Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Shady Fruit (Or, Krautastic Tuesday)
This week's Krautastic Tuesday is about Schadenfreude.
I originally meant to post this after the Governor-Hooker scandal broke weeks ago...given that the entirety of New York State was indulging in some heavy duty Schadenfreude.
The German language is littered with long compound words...instead of making up new words to describe things, ye olde German speakers decided it was better - maybe more efficient - to just slam two existing words together.
A perfect example of this is perhaps the German language's greatest contribution to English:
It literally means damage joy.
In English, it connotes taking pleasure in someone else's pain. Here it is - in glorious use - from Avenue Q:
Oh, Schadenfreude, huh?
What's that, some kinda Nazi word?
Yup! It's German for "happiness at the misfortune of others!"
"Happiness at the misfortune of others." That is German!
Like watching a vegetarian being told she just ate chicken...
Or watching a frat boy realize just what he put his dick in!
Being on the elevator when somebody shouts "Hold the door!"
GARY AND NICKY:
"Fuck you lady, that's what stairs are for!"
Of course, everyone indulges in some good old-fashioned Schadenfreude from time to time...it just so happens that Germans took the time and care to think up a name for the act of basking in the shit of others.*
For instance, I was working some crazy Schadenfreude of my own a while back...I was deeply offended by Madonna's recent (physical) appearance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. So, I worked up this comparison:
I got a little carried away with my own damage joy...and had to reign myself in - I was drunk with the power of wallowing in someone else's brokedown grill. When a dear, dear friend pointed out that Madonna didn't have actual plastic surgery and just had injections done, I replied:
"What did she have injected into her face? Two bundt pans and a cookie sheet?"
And, with that, I hung up my Schadenfreude for the day.
*Whoa...maybe that's another answer to last week's question about scat.