When I was an adolescent here in freedom’s land and bravery’s home, musicians all dispensed the same wisdom when they spoke to teenagers, more or less. Don’t do drugs, stay in school, practice safe sex, register to vote, reuse and recycle, and support our troops. (Of course I’m aware that not all of these items were on, say, Jello Biafra’s agenda, but I don’t remember him being asked to address a lot of tenth graders.)
How much better to have attended the German gymnasium that was Blixa Bargeld’s alma mater, which he loved so much as a student that he firebombed it. As Blixa recalled in Neubauten’s oral history, No Beauty without Danger:
One of the reasons I got kicked out of school was because I had started a fire. My expulsion had already been decided upon anyway, so I didn’t have anything to lose. But I was still the student body president, and tried to enforce my pseudo-democratic rights by decorating a “Schülermitverwaltungsversammlung”, a kind of student council assembly, with a fire bombing - in which no one was hurt - because I was no longer allowed to take part in the assembly.
Incredibly, in 1991, Bargeld obtained permission from the same headmaster who had expelled him to return to Paul-Natorp-Oberschule. There, he gave the students some news they could use about pursuing one’s individuality “as anarchically and as radically as possible,” stealing instruments from construction sites, and planning for retirement. The Neubauten fansite that published part one of this video, Seele Brennt, is now defunct; here’s hoping the rest of this enlightening discussion surfaces someday soon.