Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Schadenfreude

This week's news has already given us a few reasons to feel supercilious: disdainfully arrogant, and it's only Wednesday. And no, I didn't just pull that one out, it is Google's Word of the Day. And it is quite coincidental and fortuitous because today's subject is Schadenfreude, the German expression (from Schaden: damage, harm; and Freude: joy) meaning pleasure taken from someone else's misfortune or shameful joy. And the two words are easily linked: the more supercilious a person, the greater degree of Schadenfreude they can arouse. But enough vocabulary for now, August is already giving us plenty to talk about.

Monday brought us the scandal surrounding Mel Gibson's drunk driving, anti-Semitic tirade. Quite a fall from grace for Gibson who is reputed to be the world’s biggest earning actor with a £450 million fortune. This after his Cruxifiction film will surely mean career suicide given many of the top honchos in Hollywood are Jewish. And as most of us can relate to a regrettable, drunken tirade (or ten), we can smugly say to Gibson (on this side of sober) 'Oi vey, you complete Schmuck'!

Speaking of Jewish film producers, it is not too shocking to hear that Woody Allen's latest London film,"Scoop," has been largely panned by the critics following its weekend release in the States. The premise of “Scoop” sounds like the wind-up to a joke: a journalist (Scarlett Johansson) walks into a magician’s (played by Allen himself) trick closet , where she meets an actual ghost, and — presto — walks out with a news lead of a lifetime (involving Hugh 'hotter than Grant' Jackman).

Whilst Allen has an acute ear for the vocal rhythms of New York and the "c'mon keep up" pace of its wit and irony. So far he has shown us a tin ear for real English life. The Sloany stereotypes, where everybody moves around gardens to the sounds of classical music, may play well to the prejudices of middle America but to knowing English ears, they clunk. And today that gives us a warm, self satisfying, Londoners Schadenfreude sensation. Not because we dislike Allen, but because we do know London.

And if all this shameless vocabulary dropping has given you a supercilious air, at least back it up with a trusted source: http://www.urbandictionary.com.

It's hipper than Google or Wikepedia, and current enough to help you unpick many a Woody Allen hidden sexual reference. Starting with the definition of the film's title. And you thought Allen was using the word, Scoop, to refer to the journalist's new story. Go on, look it up!

"Scoop" was released across the US last weekend. UK release TBA.
www.scoopmovie.net

17 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gibson is idiotic. How did he ever make that much? Handsome sure but an idiot

2:26 pm  
Anonymous martin said...

happy to see him fall. What a tosser. since Braveheart he has been useless.

3:38 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bring on the vocabulary lessons. I need it. Excellent one today. Keep going Slicker. A loyal fan

4:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard he was a good family man and doesn't do what a lot of other actors do - getting divorced after 2 seconds.
I am amazed how easily everyone seems to put a label on someone they don't actually know and how can anyone be "happy" to see another man fall??
He made a mistake!
Lucky for the world that some people (see above) never do!
BTW . . who is wearing the family brain cell today??

4:50 pm  
Anonymous Blythe said...

All CS blog said was Mel got drunk and said something stupid and that is regrettable. Do you deny this? Who said he wasnt a family man?

You are the one with a family brain cell today me thinks

4:54 pm  
Blogger The very nice man said...

'Calm down, calm down'!!
See what you've done now, City Slicker!? You've gone and got them all excited!
Schadenfreude - human as it is - like arguments produce much heat but little light!
Isn't it weared how much pleasure we get out of someone else's cock-ups??!

4:55 pm  
Anonymous Blythe said...

Good glad we cleared that up. And why are you dragging City Slicker into your family man comment? mel Gibson is an idiot. Fact. Family man or not.

4:59 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Braveheart. Why say more?

5:06 pm  
Blogger ems said...

Good post - love the link to the urban dictionary.

7:25 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lovin the dictionary Slicker
So cool cant believe its not broadcast about more

10:34 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOVE IT! Scoop yes know what we all think of Woody's mind. Go on double dare look up Woody next to scoop

11:46 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

looked scopp up slicker
do you mean to say allen means it as a hollow cavity? get it now

9:53 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel very educated now. I may just try a crossword puzzle. Nah, Soduku is plenty for me
Thanks CS

11:42 am  
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