Richard Spencer, aka Punchy McPuncherton the Most Punchable Man on Earth, has made a lot of punch-worthy statements in his time. But claiming that classic 80s Synth Pop band Depeche Mode has ANYTHING to do with the neo nazi agenda just takes the damn cake.
I mean Depeche Mode, Richard? Come on. Because they happen to be some white guys singing about faith and Jesus? That’s like calling Huey Lewis and the News a band for psychopaths because “Hip to Be Square” unfortunately caught the eye of Brett Easton Ellis. I mean let’s just dial it the fuck back for a minute. Kinky sex, leather, and scant talk of Germany does not a white supremacist band make, Richard. But we can see how you got there.
In the late 1930s in Germany, eager to re-cement a German reputation of pure artistic excellence in the new regime, fascists claimed a number of works to be representative of the nationalist spirit. Works, you may not be surprised to find out, completely unable to be defended by their actual, long-dead creators. These works ranged from the Ring Cycle of Wagner (a known anti-semite) to certain works of Shakespeare (maybe a bit stereotypical when it came to Jewish characters, but not exactly a bigot) to the films of Fritz Lang (not at all a fascist.) It didn’t matter to them what the intention of the creators of these works had started as– what they liked, they made their own. That’s what happens to art inside of totalitarian regimes.
So if it seems like people are making a little too much of a fuss over this Depeche Mode issue, just try putting it into context for a moment: The minute art gets appropriated by a hateful audience, it gains a second wave of power. And we all know the power of art–for good or evil–can never be underestimated. I mean what else did you think “Words are very unnecessary/ They can only do harm” means?