The Finer Points of Creative Weltschmerz-ing

It’s time – past time really – to discuss the finer points of creative weltschmerz-ing. As in scrap-booking, there are some distinct rules and provisions which will make the experience that much more fulfilling and righteous.

The definition of weltschmerz as given by wiki is excellent! Delving into weltschmerz as a new student, there is much to learn!

a term coined by the German author Jean Paul and denotes the kind of feeling experienced by someone who understands that physical reality can never satisfy the demands of the mind. This kind of pessimistic world view was widespread among several romantic authors such as Lord Byron, Giacomo Leopardi, François-René de Chateaubriand, Alfred de Musset, Nikolaus Lenau, Herman Hesse, and Heinrich Heine. It is also used to denote the feeling of sadness when thinking about the evils of the world—compare empathy, theodicy.

The modern meaning of Weltschmerz in the German language is the psychological pain caused by sadness that can occur when realizing that someone’s own weaknesses are caused by the inappropriateness and cruelty of the world and (physical and social) circumstances. Weltschmerz in this meaning can cause depression, resignation and escapism, and can become a mental problem (compare to Hikikomori). The modern meaning should also be compared with the concept of anomie, or a kind of alienation, that Émile Durkheim wrote about in his sociological treatise Suicide.

It can be a challenge to find a postcard which fulfills all the things weltschmerz promises. We know that a feeling is an emotion which is caused by a number of factors – the chemicals in your brain, the food you ate today, how good a hair day you are having, genetic predisposition, cultural attenuations . . . but when one is scrapbooking weltschmerzing or seeking the ways of weltschmerz there are five * other rules I would insist need to be attended to.

1) Find the highest level of acceptable vulgarity possible. The level of vulgarity should be of a bourgeois sort (see ‘bourgeois’) teetering on the very knife-point of utter tastelessness. (Note: ‘tastelessness’ does not preclude things of a presupposed higher cultural order or financial output – see ‘Unhappy Hipsters’ for examples within this metier.)

2. Aim for cute-ness. This is a core value. Do not neglect the cute-ness.

3. The tonality of the finished piece should ooze cold, not warm – but the external surface must make pretense at warmth.

4. The final concept must scream ‘trite’. Within this trite-ness there should be a looming self-assurance.

If you can meet these four rules your creative weltschmerz-ing project should be accepted and embraced by multitudes! I leave you with the above postcard as fair example of the genre.

Best of luck to all who decide to pursue this field, and – of course –
Have a Nice Day!!!! ♥

* There are only four other rules. The fifth rule ran away.


Weltschmerz, Thy Name is Restaurant

Those colors! Those god’s faces peering from the walls! Those dungeon-style chandeliers!

The torture-wheels over on the right – such a nice touch.

Such a lovely ominous tree. And what could that stain be on the sidewalk?

Meet Beefy and Berry Weltschmerz

The back of this postcard says

Thick juicy prime rib, aged steaks, and surprisingly enough, a variety of fresh seafoods. Open at 5:00 PM. NEED WE SAY MORE!

Moving from Beefy on to his friend Berry we have

There is nothing written on the back of this postcard. But a quick look at Knott’s Berry Farm on wiki tells us that

In the 1920s, Walter Knott and his family sold berries, berry plants and pies from a roadside stand beside State Route 39, near the small town of Buena Park.[1] In the 1930s, Walter Knott was introduced to a new berry which had been cultivated by Rudolph Boysen. The plant was a combination of the red raspberry, blackberry, and loganberry. Walter planted a few plants he had received on a visit to Boysen’s farm, and later started to sell them at their roadside stand.[1] When people asked him what they were called he said “boysenberries”. In 1934, to make ends meet, Knott’s wife Cordelia (1890–1974) reluctantly began serving fried chicken dinners on their wedding china.

Weltschmerz and the Not-So-Single Postcard

It all started with Dwell magazine. Or rather, it started with a comment left on my facebook page by someone after I’d re-linked to an elegant, slim-volumed, minimalistic, adorably vicious blog which does out-takes from Dwell with a different twist.

I can’t decide at the moment whether this post at the blog Unhappy Hipsters is my current fav or whether it might have to be this one. Each one has its own certain charm!

But my friend (whom I call Sir Charles for that is what he is like in ways even though in regular life he is not a Sir but then neither is he a Charlie) was moved to leave a comment about how he (who everyone normally would think of as  being in the group defined as ‘hipsters’) would not mind at all living in any one of those houses even if it meant enduring soul numbing weltschmerz.

His comment startled me for I had thought weltschmerz was a type of sausage. There are many words throughout life I’ve avoided learning the meanings of, but of which, sooner or later, I’m faced with having to do so. ‘Hegemony’. That was a big one. I still feel like pulling out a large sword and decapitating any person who says it in my presence. It infuriates me. ‘Weltschmerz’ was one of these words. Though it doesn’t leave me wanting a sword but rather, a large cave to hide in.

I asked people what it meant, and got a variety of answers – including the right one. Something to put on your hair was mentioned, and I seemed to remember a poodle that was a weltschmerz. An excellent video clip was provided by another friend (which you can view at the end of this post), and a cousin of Fred and Ethel Mertz was brought to light.

Now that I know what the word means, I realize that I have experienced weltschmerz, and it has been right here in the postcard world.

There are an amazing amount of postcards which rouse me to this feeling – or should I say drop me spinning and falling without recourse or defense – into this feeling.

So, this week, while thinking of Dwell magazine and musing on Unhappy Hipsters, I’m going to serve up weltschmerz on a plate.

As time allows, I’ll be posting the most weltschmerz-inspiring postcards I have. Likely without commentary. It’s enough, just to look.

Here’s the video clip.