Pena ajena, plaatsvervangende schaamte: However you say it, I feel it when I watch Tom Cruise “dancing” on BET.
Back when I posted an entry on Ashlee Simpson’s SNL appearance, I said that it made me feel embarrassed to be human, and that I knew that there was a Spanish phrase that meant something like “alien embarrassment”, but that I didn’t know what that phrase was.
A helpful reader named Manuel informed me that the phrase I sought was pena ajena, which apparently means “mortification on behalf of another”. A fellow named David chimed in with plaatsvervangende schaamte: Dutch for “shame in another’s place.”
Anyhoo, both are pretty good descriptions of the feeling I get watching Tom Cruise do his little motorcycle stomp on BET.
[YOU TUBE LINK VIA DEFAMER.]
May 5, 2006 | Permalink
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