26 August 2009

On the use of the word "Nazi"

For me, it began with Seinfeld and the Soup Nazi.

While I found the character hilarious, I never understood why the word "Nazi" was being used to describe the soup guy's psychotic behavior. Soon, however, it seemed that Nazi became an acceptable adjective to describe a range of ailments, and since the Seinfeld days I've heard or read the term Shoe Nazi, Food Nazi, Club Nazi, and the ubiquitous: "God, you're such a fucking Nazi," which when translated means, you have a different opinion.

Moreover, the term has been dusted off and used in a non-humorous (?) context to describe the President of the United States. And while that may be hilarious in what it reveals about the complete batshittiness of what's left of the Republican Party, it's still a disturbing misappropriation of a word whose referent should remain clear and undiluted.

Perhaps I'm sensitive because I live in Germany, but each time I hear or read the word Nazi to describe someone who doesn't have anything to do with real Nazis, I get a bit stabby.

To be clear, here are some Nazis:

Humiliation of an elderly Jew in Poland
(Courtesy of www.isurvived.org)

And here is some more of the shit they did:

I fail to see the humor here and so I'm calling bullshit on the use of that term in a humorous context. In fact, I'm calling bullshit on its use in a non-humorous context as well if it doesn't have anything to do with the fucking Fascists for whom the term was coined.

22 August 2009

Für Dich

Was man so braucht . . .

Man braucht nur eine Insel
allein im weiten Meer.
Man braucht nur einen Menschen,
den aber braucht man sehr.

Mascha Kaléko

14 August 2009

The Green Party Posters . . .

. . . that I was bitching about on Tuesday, have been removed according to this article in The Local.


The way to the heart

I've been living like a princess the past few weeks, having been fortunate enough to meet someone special who loves to cook. Alas, it was eventually my turn to rock the pots and so I returned to an old favorite, which I hoped would do just a little bit to impress a food "snob."

Herb, Garlic, and Lemon Roast Chicken

4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
Minced zest of two lemons
5 or 6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
3 Tbsp minced fresh thyme, or 1 Tbsp dried thyme, finely crumbled
2 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary, or 2 Tsp dried rosemary, finely crumbled
2 Tbsp minced fresh sage, or 2 Tsp dried sage, finely crumbled
5 to 6 pound roaster or capon
About 2 Tbsp soy sauce
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375º F.

In a small bowl combine the butter, lemon zest, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and sage; blend well. Reserve.

Wash the chicken and dry thoroughly, inside and out, with paper toweling. Beginning with neck opening, slip your fingers between the chicken skin on one side of the breast, leaving the skin attached at the cavity opening, Using your fingers in the same way, work under the skin of the thigh and leg, leaving the skin attached at the end of the leg. Loosen the skin on the other side of the chicken in the same way.

Insert most of the lemon-and-herb butter under the skin with one hand, using the other hand to distribute the butter evenly from the outside. Rub the remaining flavored butter inside the cavity. Pull the skin at the neck over the opening and skewer it or sew it with heavy kitchen thread to the back of the chicken. Tie the legs together with cotton string.

Rub the entire outside surface of the chicken with soy sauce, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a rack in a roasting pan and roast, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350º and cook, basting with pan drippings every 15 minutes, until the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced, about 1 hour and 20 minutes to 1 hour and 40 minutes (or 20 minutes per pound) total cooking time. Remove the string, stuff the cavity with fresh herbs, and serve hot or at room temperature.

With this I served garlic mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli tossed with lemon juice and butter.

I was a bit disappointed with my wacky oven, which has a very uneven heating pattern. This meant that I had to adjust the cooking time and temperature and pay closer attention to the process than I usually do.

Whatever, HE seemed to enjoy the finished results . . . and I did, too, for that matter.

Okay, so now I can go back to being a princess for the next week or so. Hmmmm . . . I wonder what's for dinner on Sunday.


13 August 2009

Dr. DJ

My dear friend Pedro recently had the opportunity to act out his John Peel radio fantasies, and the results were fantastic. Pedro is from Portugal, so unless you can understand Portuguese the lovely DJ banter will be lost on you. That said, Portuguese is a beautiful language so it doesn't matter really whether you understand it or not.

Okay, it doesn't matter to me.

Pedro, if that academic career doesn't pan out the way you'd like, I see a future for you in radio . . .

In any case, the set can be downloaded here. Enjoy!


The National: "All the Wine"
Why?: "Good Friday"
Sufjan Stevens: "Decatur"... Read More
Sleater-Kinney: "You're No Rock 'N Roll Fun"
The Chameleons: "Swamp Thing"
Triffids: "Blinded By The Hour"
João Coração: "Muda Que Muda"
Gilberto Gil: "Domingo No Parque"
Animal Collective: "Summertime Clothes"
XTC: "Greenman"
cLOUDDEAD: "Dead Dogs Two"
Guided By Voices: "Tractor Rape Chain"
Thin White Rope: "Ahr Skidar"
Yo La Tengo: "Pablo And Andrea"
Sérgio Godinho: "Horas Extraordinárias"

11 August 2009

Operation Optimism!

Well the day began nicely enough. I read an article on the BBC website that claims women who are optimistic live longer. According to the article,

The research on nearly 100,000 women, published in the journal Circulation, found pessimists had higher blood pressure and cholesterol.

Even taking these risk factors into account, attitude alone altered risks.

Optimistic women had a 9% lower risk of developing heart disease and a 14% lower risk of dying from any cause after more than eight years of follow-up.

I already have high blood pressure, but the last time I had my cholesterol checked it was fine. Okay, that was two years ago, so who knows what state it's currently in. Details aside, however, after reading this article, I thought seriously about my Weltanschauung and what I could do to improve it and increase my chances of living past my next birthday.

Then I went to the Huffington Post.

While there, I came to the conclusion that the only thing that can improve both my outlook on life and increase my longevity is to stop using the Internet. I guess it had something to do with that piece on health care reform and the sign I saw calling President Obama "The Anus of America."

But then I had a nice lunch with my dear friend Silke and all was well with me and the world . . . until I returned home, logged into Facebook, and read a message from my friend Marc about the assification of Germany's Green Party.

Image courtesy of www.gruene-kaarst.de


For my non-German-speaking readers, it says "The only reason to vote Black." Here black refers to Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats . . . and the woman of course.



And then I went back to the Huffington Post and saw this, too.

Image courtesy of www.huffingtonpost.com

I guess he was working in the corn fields the week his history class covered World War II.


But then Susanna sent me this and I laughed out loud and felt instantly better. So all of this negative shit notwithstanding, I think I'll be okay. Unlike the women who harbor hostile thoughts and feelings, which eventually kill them, I release mine through the wonder of Web 2.0.*

So, to those of you who do not want to live in a country that provides basic health coverage to all of its citizens,

Fuck you.

To Green Party members who are either too naive or too stupid to understand why some people find this campaign poster offensive,

Fuck you, too.

And now I will get ready to meet my dear friend Lars for a drink and enjoy the end of what has been a wonderful day.

So don't worry Stefan, I'm fine!

*yeah, the same Web 2.0 that's making me crazy in the first place. Whatever.

04 August 2009

In which our heroine discovers
that life often imitates urban myth

When I was an undergraduate (early 1980s) there was a rumor* going around about some guy whose wife or girlfriend had superglued his penis to his thigh because he had been cheating on her. One of my roommates even swore that she knew somebody who knew the couple. When I challenged her on the story, she became quite angry, as folks do when you call them on being witnesses to bullshit stories.

In any case, there seemed to be an epidemic of penis gluing back then, but none of these stories was ever confirmed to my satisfaction. See, this is what we did before the internet. We just screamed back and forth at each other:

No it's not, I know them personally!!
Liar! You are so full of shit!!

Alas, now friends of Therese Ziemann, Michelle Belliveau, Wendy Sewell, Tracy Hood-Davis, and Donessa Davis will be able to scream, "I know some women who glued this guy's penis!!" or "I know a guy who got his penis glued!" and their silly stories will be instantly verifiable. I'll save you the trouble of the Google search, though. You can find the story and pics of the women in the Independent.

And now I'm left wondering if people just go to the Snopes.com in search of myths they can turn into fact. At this point, I'm willing to believe anything.


*The term urban myth had not yet been coined.