Fun With Werner Herzog

I fucking love Werner Herzog. I love his  interviews  and panel discussions as much as I love his movies.   He is a master at articulating abstract ideas and finding absurdity and  allegory and pathos in almost every human endeavor. Max loved him too. He used to rent a couple of DVDs at a time and bring them over to watch together. We never got through the entire Herzog  catalogue, though. I will have to go on with that alone.

Today I came  across a writer, “Erik K.,” who knows how to get the most out of Werner. I’ve reprinted his post here but you can also read it at his blog   here. I love him and you will too.


A  diverting game to play while in miserable circumstances

Earlier this week I found myself in an extremely interior circle of hell. I speak of the Comcast Customer Service Center in Chicago, where I thought I was just stopping by to pick up some self-install equipment. This stopping-by turned into over an hour of queueing followed by one of the most angrymaking customer service interactions I’ve ever had. I resurrected my long-dormant yelp account just so I could  vent my spleen. Having gotten that out of my system, let me tell you about a fun game I play in situations where I might otherwise have a rage-out:


Number of players: 1 (2 if you count imaginary-Werner-Herzog-in-your-head)

Prerequisite: Having seen one or more Werner Herzog documentaries (ideally late-period ones where the voiceovers approach a brilliant kind of self-parody)

How you play: Imagine Werner Herzog narrating your horrible experience. Allow his doomy-yet-weirdly-soothing Teutonic soliloquies to transmute your experience from one of mundane frustration, boredom, etc. to one of sublime terror, or one that exemplifies the murderousness of nature, or the pitilessness of the universe.

Some examples to get you started:

  • “I believe the common denominator of this food court is not harmony, but chaos, hostility and murder.”
  • “The blank stare of my oral hygienist bespeaks a terrifying malevolence. The scraping of her tartar pick is the nightmarish sound of cannibals whispering darkly.”
  • “The post office is a place of pestilential despair, a primordial soup one wishes to crawl out of, if only to evolve to further Lessons of Darkness.”

Tip: If you’re having trouble channeling your inner Werner Herzog, imagine the person standing behind you in line, or jostling you on the overstuffed train car, or whatever, is Klaus Kinski, and he is trying to murder you. This always helps me get in the mood!

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8 Responses to Fun With Werner Herzog

  1. annemarie says:

    hahahahaha! Brilliant!

    I love Werner Herzog too.

  2. tartantreacly says:

    BRILLIANT. I love this game already.

  3. I’ve only seen one of his movies. Loved and hated it. Will gladly watch others with you. Sounds like a sleep over is in our not so far away future 😉 love you mommy

  4. kate says:

    i helped my friend make a short film. when problems presented themselves, he would quip, “feelm iz muuuhduh…” a la herzog.

  5. Laura says:

    I fucking live Werner herzog!! He is my dream
    man (I’m 25)…

  6. Cricket9 says:

    Great, great idea, thank you! Now I’ll have something interesting to do when attending countless meetings at work:
    “I believe the common denominator of the group of people in this dank, gloomy, stifling room full of suspicious cables sneaking around to flickering screens with cryptic, malevolently looking diagrams and incomprehensible text is not solving problems, but plotting bloody revenge, mayhem and rise to the top over dead, broken bodies of the enemies.” Muahahaha!

  7. Cricket9 says:

    It should be “suspicious-looking cables”.

  8. yes! I love that weirdo too. Have you seen the hysterical video of him chugging cough syrup out of a slipper and growling about being hypersensitive???

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