Brazil 1-7 Germany. From “Schadenfreude” To “Mitleid”.

Anthems. Germany’s wearing their other, funny-looking jersey. Oh look, David Luiz and Júlio César are holding a Neymar No 10 jersey up in tribute. Sniff. The entire stadium is shouting out Brazil’s anthem at the top of their lungs and it’s all very emotional. Sniff SNIFF.

You’d need binoculars to spot the German fans in the crowd. A mite outnumbered, I’d say.

Coin toss. Kickoff. And we’re off. WHOOP!

Sort of a funny match at the moment. Everybody’s passes going everywhere. Brazil’s players in particular might want to get their eyes checked for colour-blindness.

Germany effortlessly clearing any half-hearted attempts at their goal. Neuer the sweeper- er…keeper – probably a bit bored.

Müller scores! Brazil 0-1 Germany. Brazil getting a bit more desperate but nothing coming out of it.

Klose scores for Germany. He breaks some record. 0-2 is going to be very hard for Brazil to recover from, especially if they continue playing like this.

WHAT. IS. HAPPENING.

Kroos, Kroos AGAIN, Khedira. 0-5 for Germany in the span of 6 minutes.

Julio Cesar, Luiz and Dante are all either zombies or sleepwalking, Marcelo’s defensive strategy begins and ends with him just running into his own net each time. Khedira, Kroos, Özil are generously setting up neat goals for each other while the Brazil players are busy tripping over their own shoelaces.

Brazil stumbles and fumbles, and Germany is totally unforgiving, taking advantage of every error. Löw’s side is ruthless and precise, but that’s nothing new. The German attack is fluid, smart, and unselfish. And the Brazilian defenders just have no idea how to respond.

10 minutes to go for half-time. This is agony. So, uhh, where does FIFA stand on declaring forfeit?

Sure, I can stop watching and go curl up in a corner, but what about poor Oscar, Fred, Hulk, and that tiny new kid Bernard? What about Thiago Silva and his adorable schoolboy cap, for heaven’s sakes, sitting right there in the box watching this carnage? What about the hundreds of wailing Brazilian fans with their smudged face-paint and torn up flags?

Half-time. How does any coach go about addressing a team that’s 5 goals down?

Second half. Neuer finally getting to touch the ball as Oscar and Paulinho give him some trouble.

Müller happily trotting past the Brazil defence time and again. Doesn’t take long for newly substituted Shürrle to score for Germany. 0-6.

Fans turning on their favourite players. Crowd booing the home team. Players shouting at one another. Scolari pointing at his eyes (“Start crying, maybe Germany will pity you” ??).

Shürrle AGAIN. Supporters in canary yellow in the stands now applauding his sublime performance. If you can’t beat ’em…

The scoreline flashes on the screen, and the list is actually forced to scroll upwards to display the names of the all German goal-scorers.

Germany isn’t paying attention for a moment and Oscar slips one into the net. Brazil 1-7 Germany. Woohoo. Germans being Germans and furious about this tiny slip-up.

Final whistle. Players on both sides somewhat bewildered.

Game over.

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Childhood Ruined – The Darker Versions of 9 Popular Fairytales

The Grimm brothers struggled to make ends meet in the early 1800s after the death of their father. As librarians, they were well equipped to put together a collection of traditional folk tales that explored national identity and the collective psych of the country. The result was the collection of Grimm’s Fairytales that we know and love. Their project was in reality a part of the political movement in Germany. A large section of the population wanted to see the many principalities united as one nation.

And if this revelation isn’t enough, the fairytales themselves hold secrets too.

In truth, “the first volumes were much criticized because, although they were called ‘Children’s Tales’, they were not regarded as suitable for children, both for the scholarly information included and the subject matter”. As Wikipedia suggests, later editions featured many modifications to make the stories more child-friendly. These lighter but somewhat inaccurate versions are the ones that have propagated throughout the world.

 

Here’s a list of “fairytales”, from the Grimm brothers, Hans Christian Andersen, Perrault, and others, that don’t quite have the happy endings that we remember:

SNOW WHITE

The beautiful but vain and wicked stepmother owns a magic mirror that is too truthful for its own good. On hearing the mirror call Snow White more beautiful than her, the wicked queen orders a huntsman to take Snow White deep into the woods and kill her. She also insists, for good measure, that he return with her heart.

The huntsman can’t find it in him to kill her, and lets Snow White escape into the forest. She finds a tiny house in the woods. It later transpires that the inhabitants are dwarves, which explains the tiny furniture and small meal portions laid out. They are alarmed to find their cottage clean, which is a rather silly reason for alarm if you ask me. They eventually take pity on the intruder and let her stay to cook and clean for them, and are overall very accommodative about the whole breaking-and-entering business.

Meanwhile, the wicked queen finds out from her big-mouthed magic mirror that Snow White isn’t dead, and immediately sets off to kill her. Her weapon of choice is the unorthodox poisoned apple. The dwarves find Snow White in her poison apple induced coma and take her for dead. The queen is chased through the forest by the dwarves and eventually falls off a cliff to her death. Fortunately, instead of burying her alive, the dwarves place her in a glass coffin that they just had lying around.

In time, a passing prince takes one look at Snow White lying in her glass coffin and falls madly in love. He has no qualms about kissing a dead girl, which is lucky for Snow White because she is revived by his kiss. They end up getting married and live happily ever after.

But actually…

The wicked queen tells the huntsman to return with Snow White’s lungs and liver so she can freaking eat them.

Oh wait, and it’s actually Snow White’s own mother who goes all Hannibal Lecter on her pretty little daughter.

The vile queen also devises many creative ways to kill Snow White. She first disguises herself as a peddler and presents the girl with a lovely bodice that she then proceeds to lace up so tightly that she faints. When the dwarves manage to save her, the queen returns with a poisoned comb. Thwarted again by those pesky dwarves, she finally comes back with a poisoned apple that finally puts the gullible girl in a coma.

The queen is triumphant and her ego is no longer threatened, but only until a meddling prince comes along and sees Snow White lying in her glass coffin. Enchanted by her beauty, lack of heartbeat notwithstanding, the prince convinces the dwarves to let him have the coffin. Yes, he just carts off her dead body as some sort of plaything. His servants aren’t too careful about carrying their burden, and as they stumble on some roots, the piece of poisoned apple lodged in Snow White’s throat is dislodged, and she promptly splutters back to life. The prince takes the latest turn of events in his stride, and happily declares his love for her.

A wedding is soon planned, and the couple invites all the kings and queens of the land, including the wicked queen.

When the mother of the bride shows up at the wedding, she’s forced to step into glowing-hot iron shoes that had been cooking in the fire and dance until she falls down dead. Delightful.

Continue reading Childhood Ruined – The Darker Versions of 9 Popular Fairytales

Odd Origins – 10 More Common Phrases With Surprising Origins

I posted 10 common phrases with surprising origins a couple of months ago.
The list doesn’t end there though. Here are 10 more:

Beating around the bush. Avoid coming to the point. While hunting, timid hunters would make a show of beating the underbush to drive the animals out into the open.

Bite the bullet. To face something unpleasant. In the middle of a battle, wounded soldiers weren’t given the luxury of anaesthetics before surgery. A crude substitute was to give them a bullet to bite down on to help endure the pain. Added bonus: nurses could subsequently blame their deaths on lead poisoning rather than their incompetence. Another theory is that Indian sepoys were forced to bite off the cartridge seals on ammunition even though it was against their religious principles to put into their mouths the pig fat used in the seals.

Continue reading Odd Origins – 10 More Common Phrases With Surprising Origins