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April 23, 2012 1:37 PM   Subscribe

Werner Herzog’s Note To His Cleaning Lady.
posted by logicpunk (42 comments total) 62 users marked this as a favorite

 
"I have only listened to two songs in my entire life. One was an aria by Wagner that I played compulsively from the ages of 19 to 27 at least 60 times a day until the local townsfolk drove me from my dwelling using rudimentary pitchforks and blazing torches. The other was Dido. Both appalled me to the point of paralysis."

Whole thing is worth it for those four sentences.
posted by griphus at 1:40 PM on April 23, 2012 [19 favorites]


Also, every time I try to read something in Werner Herzog's voice, my brain just immediately gives me Henry Kissinger.

Homer: Who are you?
Ghost of César Chávez: I am the spirit of César Chávez.
Homer: Then why do you look like César Romero?
Ghost of César Chávez: Because you don't know what César Chávez looks like.

posted by griphus at 1:43 PM on April 23, 2012 [36 favorites]


you know, I need to give my cleaning lady some feedback tomorrow about recent half-assed cleanings, and I've been struggling to figure out the best way to approach the conversation...
posted by supermedusa at 1:46 PM on April 23, 2012


The cleaning lady turns out to be Klaus Kinski in a dress. Who stabs him. They wrestle and eventually fall out of a window.
posted by Artw at 1:47 PM on April 23, 2012 [40 favorites]


Werner Herzog Rescues Phoenix
posted by exogenous at 1:48 PM on April 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


If there is an essential beauty in all things, then the dustbunnies behind the DVD player are beautiful. You clearly do not trust the chaos of nature, Werner, but can you not at least appreciate how the dust there both evokes timelessness with its quietude, and marks the passage of time by its slow, relentless growth?

Profound words, but it is as if you do not even hear the words as you yourself say them. I mourn.
posted by adamrice at 1:51 PM on April 23, 2012 [14 favorites]


I wouldn't be surprised if Herzog does most of his housecleaning himself.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:52 PM on April 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also, every time I try to read something in Werner Herzog's voice, my brain just immediately gives me Henry Kissinger.

Herzog has a slowness about his accent that is almost, but not quite, Austrian. I tend to read his words as Schwarzenegger's character from Kindergarten Cop.

It's naht a toomah!
posted by Sys Rq at 1:55 PM on April 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


The situation regarding spoons remains unchanged. If I see one, I will kill it.
posted by gauche at 1:56 PM on April 23, 2012 [10 favorites]


Hey this seems like as good a place as any to bring up the fact that there were AT LEAST three times in The Hunger Games where Woody Harrelson turned his head quickly to the camera and I was all like "Oh shit!" because he looked EXACTLY like Klaus Kinski in Aguirre. Did anyone else notice this? And where are the gifs?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:58 PM on April 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


Without knowing the first thing about The Hunger Games, I can still state unequivocally that it would be a thousand times better directed by Herzog & starring Kinski.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:14 PM on April 23, 2012 [15 favorites]


You would be correct, UbuRoivas.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:15 PM on April 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


...because he looked EXACTLY like Klaus Kinski in Aguirre.

I've never really thought about it before, but now that you mention it, there does seem to be some sort of weird connection between Woody Harrelson, Klaus Kinski, and Peter Dinklage.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:16 PM on April 23, 2012 [10 favorites]


Without knowing the first thing about The Hunger Games, I can still state unequivocally that it would be a thousand times better directed by Herzog & starring Kinski.

Same thing for We Bought a Zoo.
posted by mullacc at 2:17 PM on April 23, 2012 [8 favorites]


Werner Herzog meets Andy Richter on Comedy Bang Bang
posted by any major dude at 2:19 PM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bonus Herzog spoof, courtesy of The Morning News: Be Not Afraid

(Still my favourite thing ever on TMN)
posted by urschrei at 2:26 PM on April 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


The spoons line is just perfection.
posted by quarsan at 2:27 PM on April 23, 2012


I came to say the exact same thing as Griphus. I lost it at "I have only listened to two songs in my entire life..."
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:29 PM on April 23, 2012


Woody Harrelson, Klaus Kinski, and Peter Dinklage.

I await the forthcoming road trip movie with great anticipation.
posted by zamboni at 2:36 PM on April 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


The situation regarding spoons remains unchanged. If I see one, I will kill it.

This is when I started laughing out loud. It's a perfect Herzogian addition to a discussion.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 2:44 PM on April 23, 2012


I am bookmarking this so I can have quick access if I care to yoink any of his phraseology in order to support any of my opinions in my future work emails. I can't wait!
posted by Danf at 3:04 PM on April 23, 2012


Thank you for listening and sorry if parts of this note were smudged. I have been weeping

well hello there new business email signature.
posted by elizardbits at 3:20 PM on April 23, 2012 [51 favorites]


I said this previously but I curse Werner Herzog every night as I check my closets for 'every woman's nightmare'....a story he told (and referenced repeatedly) when I saw him speak here in NYC. All I wanted to know was how a death row inmate got his lawyer girlfriend pregnant immaculately...and now I have a new OCD issue that's repeated twice daily. Thanks Werner.
posted by bquarters at 3:46 PM on April 23, 2012


Oh sure, it's all hilarious until you're standing in Herzog's apartment, a bottle of Windex in one hand and a knife in the other, weeping with fear but laughing too, because you will never meet another man who speaks to your deepest woman's soul with such clarity, or scrub out a toilet with such emotion.

Then you find out he writes the same fucking letter to all his maids. God help us all, Herzog. You are as empty of mercy as the Antarctic interior, and I am a cold and desolate penguin.
posted by melissa may at 3:51 PM on April 23, 2012 [26 favorites]


You think Herzog would relish the failure to bring order out of chaos. Chaos is all-pervading, like dust, and will swallow us all in the end.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:10 PM on April 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Herzog tries to create images no-one has ever seen before. Everyone has seen dust bunnies. No-one had seen a man floating down a river on a raft being overrun by monkeys until he showed us. Rosalina, take note: ENOUGH WITH THE MONKEYS. Strive for your own vision, always.
posted by Ritchie at 4:33 PM on April 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


All I wanted to know was how a death row inmate got his lawyer girlfriend pregnant immaculately

'Into the Abyss' makes it pretty clear how, and is currently on Netflix (in Canada at any rate). Much as I appreciate the Herzogian yucks, this film really brings out his compassionate side.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 5:24 PM on April 23, 2012


This stuff was so unexpectedly powerful it crashed my Chrome, an once in a year event. Also, tulips.
posted by elpapacito at 5:24 PM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I really want to hear Herzog say 'rumpus room' now, and make it my ringtone.
posted by grapesaresour at 5:27 PM on April 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Anyone else catch a whiff of HST reading this?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:03 PM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


All I wanted to know was how a death row inmate got his lawyer girlfriend pregnant immaculately

'Into the Abyss' makes it pretty clear how, and is currently on Netflix (in Canada at any rate). Much as I appreciate the Herzogian yucks, this film really brings out his compassionate side.


No, I saw 'Into the Abyss' and it seemed that the inmate was on death row seclusion without 'conjugal' visits. Theoretically he could only touch his wife through the glass. Therefore did a guard do some smuggling!? Anyway, derail, apologies. That's what he didn't mention, and I left while he was on a tangent about the history of Greek coins. I didn't actually realize it was his signature speaking style!
posted by bquarters at 6:03 PM on April 23, 2012


I prefer Jonathan Swift's Directions to Servants (selection).
posted by anothermug at 6:05 PM on April 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


These Herzog bits tend to remind me of the second part of this "Thought For Food" bit from the Colbert Report, featuring the actual German ambassador's first encounter with a cupcake.
posted by JHarris at 6:12 PM on April 23, 2012


The crying shame of it all is that after reading the wonderful note, the cleaning muttered the words, "Go fuck yourself."
posted by digsrus at 6:51 PM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


"And speaking of vacuum..."

Perfectly executed bathos.
posted by estuardo at 8:18 PM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also:

"Do not fail to think that you are not the finest woman I have ever met. You are."

I need to find a way to use this in conversation so I can watch the mental contortions.
posted by estuardo at 8:20 PM on April 23, 2012


Wasn't this on "The Onion" a couple years ago?
posted by gjc at 8:22 PM on April 23, 2012


Herzog has a slowness about his accent that is almost, but not quite, Austrian.

Well, Herzog spent the first 12 years of his life in the village of Sachrang--which couldn't possibly be any closer to Austria unless it actually packed itself up and schlepped across that last couple thousand feet to move right in. The regional dialect there is an Upper Bavarian one, Boarisch, as it's called locally, or Austro-Bavarian if you prefer.

Schwarzenegger grew up in Thal, very near Graz, which is more or less on the other side of Austria and in a slightly different dialect area (South Bavarian vs. Central Bavarian for Sachrang), but still, those two dialects are going to be far closer to each other than either is to standard German.

If you know German at all, the Austro-Bavarian dialect has a very distinctive sound and cadence. Brad Prager, for one, thinks that Herzog's native dialect may have had a fairly profound effect on his thinking and interests.

So--altogether not a bad call, especially if you were just guessing from the sound of their English accents. You're gauging the almost-but-not-quite-Austrian-ness of an accent down to an accuracy of like 500 feet . . .
posted by flug at 8:50 PM on April 23, 2012 [9 favorites]


the cleaning muttered the words, "Go fuck yourself."

More Gilliam than Herzog, no?
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 9:40 PM on April 23, 2012


Cleaning woman?!
posted by O Blitiri at 4:56 AM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh I dunno. this caricaturing Werner is getting old now. It's all one note. Particularly as he's not really like that.
posted by peterkins at 2:32 PM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


No he's not like that. But if you know enough to get jokes about Werner Herzog, you already know that.
posted by JHarris at 5:18 PM on April 24, 2012


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