Saturday, October 01, 2005

Boy, those Germans have a word for everything!

I just read an article about a book that I must get--called The Meaning of Tingo, it lists words in other languages that have no direct equivalent in English. My three faves are all German. Drachenfutter means a sexually indiscreet husband who buys an expensive gift for his wife out of guilt. The literal translation is almost as good: "dragon fodder."

Then there's the term for overeating because of depression: kummerspeck, or literally, "grief bacon." But the best is backpfeifengesicht, which refers to a face that really needs to be punched (literally, "baking whistling face).

Speaking of backpfeifengesichts, I've really been enjoying my schadenfreude over the last few days as I've been avidly following Tom DeLay's discomfiture. I especially love his oft-repeated accustion that this whole indictment is a baseless accusation concocted by a conspiracy of Democrats out of sheer spite.

First of all: based on what's emerged from this prelimary beating of the bushes, "baseless" is not an adjective likely to get far. And as so many editorials have observed, this is a man whose entire career has essentially been about pushing the ethical envelope, no matter what hypocrisies occur along the way (for example, his ceaseless bashing of Democrat policies as the intrusions of "big government" in the lives of citizens didn't seem to be an issue to him when he spearheaded the attempt to get government intercession in the Terry Schiavo case); if nothing else, these investigations are finally making people ask whether or not his political tactics aren't unethical in and of themselves.

Secondly: I don't quite get how the conservative press is so surprised at appalled at the thought that a group of Democrats might have been in contact with each other over this issue. Said DeLay accusingly, (I'm paraphrasing) if you were to check Ronnie Earle's email and phone record, you would probably find a ton of calls and messages to and from leading house Democrats. Well, duh. Earle is a democrat himself -- why would we be surprised he would speak to members of his own party? Why is the conservative press shocked that Democrats would want to take DeLay down?

(Because Republicans would never do such a thing. If I recall correctly, the impeachment hearings for Clinton proceeded haphazardly, with no collusion whatsoever amongst leading Republicans).

Finally, yes this is a spiteful proceeding, yes there is intense dislike for DeLay, and yes Democrats (and a number of Republicans) want to see a bullying, arrogant, hypocritical and unethical political thug taken down a few pegs. Newt Gingrich--yes, Newt Gingrich--recently said that "DeLay's problem isn't with the Democrats. DeLay's problem is with the country."

Never thought I'd ever agree with the Newt, but here we are. So I'm now going to enjoy a sunny St. John's day, have a late lunch on Water Street, and savour my schadenfreude. It is so much fun to watch a self-righteous ultraconservative running scared, no?

4 comments:

FanglyFish said...
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FanglyFish said...

FanglyFish's German translation of everyday words:

Pickled Weiner = In Essig eingelegtes weiner

Pickled Weiner Delivery Man = Essiggurke Weiner Lieferbote


Holy Crap!! The Pickled Weiner Delivery Man's car is on fire =
Heiliger Mist!! Das Auto des in Essig eingelegten Weiner Lieferboteen ist auf Feuer

Waffle Iron = Waffel-Eisen

The Waffle Iron cannot be used to cook Pickled Weiners = Das Waffel-Eisen kann nicht benutzt werden, um in Essig eingelegtes Weiners zu kochen


The Waffle Iron died a horrible death as it was in the truck on the Pickled Weiner Delivery Guys car when it caught on fire = Das Waffel-Eisen starb einen schrecklichen Tod, während er im LKW auf dem in Essig eingelegten Weiner Anlieferung Kerlauto war, als er auf Feuer sich verfing

Fanglyfish kicks ass!! = Fanglyfish tritt Esel!!

Kiss said...

Wow! You're in agreement with the little salimander? Bet it makes you feel dirty, huh? But, even an idiot can have a good moment.

And thanks for the German translations, I guess that I can get Babelfish out of my bookmarks now. ;-)

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Well actually to me this sounds very descriminatory, I remember who speaks very similar to this guy and actually nobody want him.
Thanks