Monday, March 14, 2016

When dreams become nightmares

By Bob Boldt

It is sometimes advantageous to take the long view. “Te Deum” is a video I made during the Bush years, when it didn’t look like things could get much worse. Well, they did.

    In the Twentieth Century, man found many strange paths to meaning. Few were stranger than the dominance of the Third Reich over Germany, which lead to the most horrific war of that century, the Second World War.
    The iconic Swastika, once the profound symbol of the power of the solar deity, has, since the rise of National Socialism, become a hated symbol of all the darkness and atrocity of the Nazis.
    The footage of the video was step-captured in slow motion from old Reich archives. As in a mythic dream, we see the rise and dominance of Adolf Hitler and, as if through the lens of sleep, the adoring obedience of his young followers.

    The haunting music of Arvo Pärt adds to the ethereal quality.
    It would appear that humanity is still asleep, lulled to the martial music of our own present brand of fascism in this our New Amerikan Century. Let the images and the music remind us of how some past dreams became nightmares.

Bob Boldt

There is no question but that Hitler belongs in the category of the truly mystic medicine man. As somebody commented about him at the last Nürnberg party congress, since the time of Mohammed nothing like it has been seen in this world. His body does not suggest strength. The outstanding characteristic of his physiognomy is its dreamy look. I was especially struck by that when I saw pictures taken of him in the Czechoslovakian crisis; there was in his eyes the look of a seer. This markedly mystic characteristic of Hitler’s is what makes him do things which seem to us illogical, inexplicable, and unreasonable…So you see, Hitler is a medicine man, a spiritual vessel, a demi-deity or, even better, a myth. –“Carl Jung on Hitler as Personification of the Wotan Archetype
Copyright © 2016 by Bob Boldt


  1. Bob, the three things I appreciate most about this post are (1) learning about Arvo Pärt, of whom I had not previously heard (that I remember), (2) learning that Carl Jung, of whom I have always generally thought very highly, seems to have been taken in by Hitler, and (3) learning that an existing video can be "step-captured"; I admire your facility with video editing and production.
        Of course, speaking of "being taken in," a main point of your post today (in a context a few years after its being a comment on the America - or Amerika - of George W. Bush) is that many, many people in the United States are currently being taken in by...Donald Trump.

  2. Thank you for posting this, Morris. I hope it generates comment. Especially the surprisingly laudatory Jung quote. It represents just how out of touch the German intellectuals were and how many of them were seduced by the propaganda about Hitler's determination to "Make Germany great again." Ha ha

    1. At least no American intellectuals (that I'm aware of) seem to have been seduced by Trump's version. Could it be because Trump talks and acts more like a buffoon than a "dreamy mystic"?

  3. Like Hitler, Trump is capitalizing on the very real yearning of the downtrodden, ignored, and the disenfranchised for a sense of dignity and agency. Sadly, the simple remedy each proposed/proposes will accomplish nothing to satisfy those aspirations. Critical crisis times always threaten to bring out the worst in a people and a country.