Is there a German word for "the feeling you get when something is so ridiculous that you want to laugh, yet is simultaneously jaw-droppingly horrible"? Can we make one up?
I ask, because I recently discovered Fox-Tossing, a 17th/18th century European pastime that is exactly what it sounds like. People would go out in a field and set up a little fenced-in court. Then high-society types would stand, in pairs, holding slack ropes. Then a bunch of foxes would be released into the court. When the foxes ran over the ropes, the players pulled the ropes tight, launching the foxes up into the air. Repeat until all foxes are dead.
Aren't you glad we can rot our brains with TV now, instead?
According to the Ptak Science Books blog:
Fleming's Deutsche Jaeger (published in 1719) produced this (above) image, and commented on it: "Skilled male tossers could toss a fox 24 ft. high...At a famous fox-tossing in Dresden there were tossed some 687 foxes, 533 hares, 34 badgers, 21 wild cats, and at the end 34 young wild boar and 3 wolves...."
And a partridge in a pear tree. 10:00 am isn't too early to start drinking, right?
UPDATE: Resident German commenter Tillwe has offered a couple of possibilities: First, "fürchterliche Witzigkeit" (lit. frighteningly funnyness). He/she says that captures the mood best, but, to pack it all into one word, we could use "GrausamkeitsspäÃŸe" (lit. "funny cruelties").
Liam Williams was given money by the BBC to explain the success and culture of YouTube vloggers. A search for the next megastar vlogger finds an unlikely victor in struggling comedian, Liam, who must undertake a series of challenges in order to win a £10,000 prize. Along the way, several successful YouTubers give him help […]
Most of history exists for us only in black and white. As a kid, we had a black and white TV because it was all we could afford. I grew up watching The Wizard of Oz every year in the 1960s and had no idea it was a color film.At least that exists in color […]
Most YouTube videos have at least a few views: the uploader making sure it works and applying basic edits. But zero views? That’s a special class of film: automated, forgotten, mistaken, baffling, beautiful. Astronaut will show them to you. [via MeFi] Today, you are an Astronaut. You are floating in inner space 100 miles above […]
Although there will never be a consensus about the best way to make coffee, any coffee connoisseur will agree that controlling the grind of your beans and balancing water temperature are the keys to a tasty cup. Since your plastic coffee pot doesn’t really allow for that kind of customization, going back to the French […]
Not all hackers are malicious information thieves—white-hat ethical hackers work with technology companies to ensure the security of their computer systems and user data. With all of today’s high-profile data breaches, ethical hackers are in considerable demand. To learn these critical skills and break into the high-paying cyber security field, try taking the courses in this […]
Making people aware of goods and services in the digital age requires an array of new strategies from social media and email to number-crunching tools like Google Analytics. To get a handle on the techniques used to capture attention and convert traffic into dollars in a crowded online environment, the Full-Stack Marketer Bundle offers 22 hours of training to get […]