Friday Fives –

What is your favorite weird word in any language?

Easy – schadenfreude.  I have written about this word before.  It’s a German word meaning ‘to take pleasure in the suffering of others’.  Now, it isn’t too terribly surprising to learn the German’s have a corner on that market.  Still, though, we all live this.  You know when a ahole passes you like a lunatic and cuts you off in the process?  Even better?  Ok.  Watch this road rage clip, and stunning instant karmic retribution.  That laugh of joy and closure you hear from the lady?  That is schadenfreunde!

You know that warm, gooey feeling you get inside when you see him pulled over and getting a ticket ten minutes later?  Yeah, that is schadenfruede.  I wonder if there is any connection to the ‘Freud’ part of that word, and if there is a connection to Herr Sigmund.  Turns out, no.  The ‘fruende’ part of that word is for happiness.  I am more surprised to find that Germans have a word for happiness, than I am to discover they literally invented the idea of mocking one’s suffering.

What is a controversial book more people should read?

Well, I am a book guy.  I love books.  Got a fancy university degree just about books.  So, I can’t just give you one. Also, I am going to try and not write about Alice in Wonderland again.  God, how I do love that book. ok… so let’s talk about non Alice related books. How about two?  These are both ‘banned books‘.  However, every book worth it’s salt has been banned.  When someone once asked Keith Richards how we felt about the Stone’s records getting bootlegged (and so the band was getting ripped off), Keith replied ‘if you aren’t being bootlegged, you aren’t happening!’  I kinda feel the same way about books.

It took me a LONG time to get into reading.  When I was a kid, I was just force fed dreck.  Newbury award winnings books – just boring and sterile horse shit. I never ever saw reading as fun, or an escape, until Kermit.  Kermit was my high school buddy, and he turned me on to SO much.  He got me into Henry Miller, Salvador Dali, the Beatles White Album, Gregory, Bukowski, and so much more.

For a dense, hardcore, escapist read – go for Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer.  He was an American writer who lived abroad (quite literally… tee hee hee) in France in the 20s.  He was broke, but he was wicked smart and fun and interesting.  So, rich people would keep him afloat to keep him around.  ‘Tropic’ is a coming of age story of wanderlust on every level.  Imagine the debauchery of Charlie Sheen, but written so beautifully it’s like Maya Angelou.  Imagine ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ set in Paris.  Imagine everything Charles Bukowski ever did or wrote… first.  It is a book every 16 year old young man should read.  It’s not a quick read, by any means… but nor should it be.

For quicker fare, but just as impactful (and just as banned) is George Orwell’s Animal Farm.  It’s about the animals rising up and taking over their oppressive humans, and making an animal utopia.  Well… it starts that way, anyhow.  People who wear eyeglasses and finger their goatees thoughtfully will tell you about the analogy to the Russian revolution.  Don’t worry about all that.  The story stands just terrific on it’s own, and you will have NO trouble drawing parallels to so many things in society.  Best part of all, it’s thin.  You can knock it out in a single evening.  Four Legs Good, Two Legs Bad!  It doesn’t just work as a meta study on humanity and barbarism.  It is also just a cute sweet story you could read to a 5 year old.  Not a 4 year old, though.  Seriously, that would fuck them up good.  5, though?  Yeah, he’d be fine.  Listen, kids gotta learn about tyranny from someone, amiright?

What’s an everyday grammatical thing that still kind of bugs you?

It’s – when do I use the apostrophe?  I should ask someone who has an English degree, right?  That would be me, and I still don’t get it.  They say ‘only if owns something (possessive), or is a contraction.  Well, isn’t that ALWAYS the case with it’s?

Guess what?  New rule – the only time I want to talk about apostrophe’s is if it is about Frank Zappa’s album.  SO much great, and stupid, Zappa work can be found on Apostrophe/Overnight Sensation.  First off, let’s go with this one.  Moving to Montana soon, gonna be a dental floss tycoon.  Then, listen to Frank explain, in a super catchy song, about how it is damn near impossible to get his lady off manually.  “dynamo hum, dynamo hum.  Where’s this dynamo coming from?  Dynamo Hum, Dynamo hum, I done poked and stroked till my wrist gut numb.  You may be thinking to yourself ‘there is no way in hell studios released an song about how to properly masturbate your girlfriend… and especially not 45 years ago’.  Oh yeah, baby.  They sure did.  Think of all risque Prince songs, like Darling Nikki.  How about 2 Live Crew?  Yeah, Frank was upsetting parents 30 years earlier.  Enjoy.  At work?  Oh, then turn it up really loud.

bonus fun?  That song is nowhere near the most offensive thing Frank ever recorded.  Not by a mile.

Replace a word in a movie title with “Bitch”, what’s the new plot?

Kill Bitch – it’s the sequel to Kill Bill, where all the daughters of the slain samurai come back after Uma Thurman and avenge their parents.  See, she had a beef with Bill.  Whatevs, that isn’t our business.  Just note that, like in every proper Tarantino movie, zillions of ancillary characters die in the hero’s wake.  Tee hee hee.

Write us up a nice little Haiku (5-7-5). 

Arson so pretty

Fire my only friend now

Oops, Sorry ‘bout pants

Do you know who is responsible for your kids seeing violence and dead bodies on tv every night?

*** Update below

Did you know that what you watch on tv is largely controlled by one dude? Did you know that dude is not a congressman, creative type, or network executive?  He is not a story writer,script supervisor, or even a camera person. One guy has made the decision that your children should see a dead body at least once a day.  One guy wants your children  seeing nothing but violence and stories full of horrible characters every night.  Grab a clicker, I am serious.  Count how many dead bodies you see in one evening of prime time tv on a single network channel.  I would do it, for research purposes, but I can’t stand that shit.  If David Caruso wears another pair of sunglasses in an underground dark garage, and then takes them off to deliver a hacky line… it won’t be pretty.  You are gonna have another dead body on your hands.  Make sure Brent is there with his children to see it.

See, what is aired on television is basically a matter of what offends, and does not offend, one person. 98% of ALL content complaints to the networks come from this one guy. Brent Bozell. Brent Bozell decides what you will see and not see. Brent Bozell determines that 63% of your evening family television content is dead bodies and crime. Brent thinks this is good and family friendly. Don’t worry, I don’t think his goal is to show your kids corpses (though leave no doubt that is the direct result of his actions). His goal is make sure NO ONE sees a booby. That is it.

Think of the content you are seeing at night. Swear words, naked butts, INSANE amounts of violence and dead bodies. Apparently, those things are fine with Brent. Remember Janet Jackson and the nipple incident. Here is a screen cap if you forgot (link NSFW, dummy) during the superbowl. The Superbowl is when grown black men beat the unholy shit out of each other for the entertainment of the white masses. Don’t worry, that violence is fine. The overt and creepy homo erotic overtones are also cool with Brent. Nope, it was that nipple. Bent Bozell’s only goal in life is to eliminate the nipple from the earth.   Someone didn’t get a hug when he was a baby.

“I like nipples,” Zappa told the committee, deadpan. “I think they look good. If you are going to look at a woman’s breast, if you take the nipple off, which is the characterizing, determining factor, what you’ve got is a blob of fat there. And I think that when you’re a baby, one of the first things you get interested in is that nozzle right there, and you get to have it right in front of your face. You grow up with it, so to speak. And then you grow up in the state of Maryland and they won’t let you see that little brown thing any more.”

See, when tv shows air questionable or risqué content, they get angry letters. The understandably fear these letters. BUT… these letters don’t come from people or parents or churches or communities. They come from Brent. Strangely, they are still super duper effective. If I were a network guy, here is how the conversation would go.

Sir, remember how there was a boob accidentally briefly flashed on the screen during the Kid Rock benefit show on ABC last night?

Yes, Johnson. Did we get letters, again?

Yes, sir. Nearly 300. People are upset.

And how many of those are from Bozell and his corpse loving crew at the PTC?

Well, sir, it appears all of them.

So, no actual consumers or parents complained… just Brent… again?  Not one single American voiced a concern other than Brent?

Yes sir. Shall I line the bird cages again?

Nope. Tonight, put them in the letter fired generator. I am going to use them to power my laptop to watch porn. The irony is how I actually get off.

Now, I understand you are raising your children to be good members of society. I believe you are raising them to stand up for themselves and speak for themselves. Perhaps you want them to even question authority, to a degree. Let’s get involved then. If you and your family see questionable content, get engaged. If you see something sexual, and it bothers you, write your local TV station station and tell them of your disgust. Odds are, you won’t have to, though. It has been eliminated.

Similarly, if your child is concerned by the amount of violence and bad language on tv; send two letters. One to your congressman, and the other to Brent Bozell.

Oh, I should mention his company. I was brilliantly reminded of it tonight, on Family Guy. His company is called ‘Parents Televison Council’.

*** side bar – Brent Bozell has actually made tv content FAR worse. Look at it this way – have you seen how risqué and crazy cable shows have gotten? I am not even talking about pay tv, but basic cable. Have you seen Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, or Sons of Anarchy? Those shows are truly, and deeply, fucked up. Good serialized television used to be the province of network tv… where there were controls in place. Because of Brent Bozell, all of those programs have been driven to safe harbor… cable television. It would seem the big three networks are pretty much on their way out. See, it is just as easy for your kids to surf the remote to AMC as it is to NBC.

Actually, I think I would prefer that.  I would rather my little boy learn about making met rather than staring at dead people all night and watching storylines that only involve hookers.  Thanks, Brent.  This is your real legacy.

Update – we are not alone.  Rather see boobies than bodies?  I am certain your children would.  Free the Nipple!  Wait, that was just an article.  Let’s really free the nipple!