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