house of WEBER’s mother she meets Alfred WEBER and Edgar JAFFÉ, her later living partner and her husband. Since the 1890s she is good friends with Marianne WEBER – until the end of their lives, and over all that is there to come.
She takes her doctoral degree in Heidelberg in 1900 (WEBER presiding) and then becomes the first academic “Betriebsinspektorin” in Germany. Marianne and Alice SALOMON (Ger., Eng.) introduce her into the women’s movement of the day (what some modern feminists like to describe as “the first wave”, what I personally find pretty silly, because this expression has only military connotations for me).
Her life script seems to be clear : Following the ideal of celibate social worker or female doctor, within the bourgeois social movement of the time, doing professional work, earning her own money, but – as already mentioned – no family, id est no man, no sex, no children is part of this accepted idealistic idea, “motherliness as profession” / Mütterlichkeit als Beruf  (see this, German only, sorry).
Else does not accept this.
In 1902 she marries Edgar JAFFÉ (1866-1921) (Ger., NDB) – a very interesting man who deserves a biography of his own imho. Edgar is not only a businessman & strikingly rich, but very interested and ambitious in the scientific field. He becomes editor of the Archiv für Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik, together with Max WEBER and Werner SOMBART (Ger., Eng.) – he has bought the whole thing.
Else, as impoverished noble woman, follows an older blueprint, she marries the money and returns to an aristocratic lifestyle. She publishes a bit in the journal, and dutifully gives birth to three legal children between 1903 and 1909, and to one illegal son Peter (1907-1915), fathered by Otto GROSS (1877-1920) (Ger., Eng.).
Edgar adopted the child. She and Edgar stay married until his death in April 1921, albeit separated since 1911. Edgar follows his own scientific and academic path, holds a high position in the economic administration of the Reich through WWI, and, interestingly, becomes secretary of finances under Kurt EISNER (Ger., Eng.), during the Münchner Räterepublik 1918/1919 (Ger.). He barely survives the massacres of the oh-so-noble Freikorps (Ger., Eng.). Since 1900 his house in Schwabing (Ger., Eng.) was a centre of the Bohème – not the Berlin of Wilhelm was the place to be around 1900, München leuchtet before the Great War, and is replaced by Weimar Berlin after 1919.
Otto GROSS is a case of his own – in 1907 not only his mistress Else gives birth to a son Peter, but his legal wife too, and in 1908 his second mistress also comes down with a healthy child. Given his troubles with drugs – he starts to use cocaine in 1900 when he works as doctor on a passenger liner, and remember : Before WWI heroin was used as cure for cocaine addiction – his unsteady life and a lot of troubles, it is amazing that he can keep up writing & working. His case is tragic in as much, as FREUD absolutely dismissed some of his maverick disciple’s ideas and reacted with a kind of damnatio memoriae – father Sigmund kills son Otto – that astoundingly also worked for Otto’s political writings : GROSS was only re-discovered in the 1970s !
Friends found his body in a ramshackle backyard in Berlin, he died in a hospital in April 1920. BTW in the affaire with GROSS Else’s rival was not Otto’s wife, but her own sister Frieda. They had tumultuous rows.
Else started a relationship with Alfred WEBER around 1909/1910 – the relation between the brothers suffered a bit from this. Else would in her long life never speak about her relation with Max WEBER that took place in November 1918, out of respect for her close friend Marianne. When WEBER lay dying from pneumonia in Munich (June 1920) – another victim of the Spanish flu – both women were there and cared for him.
In spring 1921 only the two women, and Alfred WEBER, are left. Marianne takes care of the writings of her husband and stays active in the women’s movement. Else goes with Alfred back to Heidelberg, helps with his work, and takes care of his legacy after his death in 1958. They are all buried in Heidelberg Bergfriedhof.
Else Freiin von Richthofen, verwitwete Jaffé, war sicherlich eine interessante Frau.

* DEMM, Eberhard [Ger.]: Else Jaffé-von Richthofen. Erfülltes Leben zwischen Max und Alfred Weber, Düsseldorf 2014, Rezension by R. Aldenhoff-Hübinger, from which I take a lot.