It’s often said that history repeats itself. More accurately, those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. It’s one of the most common aphorisms in the world. It’s a phrase we’re all so familiar with and yet no one ever seems to heed its simple warning. The most recent example can be found in our fall into a level of perverse hedonism that was so common in the Weimar Republic, the German state as it existed post-World War I and pre-Nazism (1918-1933). Exactly 100 years later and we’re finding ourselves transported into our very own Weimarian nightmare.
Weimar was notorious for its free-living culture. It was a festering pit of prostitution, paedophilia, bestiality, pornography and nihilism. A level of decadence not even the Summer of Love in 1967 could reach. In fact, hippies getting down and dirty at Woodstock is like something out of a stuffy Victorian novel in comparison to the grotesque moral contortions of the Weimar Republic.
Germany, so thoroughly demoralised after the Treaty of Versailles reaped havoc on its economy and culture, was left in a state of despair. Germans by and large sought ways to repress their dire circumstances and tripped further and further into a state of pure escapism. Except this wasn’t just your average “let’s get drunk” coping mechanism. This was something much more sinister.
The low points included the pimping of 12 year old girls, mother-daughter prostitution pairs popping up on street corners and men satisfying their base desires in the throats of decapitated geese. Drag culture also became incredibly popular during this period and while drag isn’t inherently sexualized, sexualized strains of it do exist. And those strains can certainly be dangerous when befell into the wrong hands, serving the wrong purposes. Which leads me to my primary point. Weimar has come hurtling back from the past and into our present like a ghoulish freight train with no brakes. Here in the 21st century, a 10 year old drag queen by the name Desmond Is Amazing wants to start a website for other boys to get together and plaster themselves in make up. There’s absolutely no way this can fall into the hands of adult abusers and manipulators, right? We’re told it’s just “kids having fun.”
Then there’s a website, transkids.biz, selling prosthetic penises for little girls to shove down their pants so they can “feel more like a boy.” They even distinguish between large and small endowments, circumcised and uncircumcised, just to add that extra bit of realism.
The worst example of all, however, is the 9 year old drag queen from Montreal who goes by the name Lactatia. Not only is his moniker weirdly similar to the act of lactation (something I doubt a 9 year old would come up with on his own), he has now become the “covergirl” for erotic costume store House of Mann. Yet dare to question the choice of their “fierce” new model and you’re immediately labelled an alt-right neo-Nazi fascist homophobic bigot.
“If you can’t handle a kid in a sequin onesie, maybe the future isn’t for you” the outlet tweeted following widespread criticism. How can they be so sure the future belongs to them, though? If 2018 is the equivalent of 1918, what will 2033 look like?