There are those media events that you're not really interested in - you're busy with other things, like reading the great poems of the Belarusian poet Valzhyna Mort.

Events for which you have no time, about which you don't really want to know anything and which you still notice.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's live-streamed court mud fight is one such event.

You know how many bottles flown, who is suing whom for what.

And then the island manager testifies (yes, there really are people who have island managers).

Another media event, this time in Germany, is Uwe Tellkamp's new novel, “Schlaf in den Augen” or something like that.

You swear you won't touch it - no time for that.

But the newspapers are full of it, the internet community is freaking out.

And then there is the 3sat documentary “Der Fall Tellkamp.

The Controversy over Freedom of Speech”.

Midnight is over, too much curiosity, too little impulse control.

What has the supposedly canceled Tellkamp already said again?

For ninety minutes you can see Tellkamp typing away on the typewriter while the piano tinkles, carrying notebooks around, walking along the Elbe and moaning, moaning a great deal.

About the so-called narrowing of the corridors of opinion,

one shouldn't say anything more (what should authors from actual dictatorships like Syria, Russia or China say?);

about the German media landscape (everything the same, from taz to FAZ);

about the poor indigenous East Germans – did he really say “indigenous”?

Yes, he did - and he probably doesn't mean the Sorbs, who gave the name of the city of Dresden (old Sorbian Drežďany) and who were forcibly Germanized by the Nazis.

Dissent is not the same as censorship

No, he means the East Germans who were colonized by the West Germans and who annoy Tellkamp everywhere in his villa district, even at the cheese counter.

One is mercilessly finished off if one disagrees here and there, for example with regard to refugees or Islam.

Or if, like his good old friend "Susie" - the bookseller Susanne Dagen - organizes YouTube literature shows with rights like Ellen Kositza or Martin Sellner.

"We are actually treated as if we were criminals," says Tellkamp.

All in all, what Tellkamp says in 90 minutes is not particularly original, it is sometimes a bit of a regulars' get-together - "cosmopolitan, that's a gully, everything flows in there" - it's a lot (East) German Identity politics and forgetfulness of history when one

And it's sacrifice, lots of sacrifice.

This sacrificial behavior is not Tellkamp's specialty, it is known from right-wingers who believe they are in opposition to a supposedly left-green political-cultural mainstream.

You know it from Saxony, from mayors, for example, who dismiss just talking about AfD election results, neo-Nazis or radical opponents of vaccination as "Saxon bashing" and seem to fear the bad reputation more than burning refugee accommodation.

But it is also known from Islamists, who immediately declare criticism of their legalistic structures to be racism.

Much of what Islamists and right-wingers say all day long is covered by the freedom of expression granted in Article 5 of the Basic Law.

It's not pretty, but it's still true, but it doesn't mean

that everything must remain unchallenged in society.

Criticism is not hate and hate speech, and contradiction is not the same as censorship and DDR 2.0.

For the sake of fairness, one has to say that not every means of criticism is appropriate.

And not everything that happens in their name is still criticism.

At one point in the film, there is talk of a butyric acid attack on Dagen's bookstore.

Such an attack is about as wrong and pointless as the one in 2021 on the Ditib Mosque in the east of Leipzig and in the end only strengthens the attacked in their self-chosen victim narrative.

Back to the movie.

At some point Tellkamp, ​​walking in the green Elbe landscape, said, very upset: "For me, this is no longer a functioning democracy in this sense, as I have been able to get to know since 1990, which has always been my goal, to which I always wanted to go." ardently he also seems to love democracy, so little does he actually seem to get along with it when there is criticism or contradiction.

It's a truism, but a vibrant democracy means enduring strife.

At the end, Tellkamp talks about his new novel, which was published by Suhrkamp, ​​despite other rumours.

A novel that has been covered up and down in the arts pages,

for whom Tellkamp gave lengthy interviews and who entered the top 3 of the "Spiegel" bestseller list in the first week.

Even if it undoubtedly exists, Cancel Culture looks different.

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