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Debate Was So Bad That Foreign News Is Trying to Explain What a “Shitshow” Is

(COMBO) This combination of pictures created on September 28, 2020 shows Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden(L) speaking at a "Build Back Better" Clean Energy event on July 14, 2020 at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware, and US President Donald Trump speaking during a briefing at the White House September 27, 2020, in Washington, DC. - At the September 29, 2020 election debate, millions of Americans will watch as the two antagonists -- who depict each other as existential threats to the country -- step into the ring live on television after months of shadow-boxing. (Photos by Olivier DOULIERY and Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY,BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Americans have been using some … colorful language to describe the debate last night. From shitshow to clusterfuck to many news outlets just forgetting the unspoken rule against profanity and writing “what the fuck is this garbage?” many of us are using expletives to express our outrage and upset.

But that’s also causing a bit of a problem when it comes to translating whatever the f**k is happening in America right now for foreign publications. For instance, The Asahi Shimbun (which is a Japanese publication and is one of five national publications in the country) was having a bit of a problem with “shitshow,” which CNN’s Dana Bash broke out immediately following the … display.

And, look, their translation isn’t exactly wrong.

Politico reported, in an article about horrified international reactions to our newest national embarassment,

The debate set foreign media outlets scrambling to decode Americans’ own, often colorful, denunciations of the debate. For Asahi Shimbun, a leading Japanese newspaper, the challenge was translating “shitshow.” Their answer: “a show that is like shit,“ part of an article headlined, “The worst debate ever.” Deutsche Welle, Germany’s public broadcaster for global audiences, felt the need to define “clusterfuck” as “a complex and utterly disordered and mismanaged situation: a muddled mess.”

To be honest, I feel bad for any foreign publication trying to understand what the hell is going on in America right now in general, because all we’re doing is screaming. Last night, Rachel Maddow would just laugh when something happened, and even Joe Biden just chuckled 90% of the time. None of us know what’s going on, and then we’re out here making up words to express how absolutely horrific the state of this country is.

Even though most of the Chinese media ignored the debate, Hu Xijin, editor of China’s Global Times, tweeted about the chaos that is whatever our government currently is:

So, The Asahi Shimbun, you’re not wrong. It is a show that is like shit, just like the rest of this country. We’re falling into chaos with no way of getting out and every step forward we make leads to a staircase of mistakes that we fall down. So, yes, our language is now getting a bit more “colorful” so to speak, but … can you blame us? This is a show that is like shit.

(via @War_Kittens on Twitter, image: Olivier DOULIERY and Brendan Smialowski / AFP)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.