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“Say things” and “plaything” don’t rhyme!!!!!!!!!!!!

“Say things” and “plaything” don’t rhyme!!!!!!!!!!!! published on No Comments on “Say things” and “plaything” don’t rhyme!!!!!!!!!!!!

There’s a verse in the German Labyrinth that goes:

Wenn ich in deine Seele tauche
Und dich für meine Lust gebrauche
Dann word ich deine Sinne blenden
Das Spiel kannst nur du selbst beenden

Oomph! changed the lyrics for the English version to:

When I possess your soul, I’ll say things
And use you as my personal plaything
The time will come — I’ll dull your senses
If you don’t stop, this game is endless

That is one of the most flaccid translations ever. What the hell, Oomph!? How can you translate that verse with a screamingly obvious lack of, well, oomph?

Here’s a more literal translation, courtesy of yours truly:

When I plunge into your soul
And use you for my lust
Then I will blind your senses
Only you can end this game

And my less literal translation, still a work in progress:

I’ll go deep inside your core
And I’ll use you as I please
I will blind you and benight you
Only you can end this game

See where Oomph!’s stinks? This is a verse that needs short, sharp, declarative words — concussive stuff, assaultive language, precision. But instead Oomph! goes for the multisyllables [“possess,” “personal plaything”], which, while plosive, attenuate the brief force of the German.

Also…seriously, Oomph!? You’re gonna go all generic in a verse that needs specificity? The original indicates a targeted inward strike, followed by exploitation for lust, and then a complete sensory overpowering. The speaker says exactly what’s going to happen, while, in the English, we have just a vague “possession,” during which the speaker will “say things,” followed by “dull[ing] senses.” In the original, we have complete physical and mental ruination precipitated by rape, after which comes sensory implosion. In the English, it sounds like the speaker is casually planning to set up shop inside the listener’s skull and talk about, you know, some stuff, while fucking around a little bit, which might cause blurred vision.

They’re so good with other parts of the song too. For example, Klopf klopf, lass mich rein / Lass mich dein Geheimnis sein is literally Knock knock, let me in / Let me be your secret. But the English goes, Knock knock, let me in / Let me be your secret sin, which captures not only the rhyme, but also the shame and humiliation for which the speaker is aiming. Too bad they couldn’t sustain it.

“Achtung and lots of spit”

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I read an essay in Smithsonian years back in which the author described childhood war games. When the author and friends were being Nazis, they used their imaginative interpretation of German. In a memorable turn of phrase, the author describes this fictional German as being made up primary of Achtung and lots of spit. Whenever I think of this, I snicker.

Given my recent NDH Ohrwurmer, the phrase Achtung and lots of spit comes to mind again. It’s actually a fair approximation of the percussive enunciations that at least Rammstein likes to use [“Rrrrrrrrrrein rrrrrrrrrrraus…”]. Oomph! does it too, but with less growling and more banging.

NDH: making German sound like a self-parody since whenever the genre developed. ^_^

Thalia’s shirt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thalia’s shirt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! published on No Comments on Thalia’s shirt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I feel quite proud of myself. I used my new [to me — found it by the side of the road a few years back] sewing machine today, successfully threading the thread and the bobbin, then hemming Thalia’s shirt. As previously mentioned, I used a pattern Lyrajean told me about — one she has used for her own BJDs. I modified it by leaving off the neck ruff and tying off the cuffs with raw fabric instead of ribbon. I also used a long piece of raw fabric as a belt, with the tails pinned like a sash over Thalia’s left shoulder.

Hooray! I have completed my first piece of 1:3 scale clothing!!!!

Continue reading Thalia’s shirt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NDH breaks mein Herz.

NDH breaks mein Herz. published on No Comments on NDH breaks mein Herz.

With regret and nausea, I’m going to suspend the assumption that Oomph! eschews Rammstein’s metric fuckton of misogyny. I mean — they’re both in the same genre [Neue Deutsche Härte, a.k.a. NDH, “New German Hardness,” or, more metaphorically, “A Good German Bang” or possibly “Teutonic Stiffie”]. Indeed, Oomph! was even seminal enough [see what I did there? <_< ] to influence Rammstein. Also they have a 2011 album called Wahnsinns fette Beute [“Insanity’s Junk in the Trunk”], so whoop de doo; I don’t particularly want to listen to that.

I really think there’s an opportunity here for NDH about something other than Misogynist DeathSex. I’m sure it exists; maybe I just haven’t found it.

“Links rechts gerade aus / Links rechts gerade aus…”

“Links rechts gerade aus / Links rechts gerade aus…” published on No Comments on “Links rechts gerade aus / Links rechts gerade aus…”

Soooooooo SeventhBard and Roland introduced me and Jareth to Oomph!, a German slammer band. They don’t have the musical, uh, oomph of Rammstein, but that have tons more humor and more fun, not to mention a scenery-chewing complete hambone for a lead singer. And none of the sicko Baudelairean perverted Misogynist DeathSex [so far]!

Naturally, I downloaded Oomph!’s Labyrinth. The song and music video together are clearly the result of a bangin’ threesome between Labyrinth the movie, Alice’s Adventures Underground, and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, the sexcapades of which were then followed by a viewing of Pan’s Labyrinth and dramatic readings of Blake’s Sick Rose, as well as Dickinson’s Me from Myself — to Banish, with Rammstein’s album Mutter for a little mood music, not to mention a compendium of knock knock jokes for a chaser. Yes, knock knock jokes. ^_^

Aaaaaanyway, in the immortal words of Howard Dean speaking to the Governor’s Institute class of summer, 1994, this song grabs me where I like to be grabbed, so I’m planning an accompanying photostory. Below we have Jareth as one of the players. Please ignore the shirt intersecting with the pants and all such crap.


Continue reading “Links rechts gerade aus / Links rechts gerade aus…”

Today’s business jargon

Today’s business jargon published on No Comments on Today’s business jargon


“Why don’t you and she touch bases and find where the connection points are so we can have a discussion around how to leverage the synergy?”


Well, okay, I just heard the phrase leverage the synergy, but people are always touching base, finding connection points, and having discussions around things in my workplace, so it’s eminently plausible that this sentence has come out of someone’s mouth.


I just can’t use touch base. It sounds like a grade Z euphemism for something objectionable. Don’t touch my base! Keep your hands to yourself!



50 shades of unintentional connotations

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The following conversation occurred at work the other day:


MD executive [jokingly, to HR executive, holding up document]: This is like that book 50 Shades of Grey!

Me [to MD executive’s assistant]: Did he just say what I think he said?! To an HR person?!

MD executive’s assistant: Yeahhhhh…he doesn’t know what that book’s about.

Me [later, after some thought]: Did he mean that it was confusing and hard to understand, like it wasn’t black and white, but shades of grey?

MD executive’s assistant: Yup, and, while that’s technically correct…

Me: Jeez, I really hope that document wasn’t like grade Z erotica.

I expect there was some subtlety lost in translation too, as the MD executive’s primary language is not English.

And here, my dear readers, we have a great illustration of the difference between connotation and denotation. If I say in an exasperated voice, “Ugh, this stinkin’ document is 50 shades of grey!” it is eminently plausible that I’m annoyed at its endless sfumato murkiness, and I could certainly use the words to denote that — that is, to indicate it definitionally. However, such a remark now currently carries associations with certain pieces of grade Z erotica, so, even if I mean something frustratingly ambiguous, no one will interpret my remark that way.

Speaking of grey, apparently une éminence grise does NOT mean an old, respected, redoubtable person, but a power behind the throne. I always thought it referred to an old eminent person, with the grey alluding to the person’s grey hair, but apparently it refers to Francois Leclerc du Tremblay, the advisor of Cardinal Richelieu. Leclerc was technically not due the title of Eminence, as he wasn’t a cardinal, but people called him the Grey Eminence in respect to his power. The grise denotes not the color grey, but Leclerc’s beige friar robes. I guess beige was called grise back then. Makes me wonder what the French for beige was.

“Back! Back to the fetid darkness that spawned you, you fiend!”

“Back! Back to the fetid darkness that spawned you, you fiend!” published on No Comments on “Back! Back to the fetid darkness that spawned you, you fiend!”

“And…uh…make like a trowel and hit the bricks, okay?” The immortal words of Janine, Valley Girl narrator of Esther M. Friesner’s classic short story, The Blood-Ghoul of Scarsdale, adequately sum up my response to Fox recently coughing up a teaser trailer for their rehash of Rocky Horror. The other part of my response was a barely coherent, “Laverne, nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Your makeup looks great, but noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!”


I’m gonna go reread The Blood-Ghoul of Scarsdale to console myself. It’s a self-aware parody of classic horror, but at least it’s not a festering slag heap of [trans]misogyny.


P.S. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!



The beauty of self-decapitation and other marvels of vintage magic show posters

The beauty of self-decapitation and other marvels of vintage magic show posters published on No Comments on The beauty of self-decapitation and other marvels of vintage magic show posters

I am currently making a digital changing room for use at one of my favorite mini universe events to recreate in digital — a kink fest. First I thought it was going to be a vintage theater dressing room with a well-lit vanity and old playbills on the walls, but I didn’t feel like spending money on this set. Then I thought maybe old circus posters, but I couldn’t fit good ones with high resolution and unrestricted reproduction rights.

And then I discovered, which has a whole section of freely reproducible circus posters. Great! I’d hit the trove for all my circus poster needs! Then I noticed that, interspersed with the circus ephemera, were ads for magic shows. Obviously, methought, magical characters partaking in an event of illusion and performance should try on disguises in room decorated with signs of sleight of hand. I began to download….


Check out the Circus/Magic category on, and you too might be hooked. The vibrant lithographs promise sensuous delights by which modern advertising’s porno gloss loses luster in comparison. Kellar will [neatly, bloodlessly, and without disturbing the accuracy of the portrait rendition] perform “self-decapitation” in “his latest mystery!” Neff’s “Midnite Ghost Show” abounds in “speed, flash, thrills, color, surprise, beauty, action,”  presumably all embodied by the “beautiful girls with ‘hex’ appeal!” Thurston, “the great magician,” will leave crowds asking, “Do spirits come back?” [In an unintentionally amusing juxtapositional riposte, the archive also includes a poster for the actually truly great Harry Houdini, in which he performs “magic — illusions — escapes” and calls bullshit on “fraud mediums:” “Do spirits return? Houdini says no and proves it!” Harry Houdini, folks — skeptic, realist, and scientific realist extraordinaire!]

And, in my favorite of the bunch, the clairvoyant Alexander “sees your life from the cradle to the grave.” A lovely macabre illustration shows a skeletal hand holding a crystal ball that encompasses the sacraments of heteronormativity. There is no way the content of such a show could even begin to approach the awesomeness promised in that poster.


The tension between image and reality forms part of my fascination with these posters. Produced before rigorous standards of truth in advertising were developed, these ads make claims upon which they cannot possibly deliver, implying that the magic is real. Note, for example, that the Kellar levitation poster doesn’t even stipulate magic, just simple “levitation,” as if it’s a plain and simple fact that Kellar can shoot lightning out of his fingertips [?!] and raise someone off the ground. Note also that Alexander is billed as “the man who knows” in another poster, with no hint that he’s performing illusions based on cold reading for entertainment and diversion. In such instances, the ads raise audience expectations so high that any gaps between said expectations and the actual performances will be likely be glossed over. The audiences, hoping for spirit communications or levitation demos or whatever and conditioned by the posters to look for them, will convince themselves that they are seeing those things instead of illusions. In some way, the images perform the ultimate sleight of hand.

Every Breath You Take in a minor key

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A minor key version of String’s Every Breath You Take, done by Chase Holfelder. Musically speaking, this sounds so much more beautiful and compelling than the original. Even though it’s very tonally pleasing and Christian Grey isn’t, I still deem this version his theme song because it connotes more danger, doom, and despair than the original.

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