For God’s sake, why? you are asking yourself. Because every Russian I ever met knew how to suffer. A delightful capability for suffering, for being despondent. They raise the art of melancholy to the highest possible level. They have a knack for sorrow. They are so skillfully world weary that it boggles even my mind. Not to mention their truly enviable capacity for vodka.
Whoa, boy, whoa. You ever meet people who can’t seem to relax? You engage them in a simple conversation, and it seems as if they take a harmless discussion as a challenge to their intellect. They are rarin’ to go. Whoa, dude, I am not trying to pierce your leather here, you think to yourself. Take it easy, have another drink ― no, I don’t think you are an alcoholic! Everything cool? Just relax. Everything’s cool, believe me. Breathe, just breathe . . . slow down, or you’ll die in a fit of apoplexy.
There is this terrible beast. It stays up late at night and drinks rum. Tsk, tsk. It writes silly stuff. Sometimes it writes funny stuff, or cynical stuff. Occasionally it writes pathetic stuff. Once in a great while it writes good stuff (well, that is what it flatters itself). It knows better, but it drinks rum anyway. If it would just stick to wine, things would be better, but, well, it doesn’t. It wouldn’t be a beast if it did what was good for it, would it now?
Listening to Battle March Medley from the Pogues, by the by.
Peanuts, Walnuts. Almonds. They taste wonderful with wine. But, okay, what I really wanted was to ruminate on the meaning of the word nuts, and why it has several meanings. I’m going nuts, for example. Or: nuts to you. What in hell does that mean?
Google yields: Confucius say, man who sticks penis in peanut butter jar is fucking nuts. Har har, very ‘fucking’ amusing. Well.
‘Nuts to you’ = fuck off, I suppose, the association being between men’s ‘nuts’ (balls, or testicles, if you want the scientific word for it) and fucking. I associate that with the German du kannst mich mal, which means, more or less, ‘you can do me.’ That is not, however, meant in a positive sense, but rather like saying ‘fuck you’ in English. Fuck me, fuck you, fuck it all . . . egads, slowly but surely I am losing any sense of the big picture here. There is no literal equivalent to ‘nuts to you’ in German, since the Germans call testicles Eier (eggs) in everyday language. There we get phrases like die Eier schaukeln lassen (to let the eggs swing), which means to take it easy or be lazy, or du gehst mir auf die Eier (you’re getting on my eggs), which means you’re a pain in the ass. Languages are hell.
I’m going nuts. You drive me nuts. You’re off your nut. How in hell do such phrases come in to being? Well, actually, it’s simple, I suppose. Your ‘nut’ is your head, a shell with a kernel: your brain, if you happen to have one. And, if it doesn’t function normally, like mine, people say you’re off your nut.
On the other hand we have the phrase, ‘it was all nuts to me.’ This does not mean that everything seemed crazy, but rather that everything was good, as in perfect, just the thing, yummy . . . like a bowl of nuts. And why, for Christ’s sake, are the nuts in ‘nuts and bolts’ called nuts?
By the by, listening to Raspizdyay, from Leningrad. That has nothing to do with nuts. At least I believe so… for all I know Raspizdyay is Russian for balls, eggs, nuts, what have you.
Communication, dammit. It’s not easy, but try it. It might just work. Be honest. Damn, I know, it’s complicated b –. (Editors note: forgive the interruption, but Mr. Hellstrøm has just spit a glob of . . . whatever . . . on his keyboard. He’s trying to say something he considers important, and his zeal has got the better of him. Now he has to clean it up) . . . but you can deal with it.
It’s not actually that difficult. Even with the minimal empathy that I am equipped with, it isn’t that hard. I make up for it with – I was thinking ‘intellect’ just now, but that ain’t right – perhaps it’s more like I empathize on a different level. On several levels, maybe, and then it’s too much, and I’d rather attack than feel with you. Nevertheless I try my best to understand. So don’t take it wrong if I wrestle you to the ground and bite you in the throat.
Whatever. We all have our crosses to bear, our balls and chains to drag dismally across the floor, and so on. Besides, some people deserve to be bitten in the throat. But, basically, when I have those feelings, I counter them with perfect politeness. There are ways of making your feelings clear without biting other peoples throats. I’ll nevermind them, those people. Keep them at arm’s length.
Politeness is like armor then. You see how people misbehave, and you counter it with absolute civility. There is nothing that could make them angrier, perhaps, but you force them to be civil in turn. And that is an honest way of communication. You’re telling them very clearly what you think, though it may be masked, and you’re forcing them to deal with you on a certain level, the only level left, at that point, which won’t cause you to bite them in the throat.
So you’re wearing a mask, but it’s an honest mask. Everyone knows what it means. That’s what I mean when I say: say what you feel. Nevermind them. They may hate you for it afterwards, if they even take the trouble to think about it, but most likely they won’t. Even if they do, there is nothing they can do about it. If they do think about it, they will silently admit defeat. You’ve fucked them in the ass, big time, with civility.
Man, I love that. It appeals to my sense of irony. Not to mention the little cynical fuck in me that has a huge laugh at it. Haha, fucked you in the ass, man! Not a thing you can do about it! Aced you out, big time, you fucking asocial ass!
Ahh, I love civility, and politeness.