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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Dirty German: It's in the genes

My goto German language book has been Dirty German, by Daniel Chaffey. It's light-hearted and it's full of the stuff that you always wish the high school teacher would tell you. I especially enjoy the simplicity of telling a cling-on to f*** off. "Verpiss dich". Now if Mr. Chaffey would only tell me where to find the cajones to tell my current cling-on to get off at the next exit then my happiness would be complete. Any way... for the umpteenth million time I've digressed.

I have particularly enjoyed the chapter on Germans and Geekdom. In the kingdom of Geek they have all the honor and glory. Under the Heading of Poppy German he gives details regardingthe fine art of Nerding out: Nerdheit. The intro paragraph is short but profound.

Like all nerds, Germans are just hard core fired up about whatever they're into. But for some strange reason they are really into collecting stuff.
So my first tongue-in-cheek response to that is to wonder what percentage of the people on Hoarders are of German descent. My second is to tell All you All* to suck it: I'm born this way. But seriously, I do want to jump up and down shouting and waving my hands wildly like I just won the lottery. And, when it comes to information and introspection, it is like winning the lottery a few hundred thousand dollars at a time. Every little bit that I know helps. Information is power. It really is. And those idiots we get to vote for will figure out you can only keep us stupid for so long before we take back our crappy education system. Both parties have ruined America.... sorry. It's the 6th and I am all worn out from this election ad season. So where was I? Right. Information.

The better I know myself the better it is to defend myself against people who want to tear me down. It isn't like it was in the Middle Ages. Your enemy doesn't come to the castle gates wearing the colors of his royal house, brandishing pennents and crests and making his horse look ridiculous. (Try dressing a cat like that, jerks.) Today with all the homogeny and the pressure of conformity everywhere you look your enemy looks a lot like you. It tries to anyway. And then it tries to get you to be like everyone else.

The enemy looks like, sounds like and likes to tell you that they are into the same things. And they always want to be your friend. And after a while the comments start: Subtle at first. First the questions, "Wow... you really like that?" then "Try this instead."

And when that starts, a person begins to wonder what is wrong with them. Would they be happier if they were out at the bar with everyone else listening to country music and smoking out at the gossip mound (break area)? Would I be happier or better liked if I was more like them? Honestly, when you don't have a large group of geeks around you (4 or more would suffice) then you do start to wonder. Like anything else, it's hard to be the stand alone example. Surrounded by people and so alone that you feel like you are on a dessert island without a volley ball, you go home and indulge in the things that your general public frowns upon.

This at least has been my experience since all my geeky friends have moved off to other parts of the world and started families. I've essentially been stuck in my home town wondering what is wrong with me that I don't seem to fit in anywhere but with my friends on facebook. THANK GOD FOR FACEBOOK! And then here comes Daniel Chaffey with the answer: It's in the genes.

Germans are geeks. They collect things. And sometimes those collections don't make any sense: used phone cards, beer coasters, toys out of candy centers... and then there is me. That compulsive need to have as much of what I enjoy. Love Sting. LOVE him. I have every album except "Back to Bass" and "Mercury Falling." I can not find Mercury Falling. And I don't have the money for Back2Bass. When the Monkees 40th anniversary came around the record company re-released all their stuff. I have every album except Head. It was just too weird. And the story behind the album was depressing. So I chose to skip that album to preserve my image of a happy quartet that entertained me to no end. And the same was true when I was into Michael Jackson. The problem with Jackson is that the music was good but the lyrics didn't hold up. And the overwhelming amount of collectible crap! I can be short circuited.

 There are words that apply to Germans that have become a kind of trademarked stereotype:
proud to the point of arrogance
Precise, read that as anal retentive
Aloof (until they warm up to someone)
Too familiar (when they have warmed up to you. You know that thing that your Gramma does with her friends at kitchen table or on the phone where they compare ailments? Totally has to come from our Germanic ancestors. They keep no secrets among friends at home. Kings & Queens of TMI)
Brutally honest
Ardent in their beliefs (or rabid, depends on how much it pisses you off. I am rabid. I piss a lot of people off)

Germans make the best collectors. And I think that makes them the best fans of something. Except sports. Sport seems to be the only thing that everyone who is a fan of any team goes absolutely bat shit crazy over no matter the ethnicity. I. Do. Not. Get. Sport. Which is another way that I am a bad German. And a bad American apparently. There is a rule I missed somewhere that says you have to be a fan of some sport or another. Meh. But I am a great German if we were to measure the ardent quality of my fangirl, near worshipfulness of a few things: Star Trek, Stargate, Matthias Reim, to name but a few.

And no one at work gets it. They tolerate it. But I work alone in my department except for about 45 minutes out of the day when the housekeepers bring in the dirty linens. For the most part people avoid me because I feel that if they have time to stand and talk to me they can fold a few towels. Which is about as desirable a job as giving a cow a rectal exam. Go figure. So I listen to my german music with tolerance. Which makes me miss our old Maintenance Guy. He was always asking me where my music was if I didn't have it for a few days. Those months after my first CD's were stolen were torture. The new Maintenance Guy is not so tolerant. But if he isn't gonna fold a towel or 12 he doens't have to stick around. A few of the people ask me how I understand it. Um... because I learned German (some) in high school. Enough to understand lyrics. A conversation is different. A few of them are pretty snotty about it. And I have to admit, in my corner of the world I am weird. I am a rabid fan of German music, specifically Matthias Reim.

But not so rabid as you think. The new album comes out in January. And while they are rebuilding the site to reflect the new album, you can get all the updates and stuff on facebook. His facebook account is also for fan merchandise. And there you can buy things like Matthias Reim bedsheets. A pillow called a Kuchelnkissen. yeah, no, Kissen is pillow. Kissing is kussen with an umlaut. A kuchelnkissen is literally a "cuddle pillow". We just call them square decorative pillows here in America and they usually share the same pattern as the bedsheets. Now... if I had the money for posters, and the bags, especially the flight bag, I would have those things. And a keychain. Oh... and I think I would also have the USB drive (flash drive) and wallet. But bedsheets and (dum dum dummmmmmm) duvet cover?

Maybe fans in Europe are nicer than here in America. But I would think that the last thing a pop start wants to do is put him or herself in bed with a fan who could, under the right condition with the right series of stressors, become the worse kind of rabid fan: a stalker. Even a homicidal stalker. Don't get me wrong. If I knew about these kinds of products when I was 14 or even 18 and had fallen in love with Matze at that age, I would be all over that shit. It would be no different than having Star Wars sheets. The difference between Star Wars and Matthias Reim is that one is a starfield with ships (or Maybe Darth Vader who is not a real person) and one is a real person. I think that I would be very uncomfortable knowing people slept with my face that close to theirs.

Don't. Don't. Don't. I know damn well that there are going to be other body parts that close. But please, don't spoil my Aquarian, airy-fairy ability to go to a Rainbow Unicorn happy place. Just don't.

From the perspective of a fan I get it. A fan rocks their geek imagery on every surface conceiveable. If there had been Star Trek merch that fit in the English Manor style I rocked way back when then my house would have been one interesting little steampunk diarama. But they didn't. So I didn't. And I get the Matze thing. I am going. I am saving money to get there for this concert season. And to celebrate the ocaission I am working out a screen print design to have printed on a shit ton of stuff that I want to wear... soon as I can find a ladies blazer that fits my shoulders. Yep... screen printing a blazer just like Matze has done on ocaission. I get it. What I don't get is how a guy who won't let Karmen Nebel** call him "Matze" on air would be okay letting us sleep with him at home.

Unless he has the ability to live in a Rainbow Unicorn world and not think about it... so let's not spoil that for him. Rainbow Unicorn World passes are hard to come by in this crazy world.

So while I say out loud, "That's kinda creepy." The fangirl in me is thinking that a life-sized Matze in my bed might not be a horrible thing. In fact, since I am probably going to be single for the rest of these 42 years I have left (based on an average familial life expectancy of 85 years), a sheet set is going to be the cheapest way to get a man in my bed. But I couldn't. It seems wrong at the very least because it is just too familiar. You aren't supposed to meet your idols/heroes in so intimate a setting. Actually, I am terrified to meet my idols/heroes at all. Except Wil. I could meet Wil. It would be just like meeting up with the cool cousins. But Matze... he's different.

He looks too much like that Old Maintenance Man. Too much like like Grampa now that his hair is so shockingly white. And good for Matze for keeping it real and not dying it. And that is part of Matze's appeal. He shares a similar face with some of my family. NOT SAYING WE ARE RELATED. Geez. Just saying that he is familiar on some cosmic level. And that is familiar enough.

Lately it seems as though I am running into all sorts of information that is helping me to relax about who I am. If it is not a totally Aquarius thing. It is a totally German thing. I like to know why I am a certain way. I get asked "Why?" a lot. So now I know. And now the thing to ask is "Change it or embrace it?"

Embrace. Why change it? Why be anyone that I am not?
Does it matter if anyone gets why I am a huge Matthias Reim fan? No. Not anymore than understanding why I am a trekkie or a gategeek. embrace who you are. And celebrate who you are. And the people who accept you for who you are.

* And by All you All I mean the people who like to run me into the ground to rebuild me in their own idea of who and what I should be so that they are more comfortable. Honestly, if you want me around badly enough then just accept me as I am. If you can't accept me you just don't need me around. So VERPISS DICH!!!!!!!!!!!!!
okay. that felt kinda good. but I still can't say that to the guy at work without making a huge mess of things. I think if he tries anything i'll just shove him into the pool.

** TV hostess.

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