Re: It was suggested that I post more in Latin

1

Yeah, this is why I don't think there are chairs.


Posted by: rilkefan | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 2:53 PM
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Goethe was wrong. But we love him anyway.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 3:10 PM
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Goethe was wrong about lots of things, but that ain't Goethe.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 3:16 PM
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(It is, in fact, a rather unGoethean sentiment.)


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 3:17 PM
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The passage is interesting, but I think the most important thing it highlights is how desparately weak my German skills have grown. I don't feel bad about not reading Great Books, but I do feel a bit humiliated to have once actually been competent in a language only to totally let it atrophy.

Also, Goethe is delightful, so quit saying mean things about him.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 3:18 PM
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Was Goethe a nominalist? I don't know anything about his thoughts on the subject.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 3:20 PM
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Also, is this your contribution to the "What is Unfogged?" discussion, Ben? A way of subtle suggesting that the effort to find a single general principle defining what makes Unfogged work is a fruitless exercise?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 3:20 PM
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Subtle s/b subtly, damn it. I can't read German and I can't write English.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 3:21 PM
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That would have been clever of me, wouldn't it have been? And I do, in fact, think that efforts to find a single general principle, or set of general principles, is not only fruitless but likely to be pernicious. But it was with no such intention that I put the post up.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 3:21 PM
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7: I thought it was a contribution too, but I figured (two months into German 101) it was his solution to the volume problem: posts that don't make sense to half the commenters.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 3:23 PM
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Actually, that would make Ben Ogged's solution to the volume problem


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 3:24 PM
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Was Goethe a nominalist?

Goethe thought that intellectual intuitions were possible and that one could discover the organizing concepts behind things (pretend that made sense). He himself discovered the Urpflanze in Italy, and then drew it for Schiller.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 3:28 PM
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It could work with Emerson's spin-off solution, too. There could be Unfogged.com, Unfogged.de, Unfogged.ca, Unfogged.uk... Each site could periodically send delegates to an Unfogged UN.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 3:28 PM
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12: Dude, you know he was just totally messing with Schiller, right? He'd sit around laughing with his friends, "Yeah, and I told him it was the 'Urpflanze' and he totally bought it!"


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 3:30 PM
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13: Unfogged.int


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 3:48 PM
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Or, for 10 easy payments of $499,999, we could lobby for a new top-level domain, ".atm", denoting the Unfogged cosmos.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 3:50 PM
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That passage is screaming out for the application of a little Foucault.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 3:50 PM
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14: Dude, so much better than the way he talked to his friends about Kleist. "And then I read his play and I was like, you know Heini, you should get yourself a new line of work. And he, like, totally bought it!"


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 3:54 PM
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18: Did you know that they met through a personals ad? Goethe had written that he was "tired of all the Sturm and Drang."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:05 PM
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10: to make it comprehensible to the Portuguese, and to widen the margins:

"O esforço, um Principium geral em algumas ciências encontrar é repetidamente, uniformente assim infrutífero, quando o esforço daqueles seria, que quiseram encontrar todos os minerais na mineralogia que um primeiro general por sua composição tinha desenvolvido. A natureza não cría genera e espécie, cría a individua e a nossa propria myopia deve as similaridades visitar-se em torno de muito para manter-se em uma vez possa. Estes termos tornam-se sempre incorretos maiores os sexos são, que nós fazemos em nos-mesmos."

But then, the question of translation quality comes into play, which might render the above inapplicable. I'm missing the meaning of the possibly cruicial word "viellecht"; and "fruchtlos" might actually mean 'fructose' not fruitless, for all I know. God, that was fun.


Posted by: Lucy | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:09 PM
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Ha, how a simple typo can frustrate translations! "Viellecht" should be "vielleicht" and would be translated "perhaps" or "maybe." Fruchtlos is fruitless.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:13 PM
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You know what, Ben? This has inspired me to go read some German tonight. Or maybe watch a German movie.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:16 PM
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The effort a general Principium in some sciences to find is perhaps repeatedly evenly so fruitless, when the effort of those would be, which wanted to find all minerals in the mineralogy a first general by its composition had developed. Nature does not create genera and species, it creates individua and our myopia must similarities to visit itself around much to keep at one time be able. These terms become always incorrect the larger the sexes are, which we make ourselves.

Fascinating!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:17 PM
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Watch "Head On".


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:18 PM
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These terms become always incorrect the larger the sexes are, which we make ourselves.

New rollover text?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:19 PM
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24: Actually, I really wanted to see that a couple(?) years ago when it came out. Thanks for the reminder. I don't suppose they'll carry it at Blockbuster, though.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:20 PM
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Babeling away, I see.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:21 PM
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Es ist meine Natur.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:22 PM
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Depends on your Blockbuster, I guess. It did win some awards, so maybe they'll have it.

Fatih Akin has a new movie coming out! Not 'til 2008 in the U.S., though.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:23 PM
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Ich kann halt lieben nur
und sonst gar nichts.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:25 PM
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Ich kann... gar nichts.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:29 PM
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Ich bin ein sitzpinkler.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:32 PM
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33: War mein ex auch. Ist das typisch deutsch?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:35 PM
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Derdor arm Hun' hat nur dree been.


Posted by: Napi | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:35 PM
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No "Head On" at Blockbuster of Suburbia. That leave me either Mostly Martha (which will just make me cry) or read.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:38 PM
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Mostly Martha ain't no good.

They didn't even have "Goodbye Lenin!"? That made like $5 million in its US release a couple years ago.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:39 PM
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33: es ist anscheinend die Störung des "Scheißeregals"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:40 PM
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Well, that's how they say it ins Saarland.


Posted by: Napi | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:40 PM
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Mm, yeah, watched Mostly Martha at a lonely moment myself, and it was not a good experience.

Angst essen Seele auf? Guess Fassbinder is a bit too much to ask for at Blockbuster.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:41 PM
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40

Sexy Rexy is back!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:41 PM
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Oh yeah, Ned's suggestion is good!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:42 PM
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Blockbuster will have Maria Braun, etc. A person could do worse.

Like Kasper Hauser.


Posted by: Napi | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:43 PM
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Or 'Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei' -- I think it was called 'The Edukators' in English. (So weird that Daniel Brühl is considered a heartthrob in Germany.)


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:44 PM
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40: I'm pretty sure you still have the power to start new threads around here.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:45 PM
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43: Why? He looks like a heartthrob to me. In fact, he looks like Orlando Bloom, with different hair.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:46 PM
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"Viellecht" should be "vielleicht"

"Viellecht" is a typo for "vielecht", which means, like, really real, man, no foolin'.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:47 PM
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36: Hmm.... I think the Ex may have that. I could easily just sneak into his room and "borrow" it...

37: Alles klar!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:47 PM
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Ich kán iu niht bescheiden az sider dâ deschach
wan ritter unde frouwen weinen man dâ sach
dar zuo die edeln knehte ir liben friunde tôt.
hie hât daz mærẹ ein ende: daz ist der Nibelunge nôt.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:47 PM
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Head on is so fucking great, I have probably watched it 5 times. Is it a German or Turkish movie, tho? German.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:48 PM
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33: the state encourages it.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:48 PM
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I read in the Post yesterday the Berlin Alexanderplatz is out on DVD. 15 hours. Never seen it, and I'm not humiliated by that.


Posted by: Napi | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:48 PM
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"waz" "geschach".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:49 PM
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Fatih Akin is German, grew up in Hamburg. Lives in Berlin. I am unfortunately witness to the fact that he is not a great DJ, though.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:50 PM
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Your orthography is strange and frightening to us.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:50 PM
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51: They have just been playing it this past week in NYC as part of that Carnegie Hall Berlin festival, I think. They showed the entire thing over several nights at the Film Archive here several years ago, and by the last night there were only three or four people there.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:51 PM
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Fassbinder is such a loon. All I can ever remember from his movies is daffy ugly people wrestling.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:54 PM
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50: Fascinating to see the official presumption that a man who stands to pee is just going to spray everywhere. Couldn't guy #1 just take a step closer?

Maybe I'll just watch Run Lola Run, which I have stubbornly refused to watch because the Ex gave it to me for Christmas after spending two months talking about how much he wanted it. It's supposed to be pretty good, right?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:55 PM
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Lassen Sie Lola Durchlauf ist Parteizeit-Tätigkeit Spaß des guten Tanztanzes aufregender laufen.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:57 PM
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I thought Run Lola was fun. You could do worse.

Like Taxi zum Klo.


Posted by: Napi | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:58 PM
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Taxi zum Klo

I have vague memories that there is a bar in Berlin called Klo where the barstools are all toilet seats. I don't remember if we actually drank there, stumbled past, or made the idea up in a moment of drunken genius.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:02 PM
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John Emerson, the Nibelungen show up in the HOMMAGE À STALIN section of Heiner Müller's Germania Tod in Berlin. It gets really disgusting.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:02 PM
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The Lives of Others is great. So are Münchhausen and M.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:04 PM
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Klo Bar. Doesn't mention any toilet stools (so to speak), though.

Considering that there is also a bar in Berlin called Wohnzimmer, decorated as you'd imagine, I begin to suspect that there is a bar to be found for every room of the house.

I can't remember if I mentioned here Becketts Kopf, which I decided quite rapidly that I liked a lot. Drinks list comes in the form of pages interleaved into paperback editions of Beckett's work.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:07 PM
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62: Well, that covers the last 80 years then.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:07 PM
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Kann nicht! Muss! Kann nicht! Muss!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:07 PM
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I actually have no opinion about Müller. At first I thought y'all were referring to the Sanskritist.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:08 PM
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Okay, so I'm bookmarking this thread and making my shopping list.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:08 PM
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M is one of the films that struck me as being curiously ineffective because of its lack of background music. It struck me as closer to a silent movie than a talkie, for that reason.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:09 PM
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It struck me as it struck me as it struck me as


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:09 PM
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I'm always happy to watch The Blue Angel when it comes around on the tube.

On the Humiliation thread, Emerson described watching Titanic. I just remembered the description of how the movie was all the rage in Taliban controlled Kabul, in A Thousand Slendid Suns. The book is worth reading, but it is certainly funny to think about people risking beatings and worse to watch Titanic, wear tshirts from the movie, sing the song, etc.


Posted by: Napi | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:11 PM
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There's supposedly a bar in Münster called "Münster Kommun" or however they spell "commune" in German. The Münster Commune is my favorite European religio-military group.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:11 PM
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63: Okay, then I'm sure I've never been there. I have to think, regardless of condition, that's the sort of place I'd remember. Damn, now I wish I'd been there.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:12 PM
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Kommune, like the Brecht play Die Tage der Kommune.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:13 PM
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Splendid, of course


Posted by: Napi | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:13 PM
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For the last 4 years I've kept track of the movies that I see and I just looked at the list. It appears that every German movie I've seen in that time has been nigh-suicidally depressing, except "The Lives of Others", which is just moderately depressing.

Der Untergang (Downfall)
Diary of a Lost Girl
Faustrecht der Freiheit (Fox and his Friends)
Funny Games
M
Sophie Scholl: Die Letzte Tage (Sophie Scholl: The Final Days)
Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others)
Mother Küsters Goes to Heaven (Mutter Küsters' Fahrt zum Himmel)
The Merchant of Four Seasons (Händler der vier Jahreszeiten)
Stroszek
Zentropa (Europa)

"Goodbye Lenin" might be the only non-depressing German film I've ever seen.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:16 PM
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Uhh, you're just asking for it with Funny Games. Depressing doesn't even begin to describe it. That said, I just saw a preview of the English version, and I recommend it! Especially if you've seen the German version! The contrast is interesting, and it is a completely different experience to see it a second time around.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:17 PM
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Mutter Küsters wasn't really depressing either. Although it did leave me hating humanity in general.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:21 PM
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Hmm. My intellectual resolve is fading. Maybe some nice Benjamin Bluemchen or Biene Maya...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:21 PM
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When I took a course in the history of German film, M was the only one of the B&W movies that I liked. Metropolis I couldn't get into, Das Blaue Licht was odd, and the last one was Jud Süß.

I saw an Austrian movie a few years that I think was called Dog Days, and I had trouble staying awake through it.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:23 PM
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Lucy, are you still there? I have a Portuguese literature project I talk to everyone about if they know Portugurese: "Menina e moca" by Ribeiro.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:23 PM
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Ned, you might try the Maria Braun trilogy. (The trilogy that begins with Maria Braun). It's not Hollywood froth, but I wouldn't say that depressing is a fair description either.


Posted by: Napi | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:23 PM
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65: Blume are you quoting the German dub of Robot Monster again?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:25 PM
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Jenseits der Stille/Beyond Silence is also non-depressing.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:25 PM
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Ooh, Sylvie Testud. That's enough to recommend it for me.

I didn't know she spoke German.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:28 PM
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When you consider that Nietzsche was making an enormous effort to be light-hearted and life-affirming, you can see the seriousness and depth of the problem.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:28 PM
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86

Der Himmel über Berlin isn't, like, totally depressing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:29 PM
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Zentropa was a tremendously awesome movie, though.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:33 PM
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Not Goethe? God that'll teach me not to guess without googling. Gosh.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:41 PM
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86: I was just thinking about that movie, too. The ending sucks, but the movie is sooo pretty. And Bruno Ganz! Nick Cave! The library!

I saw it again last summer at the Kreuzberg open-air movie theater, just a block or two from where a lot of it is set. God, I love movies about Berlin.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:42 PM
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90

Movies about Boston, on the other hand...


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:46 PM
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The author of that piece was a child-abusing hunchback, you know.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:47 PM
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... are also often depressing, but sometimes for very different reasons!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:47 PM
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90, 91, 92 is a delicious child-abusing hunchback sandwich on a depressing-movie-about-Boston roll.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:48 PM
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M is one of the films that struck me as being curiously ineffective because of its lack of background music. It struck me as closer to a silent movie than a talkie, for that reason.

I have pretty much the opposite impression.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:49 PM
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Neither Toulouse-Lautrecht nor Kierkegaard was a hunchback, however. Kierkegaard had an unimposing physique, but no hunch, and TL was a midget or dwarf.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:51 PM
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94, you think silent movies are more effective at creating suspense and other moods than movies with music and dialogue are?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:51 PM
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Toulouse-Lautrecht

That's "Knecht Lautrecht".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:52 PM
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Ned, like Google Search, is nitpicky but helpful about spelling. Dwarf.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:54 PM
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Silent movies are full of background music. You've watched them, right? And the silences in M when people weren't talking or traffic not running I found pretty effective. The balloon caught in the power lines after the mother called for Elsie? You didn't think that scene was effective? M is more of a procedural, not a suspense film, anyway.

The funny thing, though, is that Peter Lorre couldn't whistle. So the film actually has a bit of a soundtrack.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:55 PM
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Der bewegte Mann is a German comedy that's pretty funny.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:56 PM
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Das Leben ist eine Baustelle
Männer

both also reasonably funny.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:59 PM
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85: and by seriousness, I mean seriousness.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:00 PM
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WHAT IS FASSBINDER"S MOST HILARIOUS FILM


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:00 PM
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103: that's a tough one, but I'd have to say Air Bud: Golden Reciever.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:01 PM
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Speaking of silents, google video has a version of The Man with a Movie Camera with an interesting soundtrack. My brother-in-law tells me it's by Cinematic Orchestra who are related to Amon Tobin. I don't know anything about music, so that doesn't mean anything to me, but maybe it means something to the rest of you.

Google video also has a similar silent about Berlin, but I'm blanking on the name.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:03 PM
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WAS MEINST DU SIE SIND DOCH ALLE WAHNSINNIG KOMISCH


Posted by: EIGENWILLIGE OMA | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:03 PM
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107

Berlin, Symphonie einer Großstadt?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:04 PM
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108

"Der Schwarzfahrer" is a pretty good German short.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:05 PM
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109

Oops, Die Symphonie der Großstadt. The other is the 2002 remake, which is really disappointing.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:05 PM
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EIGENWILLIGE OMA and OPINIONATED GRANDMA had better not be the same person, let me tell you.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:06 PM
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107: yes, that's it.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:06 PM
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105: very cool. Cinematic Orchestra is great, as is that movie.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:07 PM
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113

Or maybe 109 is it. It's probably easy to tell the two apart.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:08 PM
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114

110: dissociative identity disorder! ATM.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:09 PM
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90: Good Will Hunting! Good Will Hunting!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:09 PM
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114: it gets worse: they're both me.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:09 PM
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117

We could also put that in the 'movies about Cambridge' category, along with 'Love Story'.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:10 PM
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118

I saw Man With A Movie Camera in the theater with a soundtrack performed live by the Alloy Orchestra. It was pretty spectacular.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:11 PM
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117: How High was allegedly about Harvard, and that was a terrific movie.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:13 PM
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120

That bar scene in Good Will Hunting is amusing from a history grad student perspective. (Before anyone asks, I actually do like apples.)


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:14 PM
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121

There must some sort of parody flick or some such called Bridge on the River Cam, and if there isn't, there should be.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:16 PM
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More importantly, Matt Damon is adorable.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:16 PM
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Hey Sifu, the plot synopsis for that film at IMDB is empty. Make your mark on the internet!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:16 PM
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124

Blume reveals herself to be out of touch enough not to recognize a landmark of recent cinema.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:17 PM
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There also have to be movies about "technology" set at MIT, right?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:17 PM
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123: Plot Summary: Method and Red are super high, at Harvard.

125: the only movie which prominently features MIT that I can think of is Blown Away, and that's pretty terrible.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:19 PM
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There's a hipness test, and if you pass it they don't let you teach college.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:21 PM
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I'm not actually much of a fan of Good Will Hunting, though I liked it when I saw it the first time.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:22 PM
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Well, Blume is a Nazi, as we've established here.

"Good Will Hunting" struck me as a triangular fantasy: mathematicians who wish they were thugs, thugs who wish they were mathematicians, and hollywood types who wish they were thugs or mathematicians.

I thought Minnie Driver was cute. She sort of defines the Hollywood limit of who can be attractive at all -- not standardly Hollywood-attractive, so she counts as "homely but cute" in Hollywood, but actually darn good looking by everyday standards.

My sister watches cop and hospital shows and I had to explain to her that real cops, doctors, and nurses are often fat, homely, dumpy-looking, and unstylish. She was crushed. Tears rolled down her face.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:22 PM
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Being good is not a requirement for the list. See Love Story.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:22 PM
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I presume that part of this movie took place in some crepuscular corner of MIT where one is likely to be eaten by open-source software before time t and free software on or after time t.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:24 PM
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There was a recent movie made about that group of MIT students who made millions with their system for cheating at cards, wasn't there?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:26 PM
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Card counting isn't cheating, Ned. Way to buy into the casino's ideology.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:26 PM
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129: that's the best review of "Good Will Hunting" I've ever seen. I guess the academy-award winning originality lies in getting the seemingly contradictary mathematician fantasy and thug fantasy into the same movie.

Plus, when you fantasize being a thug and a mathematician at once, it exponentiates the coolness of either fantasy separately, since each one cancels out the weakness of the other one. Same thing for being a thug and a poet or a thug and a musician, but those fantasy combos have already been done to death.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:27 PM
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I thought they were cheating by secretly communicating with each other and pretending to be strangers and that sort of thing.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:27 PM
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Oh no! Those two people are pretending to be strangers! SHOW THEM THE DOOR!!!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:28 PM
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Counting isn't cheating, but the casinos are allowed to throw you out if they think you're counting, because they can throw you out whenever. So if you want to count, you have to be subtle about it. Since the counting itself isn't cheating, neither is the subtlety, no matter how complex it is.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:29 PM
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Yeah, what the casinos do to prevent card-counting is cheating. Blackjack is a game of skill, and they can't allow that.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:30 PM
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Correct, they only allow people who treat it as a game of chance.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:31 PM
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Er, not to be all serious (though that's what I'm best at), but was Will Hunting a "thug"? I remember "working class," but nothing particularly thugish. Also, I can't repeat this enough: Matt Damon, yum.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:32 PM
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I read the book on that MIT bunch (who I'm sure were only one of many groups, just the first to get their own book). There's a scene where the casino thugs actually beat up one of the students. Although they followed them to some Caribbean casino to do it.

The claim is that big money was at stake. But I suspect this kind of publicity helps the casinos, since it makes average chumps believe they can beat the games.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:33 PM
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135: In bridge people cheat by figuring out codes to communicate their cards to one another. The bidding is supposed to be the only evidence.

A lot of people also cheat by using shills in poker. Shills play a smart hand but they're not playing with their own money and they skew the game by doing whatever is best for the casino, rather than playing their hand for themselves.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:34 PM
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141: I knew a guy who would count cards in Vegas years ago. This was before they were quite as tuned in to the single-player counting strategies. He once won $25,000 in a marathon, acid-fueled weekend. He had to give them a fake ID for tax purposes, since he was under 21, but they bought it and gave him the cash, which he brought directly to a hacker con and spent on drugs and strippers for all the geeky underage dudes there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:35 PM
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Possibly the least-recommended investment strategy of all.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:37 PM
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Just so you all know, 131 was extremely clever.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:37 PM
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A lot of people also cheat by using shills in poker. Shills play a smart hand but they're not playing with their own money and they skew the game by doing whatever is best for the casino, rather than playing their hand for themselves.

Kind of like the referees (or players) who don't try to decide who wins the game, but try to make sure the total number of points is above or below the line that has been set by bookies.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:38 PM
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142: I think shills in poker are connected to another private player; the house just makes money by taking a percentage of all bets. The shill works by getting more money into the pot when their partner signals a particularly good hand.

143: it was so obvious that Beer Nuts was Sifu. A good thing about that story is the way that real acid-heads actually view tripping as a performance enhancer, it helps them focus in some astral way. The ultimate example is that pitcher who pitched the perfect game on acid back in the 70s.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:39 PM
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A guy got an Olympic gold medal on weed awhile back. Snowboarding, wouldn't you guess.

Alex English (I think) tested positive for cocaine after scoring 30 points in one game.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:43 PM
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Fuck. FIFTY points.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:43 PM
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"I'll just watch Run Lola Run"

As Napi said, a fun movie. I still listen to the soundtrack- heavy techno, so if you don't like that kind of music......


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:43 PM
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147.2: for him it was mostly useful in that his system only worked if you played for eight or so hours straight. So he'd drop a bunch, play for eight hours, go see a (generally comped) show and nap a little, then go back to the tables. Tough to do if you're (e.g.) drinking.

I know another guy who scored a million and a half points in Tony Hawk Pro Skater while on acid. Draw your own conclusions.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:44 PM
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I found that a couple times on marijuana I was more able to focus on what I was studying than at any other time, and it helped me on tests. Something to do with the reduction in peripheral vision.

Did not try to do this the night before tests, though. It wasn't that reliable.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:45 PM
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148: Pot stays in the system so long (weeks to months) that testing positive carries no implication at all for whether someone was actually high at a given time. So I wonder if he was stoned while snowboarding or whatever.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:49 PM
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153: This was actually an issue in a case I worked on recently. Yay! Now I can bill for this!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:51 PM
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153: The Man denies that pot is a performance-enhancing drug.

Has The Man ever lied to us? The question answers itself.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:51 PM
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The snowboarder claimed that he did not smoke, but was in an environment where smoke was present, didn't he?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:53 PM
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156: yes. He pleaded hot-boxing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:54 PM
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Would the snowboarder lie to us? Another question that answers itself.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:55 PM
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So that's where that title came from!


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:56 PM
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157: I was trying to think of the name.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:56 PM
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159: in an amusing regional twist, where I grew up it was called "clambaking."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:57 PM
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It was a no-hitter, not a perfect game. Dock Ellis. He walked something like 8 people and hit another...figured his control would be off.

http://www.dallasobserver.com/2005-06-16/news/balls-out/


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:59 PM
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How funny would it be if the swimming post didn't get any comments at all?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 7:34 PM
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rent Lola rennt already, Di.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 11:33 PM
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164: Oh, I own it Werdna. But if the ex hears me watching it, he'll be all like "See, you did like it," and then I'll be all like "Yeah, but you gave it to me because you wanted it," and then he'll be all "You never appreciated anything," and I'll be all "Everything you ever did was all about you." Better that it should sit on my shelf until he moves out where it contributes in it's own quiet way to very carefully calibrated level of passive aggression around here.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 11:44 PM
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Nirgendwo in Afrika is very good, if you're looking for movies that won't affect the carefully calibrated balance of passive aggression in your house. It might be a little hard to find, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 11:46 PM
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Adding it to my list. (And I can always watch Lola next weekend when he's at his girlfriend's.) I should probably check out this Netflix thing you people all seem to talk about.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 11:57 PM
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I just (well, last week) bought a copy of this book at a used bookstore solely because the cover is so awesome. (The back is also great.) You could do something like that, Di, and read 'stead of watch.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 12:02 AM
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That's not a bad idea either. There used to be a cool international bookstore in the Loop a decade or so ago. Maybe it's still there.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 12:08 AM
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It was there a few years ago.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 12:09 AM
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That is indeed an awesome cover. Last week I bought a 1903 Natick dictionary at a used bookstore (well, a bookstore that has both new and used books on the same shelves).


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 12:09 AM
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So if anyone feels the need to brush up on their Natick, I can help.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 12:10 AM
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I'll add it to my list.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 12:18 AM
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75: Also consider Der Schuh des Manitu -- basically the German Blazing Saddles. And there's also Feuerzangenbowle, which is escapist fare of historical dimensions.


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 5:20 AM
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My sister watches cop and hospital shows and I had to explain to her that real cops, doctors, and nurses are often fat, homely, dumpy-looking, and unstylish. She was crushed. Tears rolled down her face.

I had the misfortune recently to spend a couple of my days in a French hospital looking after my daughter, and I had a similar conversation with the French nurses. I remarked positively on the style of nursing they practiced in the hospital, and they were all keen to know whether Gray's Anatomy was an accurate depiction of a typical U.S. hospital.

Dude, so much better than the way he talked to his friends about Kleist.

Kleist? He's the Japanese messiah, right?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 5:28 AM
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Can't believe I missed out on a German thread. I was cooking dinner for nine, so not a lot of time to socialize with my pretend internet friends yesterday.

To the original topic of w-lfs-n's post, I found the passage interesting because it seems to react against a characteristic feature of German academic prose style, which is the taxonomic impulse. The drive to create Ordnung through classification and organization of classes into hierarchies is so commonplace that it doesn't strike most Germans as unusual, even though it's screamingly obvious to an anglo-saxon reader. It seems no proper academic paper can be without an introductory section labeled "Begriffserklärung".

Now, as it happens, this particular critique is wrong on the merits--there *really are* elementary particles from which all minerals originate--but the skepticism toward the taxonomic impulse is a healthy sentiment.

P.S. "Geschlechter" is commonly used to refer to the sexes, but its more general meaning is "kinds"; yet another example of the principle that any word with a sexual connotation will into disuse for other purposes.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 5:47 AM
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the taxonomic impulse

I love this. As an american academic I do indeed react against this impulse. My dislike is borne of too many papers that relabel things and argue about fine-grained distinctions without really increasing our understanding of the phenomenon.

That said, there's a kind of wild comprehensive taxonomic project in a field related to mine that I find perversely (ok, not perverse just counter to my usual dislike) interesting. I keep wondering if I could build some useful theory on top of it.


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 7:24 AM
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Better that it should sit on my shelf until he moves out where it contributes in it's own quiet way to very carefully calibrated level of passive aggression around here.

Holy shit, Di, am I understanding you right? You're still living under one roof with your ex-husband War of the Roses-style? I hadn't picked up on that before. What a nightmare!


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 7:39 AM
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178: Not yet legally ex, but yes. It is a never-ending source of joy and delight.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 8:07 AM
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Not yet legally ex, but yes.

Oy veh! OK, as far as I'm concerned, you've got a full dispensation to be bitchy any time you feel like it.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 8:16 AM
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I use War of the Roses extensively when I do couples counseling.

A friend of mine had to live that way for a year. If he had left, it would have been abandonment and he might have lost the house he had owned free and clear before he got married. They put a timeclock on the bathroom and kitchen and divided the house up with chalk lines.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 8:17 AM
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Holy shit, Di, am I understanding you right? You're still living under one roof with your ex-husband War of the Roses-style? I hadn't picked up on that before.

Di Kotimy's voice sounds just like Kathleen Turner. Plus, Di is mean, mean, mean, just like Turner in that movie.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 8:21 AM
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Ouch. My dad is in a similar situation, though without having a child to consider. My sympathies. Also, his ex-to-be is not right in the head for an added frisson of tire-slashing. I hadn't seen your Ecclesiastes mention in the other thread, until you pointed it out, sorry.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 8:27 AM
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lw, email me when you the chace


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 8:31 AM
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or even the chance.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 8:31 AM
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Have to disagree with Doug's recommendation of Die Feuerzangenbowle in 174. Maybe you've gotta grow up with that movie to feel the great nostalgia for it that Germans seem to feel. I don't get the attraction.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 8:46 AM
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Di Kotimy's voice sounds just like Kathleen Turner. Plus, Di is mean, mean, mean, just like Turner in that movie.

You thought she was mean in that movie? Huh. I was kind of thinking she showed remarkable self-restraint. Perspective is everything, I guess.

I hadn't seen your Ecclesiastes mention in the other thread, until you pointed it out, sorry.

Never apologize -- great minds think alike.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 8:54 AM
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Maybe you've gotta grow up with that movie to feel the great nostalgia for it that Germans seem to feel. I don't get the attraction.

Having never seen it, I can't comment knowledgeably, but my osmotic impression is that Blume is right: it's a movie that old people feel sentimental about and young people are indifferent to.

I do have a soft spot for Heinz Rühmann, though, so maybe I should see it.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 8:54 AM
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One German film I can recommend with reservations is Kohlhiesels Töchter (the 1962 version with the adorable Liselotte Pulver playing the role of both daughters). The reservation is that, well, it's not exactly what you'd call a great film, but it's cute and funny in its own way and I always liked it.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 9:02 AM
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"Stellen wir uns janz dumm. Wat iss eine Daampfmaschine?"

Feuerzangenbowle is a source of several key quotes in German culture, the kind of touchstone that you get to be passingly familiar with even if you haven't seen it, and don't feel the nostalgia. For an outsider like me, pulling a couple of those out, along with some Loriot and one or two other things, helps give the impression that I've acculturated. Like someone who wasn't born in the States being able to quote a bit from old SNL or something similar.

Actually, "escapist fare of historical dimensions" is more a meta-joke, related to the time of the film's original release.


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 9:12 AM
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there *really are* elementary particles from which all minerals originate

But is there an elementary particle? hmm, hmm, beard stroke.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 9:17 AM
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Aack, Loriot! Another 'Wtf, Germans?' I'd forgotten that the accents in Feuerzangenbowle are so fun, though.

(Also, got and appreciated your 'historical dimensions' line.)


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 9:24 AM
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Aack, Loriot!

- Die Ente bleibt draußen!

- Herr Müller-Lüdenscheidt, ich bade immer mit einer Ente.

- Nicht mit mir!


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 9:38 AM
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Loriot is a look into the heart of West Germany. It may make you go wtf, but once you've grokked him, you've understood Germany (or at least most of its western parts) intuitively. Thomas Gottschalk is for more advanced study. On the other hand, bits of Loriot really are funny ("Die Ente bleibt draussen!" or the Yodeldiplom sketch or "Das Bild hängt schief.")

For serious wtf action, I give you "Dinner for One," though that phenomenon is not limited to Germany...


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 9:40 AM
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Loriot is a look into the heart of West Germany.

So true. And for a look into the deepest, darkest recesses of that heart, there is Loriot's Advent.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 9:44 AM
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193: Loripwned!


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 9:46 AM
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AAArgh "Dinner for one" -- they used to show that on Swedish television too, and it is, for me, the elementary particle of WTF.

(now back to work).


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 9:56 AM
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The cultural salience of Dinner for One can scarcely be overstated. The line about "same procedure as every year" is so well-known that it has become a common trope in debates in the Bundestag (see here for one example, though I believe Antje Vollmer gets the credit for being the first to use it).


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 10:03 AM
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Skol!


Posted by: Admiral von Schneider | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 10:30 AM
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200!

Who needs swimming when we've got German pop culture?


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 10:31 AM
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Who needs swimming when we've got German pop culture?

Now ogged has gone and thrown out some red meat for the regulars to distract attention from the miserable failure of his swimming thread.

Unfogged: Come for the 18th century German philosphers, stay for the 20th century German caricaturists.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 10:40 AM
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Feierabend!

Be back tomorrow to see what everyone's coming for...


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 10:51 AM
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Has anybody else translated this? I didn't want to sift through 200 comments.

The attempt to find a common a common principle in many different sciences is perhaps just as pointless as it would be to try to find an ultimate principle in mineralogy through the application of which all minerals would arise.
Nature creates no genera and species, she creates individuals and it is through our myopia that we search for similarities in order to contain many in one. These concepts become more inaccurate the wider the categories which we create.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 4:23 PM
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Oh, man - that is eons better than the babel fish translation. Thanks bjk.


Posted by: Lucy | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 9:52 PM
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