Our Esperantist Greatest Hits

May 21, 2007

Recently, word hit Saladglobalmedia HQ that Taradise‘s own Tara Reid had starred in a wonderful example of high-cinema called Incubus.  Upon hearing of the movie’s existence, I assumed that the film was a remake of the 1965 William Shatner vehicle, got very excited, and made at least thirty collect calls to video stores around the country to reserve a copy. Of course, as soon as I realized that Incubus was simply a Kevin Williamson-derivative horror movie, I abandoned my efforts to acquire a copy. [If you are the proud owner of a video store, and one “H. St. J. Thackeray” reserved a copy of Incubus, please consider this a nons-request, and release the film to the general public.] The Shatner Incubus has the distinction of being the only American movie ever made in Esperanto. The films creators had originally wanted to film the movie in Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake hybrid, however they were unable to draw any syntax from Joyce’s creation and decided that Esperanto was probably a better bet for conveying feelings of supra-nationality (more info).  Today the movie is probably most remarkable for its excellent cinematography by 3-time Academy Award winner Conrad Hall. Of course, Esperantists hate the movie, finding the language shoddy, and Shatner’s French accent substandard. Mia Dio!

In honour of the fact that Esperantists in the 1960’s are the greatest examples of directors disconnecting language conventions and locations, I’ve decided to go through a number of our regular features–Esperanto style!

1) Drink of the day: Booze has always been linked to geography. Historians divide the world into Beer cultures and Wine cultures, and hard liquor is often associated with specific countries: vodka-Russia, Scotch-Scotland, Sambuca-Italy, Tequila-that party you should have left three hours ago. So can a non-national entity have an official cocktail? The internet has informed me that the way to toast in Esperanto is, “Je zia sano!” Where there’s a toast, there’s booze! According to the Esperanto-Wikipedia, “Forta alkoholo kiel rumo, viskiovodko estas ofte uzata por la alkohola bazo” Given this information, and my faulty (re: complete lack of) knowledge of the language, I can only assume that Esperantists always drink the “hot damn”, a lethal combination of rum, vodka, whiskey, and orange juice. Either that or whatever Brazilian drinks they serve at the New York spot, Esperanto.

2) Word of the day: “Esperate” which is sadly not a verb meaning “to speak Esperanto,” but is instead some type of plant (?) as in, “The Country where Esperate or Clovergrass is most in use at this day is Daphine towards the quarter of Day.” The OED lists ‘esperate’ as an obs. form of “esparcet,” which, coming from the French must refer to the “Eurasian perennial herb having pale pink flowers and curved pods.” Take that French language! Iesperateyoureyes!

3) Who Should Write Superman? Part Esperanto: Who else but L. L. Zamenhof, Esperanto’s Yiddish speaking creator. I really have nothing to say about his literary merits, but I refer you to Tsuguya Sasaki’s “Modern Hebrew, Modern Yiddish and Esperanto: Three Non-Slavic Languages Which Were Born in the Slavic Terrain”. afn shvel 309: 14-18 [In Yiddish] if you’re interested in the creation of the language, and crazy enough to read Esperanto-socio-linguistics in Yiddish.

And in some non-Esperanto TV news (or is it?), check out this ridiculous season summary of Lost. Very funny.

One Response to “Our Esperantist Greatest Hits”

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