Earlier this afternoon, DJ Irwin wondered aloud (and on the air) whether Jethro Tull was just a common interest between himself and Wm Berger, or whether the band was in fact a part of the current zeitgeist, and it got me wondering -- why do the Germans get all the best words?
Zeit·geist n. The taste, outlook, and spirit characteristic of a period or generation.
What's English got to compare? For the word itself, I'm drawing a blank past "Ziegfeld" and "gesundheit" - oh wait, that one's German too. As far as the meaning goes, I suppose we've got "paradigm", but that's so mathematical in tone, and it lacks the all-encompassing fatality of zeitgeist. Anyway, paradigm's definition is so complicated and self-congratulatory that its usage is generally limited to the kind of people who use words like "ersatz" and "natch" - out loud anyway.
scha·den·freu·de n : delight in another person's misfortune.
"Schadenfreude". Motherfuck... I'm in awe of this word. What's English for schadenfreude? What indeed...
But let's not just look! Jump past the Berk Breathed painting of a sneezing astronaut entitled "Gesundheit", and let's listen! And talk about Jethro Tull some more...
- Here's Blixa Bargeld sprechen sie deutsch on the Mike Lupica program - Realaudio link.
- Here's Klaus Kinski doing it on the Pseu Braun shew - Realaudio link.
- Here's an mp3 download for you: Blue Velvet's own best fiend Frank Booth, in some defining scenes -- dubbed auf Deutsch.
Now, back to Jethro Tull -- can they really compete with such current starz of the zeitgeist as Warriors, Harold Lloyd and yachtrock? A quick search of WFMU DJ's playlists yields 9 different songs played in the last year. Pretty good, until you realize it falls short of the 10 distinct plays Yes has received in 2005. Now compare it to an FMU stalwart like The Fall (77 plays) and we find a real answer: Jethro Tull doesn't even add up to a paradigm. Hell, I still like 'em.