Print Story La mamma morta.
By Bartleby (Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 04:59:09 AM EST) translation, arthropods, films, angst (all tags)
Tags killed the intro star.

To protect the guilty, I won't explain which boring incident made me think of this today, but somehow an idiom popped up in my mind this morning. Mit dem Arsch einreißen, was man mit den Händen aufgebaut hat. – To tear down with your ass what you had built up with your hands. Does that sound familiar, or is there a good equivalent in English (or in any other language you folks speak)? The meaning's probably obvious: to ruin the result of protracted efforts in a quick and stupid way.

The Berlinale film festival is over again. Had it taken place a week later, they could have presented Robert Altman's new film right on his birthday (Feb. 20th). "A Prairie Home Companion" won no award, but it got a lot of praise from the critics. I heard a glowing review on the radio. I like to listen to that particular critic, not necessarily because I'd follow his advice religiously, but because I find it touching how much his love for cinema shines through everything he says. Either begeistert or entgeistert, either awestruck or dumbfounded. Fascinating (in a Mr Spock way), those people who actually care about whatever it is they care about. Me, I'm standing here, nel mezzo del cammin, as far as statistical life expectancy goes, and I am still wondering why (or if) I'm even supposed to be here and what all the fuzz is about. Wie bestellt und nicht abgeholt. – I've been told to be here, and now there's nobody there to pick me up.

Actually, that's not true. I know my existence is as purposeless and accidental as that of everybody else, and that it's up to me alone what I make of it, now that my parents' few moments of joy have dumped me here yadda yadda blah blah; but it feels so utterly pointless without Mommy telling little Bartleby where to go next.

Good thing my bauplan will be removed from the gene pool once I start feeding the worms.

Bauplan. I stumbled across that word on the Anomalocaris homepage. Must be a fossil from those times when all the exciting stuff in science happened in Germany. How fitting. So much so that I didn't mind using it here in a technically WRONG!! way. Sue me.

No, not me. Sue's that boy over there. Ha ha.

Entrer dans la lumière
Comme un insecte fou
Respirer la poussière
Vous venir à genoux

Speaking of cute little animals, I seem to have missed paying my due respects to the first European Spider of the Year in January. Consider it done now.

Here's a picture I've been meaning to link to for some time. Now, with spring around the corner, might be a good moment.

I've seen Ibisfliege translated as snipe fly, which does however appear not to be correct. Atherix ibis is a species that doesn't exist in North America, apparently; as opposed to some related species going by the name of snipe fly. What I remember from looking into this a while ago is that scientific and common naming conventions are equally confusing, and trying to map one onto the other across languages doubly so. So I'll just call our hero the ibis fly.

A very educational animal indeed. Female flies glue their eggs and themselves to twigs hanging over water or to bridges. In lumps, as you can see on the photo. They die, of course, and become the first food source of their larvae which them proceed to fall into the body of water below and continue their development there. A shining example to parents the world over.

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La mamma morta. | 15 comments (15 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Strange by gazbo (2.00 / 0) #1 Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 05:11:54 AM EST
I can't immediately think of an equivalent expression, though I find it hard to believe there isn't one.

If not, I move that we steal the German one stock.  In fact, I foresee myself using it either way.

I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

IAWTP by DesiredUsername (2.00 / 0) #3 Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 05:15:43 AM EST
If only for the word "Arsch"

Now accepting suggestions for a new sigline
[ Parent ]
Auftrag ausgefuehrt! by Bartleby (2.00 / 0) #5 Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 05:42:48 AM EST
Err, I mean, mission accomplished!

[ Parent ]
I Can't Believe They Gave It to Misumena vatia. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #2 Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 05:13:54 AM EST
Argiope bruennichi was completely robbed.

You ask me, the fix was definitely in.

Slander! Argy already got the title by Bartleby (4.00 / 1) #4 Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 05:38:37 AM EST
in 2001, back when "European" still meant "Swiss-Austro-German", as far as giving awards to spiders is concerned. A link to the Arachnological Society (with charming pictures of winners since 2000).

[ Parent ]
Once and Future King! by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #8 Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 06:13:07 AM EST
And Argy's still got it - not like this johnny-come-lately flower crab.

I stand by my previous statement.

[ Parent ]
They just don't make spiders like that anymore... by Bartleby (2.00 / 0) #12 Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 06:24:23 AM EST

[ Parent ]
snipe fly.. by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #6 Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 05:56:32 AM EST
looks like what folks around here would call a may fly/black fly/horse fly/deer fly.. Alas, 'round here, folks tend to use a singular word to indicate all types of (non-mosquito) biting flies, and aren't even consistent on which word they choose.

Same here, basically by Bartleby (4.00 / 1) #14 Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 06:34:34 AM EST
For different words, obviously. In all fairness, why would most people even care for the myriad subtle distinctions between annoying little critters that all bite and are too small and too fast to be looked at properly?

[ Parent ]
While I normally by Gedvondur (2.00 / 0) #7 Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 06:11:49 AM EST
Enjoy your diaries, all I could think reading this one was "Dude, shut the fuck up. Jesus."

I think its because I'm in an ill way today. 

"If you do not sin, then you too may some day float like a big pink Goodyear blimp of The Lord." -theboz

Keep your crankiness to yourself, by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #10 Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 06:17:43 AM EST
and let the rest of us enjoy Bartleby's esoteric and always enjoyable diaries. Plzkthx.
damn it, lif eis actually really *far4 too good at tghe momnent, shboyukbnt;t whilen. --Dr Thrustgood
[ Parent ]
Mea Culpa by Gedvondur (4.00 / 1) #11 Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 06:23:29 AM EST
I blame invisible illness critters.

" isn't like I dug up her great-grandmother and fucked her in the eye socket." -clock

[ Parent ]
Invisible illness critters are teh suck. by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #13 Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 06:28:54 AM EST
I hope you feel better soon.
damn it, lif eis actually really *far4 too good at tghe momnent, shboyukbnt;t whilen. --Dr Thrustgood
[ Parent ]
That's just a theory, it don't mean anythin'. by NoMoreNicksLeft (4.00 / 1) #15 Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 06:54:55 AM EST
This theory of microbes is false, and isn't supported by the evidence. Quite obviously I have an alternatvei theory called the theory of "intelligent karma". He's being punished for being mean to someone else, probably Bartleby. My theory is at least as good as the atheist's theory, it needs equal discussion time in public school biology classes.
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
The closest equivalent I can think of... by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #9 Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 06:16:28 AM EST
and it certainly doesn't capture the full meaning of "to tear down with your ass," is to "shoot yourself in the foot" or "shoot yourself in the ass." It's a sort of violently and stupidly ruining-things-for-yourself kind of a phrase. (And something we're constantly trying to avoid in my office).
damn it, lif eis actually really *far4 too good at tghe momnent, shboyukbnt;t whilen. --Dr Thrustgood
La mamma morta. | 15 comments (15 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback