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:

Schadenfreude

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:

NICKY:
Oh, Schadenfreude, huh?
What's that, some kinda Nazi word?

GARY COLEMAN:
Yup! It's German for "happiness at the misfortune of others!"

NICKY:
"Happiness at the misfortune of others." That is German!
Like watching a vegetarian being told she just ate chicken...

GARY COLEMAN:
Or watching a frat boy realize just what he put his dick in!

NICKY:
Being on the elevator when somebody shouts "Hold the door!"

GARY AND NICKY:
"No!!!"
Schadenfreude!

GARY COLEMAN:
"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.

6 comments:

Tarek said...

Thank GOD. Finally!

Some great words:

"Geschlechtsverkehr" (literally: "gender-traffic") which refers to sexual intercourse.

Anything involving sex often uses the word "traffic." It makes it sound if a highway is going through certain orifices.

I introduced the word "ausgecrackt" (cracked-out)in my office and it was well received.

Mariah Carey said...

Trevor, I mean, like how dare you put my image next to that of that Madonna! I look nothing like her and shit. My cheeks are bangin' and have been plumped up far longer than hers have....I'm just sayin'...

If this is all about some German thing you got going on all up in here, can't you at least use a flattering photo of me (you know, left side) and put a more comparable picture next to me. Like, you know. Me in a Gucci micro next to an overstuffed wurst.

That's some German shit there. I know you Germs like you some black folk. You know I got a little of that shit all up in me, right? Go on baby...touch my body

T$ said...

Ambular - thanks for the added compound words.

My Darling MC - I have known for quite some time that you are "America's Most Misunderstood Black Woman", but I forgot you're also "The Black Community's Red-Headed Stepchild". I'm sorry I didn't recognize you in this picture...and you're right, when you're stuffed into an outfit three sizes too small, you are as hot and casing-popping as a bratwurst sizzling over an open flame.

Shirley Heezgay! said...

GASP! THAT'S HORRIBLE!

mariah carey said...

T$ ( I like that name, baby. You want to guest rap on my next single?)....

Just remember ... E=MC2. Thats Mariah Carey Mairah Carey, not Mariah Carey Madonna Ciccone

And all that talk about bratwurst is making me hungry. Let's go get us some soul food up at Sylvia's. I got a crib uptown...you know that?

Spread your wings, Butterfly

Greg said...

Avenue Q is such a great show. And I never noticed the connection between Madonna and Mask. I need to be more observant!!