On the phone with my mother a while back, I mentioned how nice German sounds. She said she finds it too guttural. Since I used to think the same thing, I said maybe she associates it with all those brusque, crazed WWII speeches, and she just hasn't heard the right person speaking German. I was thinking specifically of Thomas Kretschmann
, who has one of the smokiest, sexiest voices I've ever encountered.
So when pun
and I ended up talking about accents and languages when I saw them a few weeks ago and one of them repeated my mother's sentiments, I went straight for YouTube and we found this interview
. Ja? They were convinced.
Last night I went back for more and found a second one
for you. (Look, no_detective
, another behind-the-scenes video of a photo shoot.) If you don't have patience for the whole thing, he comes in at about 1:00, 1:40 and 2:50—and his voice joins him about five seconds later. I also enjoyed one of his English interviews, which are more common on YouTube, when he appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel show
in December and recapped his life story. (Highlights include Kimmel establishing that East Germany is no longer a country and not knowing how to convert kilometers to miles, and Kretschmann saying his hands are girlish but defending the manliness of "other parts.") And so on, blah blah.
Point is—second point is—that after surfing around for more clips and remembering exactly how attractive I find this man, something clicked in my head. Thomas Kretschmann/John Sheppard.
Or rather, Thomas Kretschmann character/John Sheppard. Except I can't think of a character he's played who could cross over with SGA; they're all Nazis except for the CGI future sci fi guy and Dr. Frankenstein and the serial killer, etc. Which, God help me, made me seriously consider writing RPS Thomas/Joe Flanigan. Because there's too much hot there not to be exploited.
And similarities! They could connect over sports (TK was an Olympic-caliber swimmer, and obviously still stays fit; JF/JS likes climbing and surfing and so forth) and wearing t-shirts inappropriate for their age and chain necklaces (see also: second interview link) and big watches and being hot and come on, the hair. Rodney could not keep himself from mentioning the hair if he were to see the two of them together.
ETA: Something more serious that was hiding beneath that post.
Being Jewish, I did grow up with a keen awareness of the Holocaust and that the German government at the time was to blame for it. I remember disliking the sound of the German language because of all the recorded speeches we watched in history and religious education classes.
I also remember sitting at the seder table one Passover and deciding that I hated Egyptians because their ancestors had enslaved my ancestors. Or thinking about deciding to hate them, anyway. (Which was hard, because I loved learning about ancient Egypt. But that's beside the point.) But then in the haggadah there was a lesson about not carrying a grudge, about bestowing forgiveness for past wrongs, and about not holding an entire people responsible for the actions of a few -- or possibly I'm mixing that last part up with Holocaust education, but the moral is the same.
So I immediately dropped my half-fake grudge against Egypt, and at about that time, I also opened up to German language and culture. Which is when I found that I liked it quite a bit. Or I quickly learned to like it quite a bit. By college I was watching a lot of German movies and loving how I could pick up words and phrases because of the language's similarity to English. Before, I'd had no interest. And I fell in love with voices and bodies like Thomas Kretschmann's.
Then there comes another problem, towards the opposite end of the spectrum: should I feel guilty that I'm deriving shallow, sensual pleasure from characters who represent the very soldiers and politicians who perpetrated the Holocaust? Do I run the risk of too easily embracing something that caused irreparable harm in the past? Is it a kind of betrayal? That gets into very sticky territory -- perhaps the same kind that you enter when you find yourself "enjoying" reading/watching/hearing Holocaust narratives. I think it's all right, though. I have the history in mind, always. I don't love the voice of a Nazi character without that qualifier. I'm glad to have the dual perspective, mourning the harm that was done but being able to love the culture for what is good.