Friday, January 11, 2008

Post Titled: Racist Books of our youth / effed-up words for our mouth(es) /and badass art for other people's walls
I sat around a table last weekend at Minibar- (sidenote: it is it an international crime of nature to open such a hidden jem of a bar up to Americans... have I done a horrible thing??? hmm. No, they're good people) with a bunch of Columbia graduates, which i was kind of excited about- I mean, "Ooohh, Columbia, that is a school they mention in Woody Allen movies all the time- oooh, your whole world is ficiton to me, keep talkig and I will tell you all I know about stuff you couldn't possible know as well, ok? fair trade-" - granted, in reality, they were just cool, funny, normal people -(keeping in mind that we are all sort of ex-pats in our 20s, it that is "normal") - anyhow, one guy was a physicist turned modern dancer white guy from from Vermont, another is a Opera writer/critic Jewish kid from NYC who has written for the WSJ, and the third was a black guy, a sort of soft-spoken intellecutal-rasta-looking anthropology major originally from Philly who couldn't believe that Berlin ddn't really have an ethnically African neighborhood... I studderd and coul d barely offer an explanation.

So, we are all in this tiny place called Minibar, the only bar I seem to go to onsistently, and really yacking it up, - and the subject of racist kids books comes up. Apparently they had all read Kipling as children and had later been horrified at how blatantly racist it was, I on the other hand, remember constantly reading and re-reading Little Black Sambo at my grandmother's house. I haven't actually thought about that in years, but I loved the artwork...

It is friday, I have been at work for over an hour and only ACCOMPLISHED one thing, that is, inventing the word: "geklautsgeleihen", which was necessary to use in the subject line of the following email to our IT department:
"BETREFF: buch geklautsgeleihen
hallo marco, wollte nur bescheid sagen das ich hab die Photoshop 7 buch hier bei mir, wollte nur ein paar sachen lesen, ich bringe es bald wieder zurück, oder wenn't eigentlich dringend ist dann sag mir bescheid-
it is kind of silly, but perfect for the pure practical utility of the German language, which is full of words just like this. Geklautsgeleihen is a combination of "geklaut"- past tense of steal, and "ausgeleihen"- to take out on loan, like a library book. So, geklautsgeleihen just means to borrow without asking- as people sometimes tend to do.
Another oddity that is not realy on-topic: "bescheid sagen" - what the hell? One of the little things, or- one of the examples of the litle things of the German language which are roadblocks to any grosser understanding, just because "bescheid sagen" (literally "to tell answer") is used as "just let me know"...ok, maybe it isn#t sooo bad.
Another wierd coincidence which I might as well throw in: the dancer guy from Vermont (mentioned above) had hitchhiked from Paris to Switzerland to see a piece by his favorite modern dance choreographer, they had arrived an hour or too to late, but he was able to meet with him and get free tickets for the next night. Later he saw the same piece in NY and the choreographer remembered him and they had a long talk, "this man is amazing- the best" blah blah, meanwhile -coincidentally- our friend and former neighbor just happens to be the son of this choreographer, small effing world... and weird when you know nothing about the world of dance whatsoever... or any specific subject for that matter.

the Unbearably ABSTRACT VAGUENESS of the German language...

FURTHERMORE, I went to Babel Fish and looked up "bescheid" to get the answer "answer" and then (which is what all the Germans I know use) and the list is thus:

Direct Matches
advice [bank.] der Bescheid i
answer der Bescheid i
assessment [finan.] der Bescheid [Steuerwesen] i
communication der Bescheid i
decision der Bescheid i
information no plural der Bescheid i
notice [law] der Bescheid - amtlich oder gerichtlich i
notification der Bescheid - einer Behörde i
notification [law] der Bescheid - amtlich oder gerichtlich i
office action (Amer.) [law] der Bescheid i
official letter (Brit.) [law] der Bescheid i
official notification [law] der Bescheid - amtlich oder gerichtlich
order der Bescheid i
reply der Bescheid i
ruling der Bescheid i
verdict der Bescheid i
answer to der Bescheid auf i

Verbs and Verb Phrases

to hear | heard, heard | Bescheid bekommen i
to let so. know jmdm. Bescheid geben i
to call in Bescheid sagen i
to get back to so. jmdm. Bescheid sagen i
to let so. know jmdm. Bescheid sagen i
to be in the know Bescheid wissen i
to know Bescheid wissen i
to know the score Bescheid wissen i
to understand Bescheid wissen i
to be in on sth. über etw. Bescheid wissen i
to know about so./sth. über jmdn./etw. Bescheid wissen i
to give so. a piece of one's mind jmdm. gehörig Bescheid sagen i

Composed Entries

adverse decision abschlägiger Bescheid i
negative reply abschlägiger Bescheid i
refusal abschlägiger Bescheid i
rescript allerhöchster Bescheid i
definite advice [insur.] endgültiger Bescheid i
definite decision endgültiger Bescheid i
written opinion schriftlicher Bescheid i
notice of deficiency Bescheid über unrichtige Angaben in der

You know. Sie wissen Bescheid.

P.S. the show tonight opening at the Lawrimore project "THE PROM - A Semi-Formal Survey of Semi-Formal Painting" looks positively badass... it also makes me feel a bit validated to have bought a few little Robert Hardgrave paintings a few years back, he really is amazing.


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