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Category Archives: Other Magazine
Schadenfreude. Sha. Den. Froy. Duh. It hardly trips off the tongue, and that’s part of the point. Translated damagejoy, it was up to our friends in Germany—connoisseurs of suffering with wry wit–to cast this lexical spell. (Maybe it’s the long winters.) A single unified morsel of horrible, delicious pleasure, Schadenfreude is at once a dark threat to society and an essential mechanism for keeping it moving along in the face of the pointless absurdity and pain of existence. (more…)
It was not until I moved into a house near a ketchup factory that I first perceived the all-encompassing, smothering embrace of our national vegetable. When the night was still, a cool inversion keeping the air low to the moist floor of the Central Valley, the aroma would blanket the town. Sweet stewing tomatoes.
We could walk from our house up to the ketchup factory fence. Through the chain link, we could see the trucks roll in and up a ramp. There, they were grabbed by a sort of harness, and the entire truckbed would be lifted and dumped—tons of bouncing red balls rolling into the maw of a stainless steel industrial facility. (more…)
Here’s a typical encounter: I walk into a store, or meet someone at a party, and we engage in the usual pleasantries. Then, as though we are now intimate—for it is nothing if not an intimate question—I am asked, “Where do you come from?” I look different, unplaceable. Together my dark hair, aquiline features, dark eyes, and tan skin, combined with my American bearing and fluid English, make me a little weird. I’m at least intriguing enough for complete strangers to barge into my personal history. (more…)