they had come from across the northern european plains, some even from beyond the alps, from beyond the pyrenees, from the plains of pannonia. most wore their hair long, beards left unshaven, tattoos and piercings all around. they wore the same tribal costume - t-shirt (preferably black), combat trouser-style shorts, old trainers. they had come together to the old citadel to pay homage to their idols, buy a ticket and a few beers and to communally vent their futile frustration against The System, a system which is able to co-opt even those who oppose it most, turning their teenage rebellion into a commodity like any other to be bought, sold, marketed and consumed. "the revolution is just a t-shirt away..."
post-scriptum: sitting around on the grass before the rage against machine concert i was once again struck by the "binary" attitude of the berlin police to their job. it seems to be either "full on," for example when their cracking skulls on may 1, or they go into their "off" mode, adopting a very lackadaisical attitude to keeping up law and order. the latter was the case in the car park and lawn in front of the concert, with hundreds of people drinking and urinating in public, illegally hawking tickets and openly taking various kinds of recreational drugs. just as the young czech fans next to me had lit up their joint, two cops showed up. the czechs froze, joint in hand. the cops gave them a quick look, then looked at the car that was parked next to them, picked up their radio and called hq: "this is foot patrol 5, we checked the situation out. its ok, the car does indeed have a handicapped sign. over." and left, leaving the smoking czechs completely dumbfounded.