Saturday, July 17, 2004

Going postal Comme une lettre à la poste
Bush tells Armstrong how to handle the French: 'Stick it in and break it off.'
Bush dit à Armstrong comment pratiquer les franchouilles: 'Enfonce-le bien et casse-le net.'
UPDATE: It's stuck in. Lance will break it off in the Alps.
DERNIERES INFOS: C'est enfoncé bien profond. Lance le cassera net dans les Alpes.
UPDATE: Interviewed on French State TV France2 (propagandists of the State Party Line©®™) about charges of doping, Lance Armstrong responded 'I don't care. I want to reach the Champs-Elysées with the Yellow Jersey, and then it's good-bye France.'
DERNIERES INFOS: Interviewé à la télé de l'Etat France2 (pamphlétaires de la pensée unique Non-Pensée Inique de l'Etat©®™) au sujet des accusations de dopage portées contre lui, Lance Armstrong a répondu, 'Je m'en fiche. Je veux arriver sur les Champs-Elysées avec le maillot Jaune et ensuite ce sera au revoir à la France.'

Harder, better, faster, stronger
Kill faster. Total war. Tuer plus vite. Guerre totale.
Le Monde Al-Jazeera on the Seine is wetting its pants because the Iraqi Prime Minister allegedly killed a few terrorists.
Le Monde Al-Jazira sur Seine nous fait un caca nerveux car le Premier Ministre Irakien aurait tué quelques terroristes.
'... the meaning of a civilisation is now measured less by the quantity of its victims than by the quality of its executioners.'
'... le sens d'une civilisation se mesurait désormais beaucoup moins à la quantité de ses victimes qu'à la qualité de ses tueurs.'
Raymond Abellio, La Fosse de Babel

Ctrl-Alt-Del. Good metaphor for the Ripoublika Franska. Ctrl-Alt-Suppr. Belle métaphore pour la Ripoublika Franska.
Good example of French technical excellence in today's Libération PropagandaStaffel in an article covering the widespread software crashes now affecting the SNCF (national railway): 'Up until now we had a few small outages now and then, three or four times a day but they never lasted a long time. We simply had to reboot.' Bel exemple d'excellence technique franchouille vu dans Libé PropagandaStaffel aujourd'hui au sujet de la panne généralisée des logiciels à la SNCF: 'Jusqu'à présent, on avait eu quelques petites pannes par-ci, par-là, trois ou quatre par jour mais qui ne durait pas longtemps. Il suffisait de rebooter.'

Friday, July 16, 2004

The road to Morocco Il appelle affectueusement sa tasspé de Sarcelles 'sa petite alerte à Marrakech'
While sheep-like collaborating Zeropeans accuse Israel of being their biggest threat (Eric of the Eric and Razmy duo, just one more anti-Semitic French gagman, was on TV calling Ariel Sharon the biggest terrorist in the world), a judge in Spain reminds his adle-brained fellow European citizens that Zeropa's biggest threat is an Arab country just a boat ride away. Don't say it too loud though. Might get the natives upset. You know how they have a hair trigger bomb-belt like temper.
Pendant que les zéropéens collaborateurs au comportement moutonnier montrent du doigt l'Etat d'Israël en le taxant d'être leur plus grande menace (Eric de Eric et Ramzy, un comique franchouille antisémite de plus, était à la téloche pour traiter Ariel Sharon de plus grand terroriste au monde), un juge espagnol rappelle à ses con-(très con)-citoyens européens que la plus grande menace pour la Zéropa est un pays arabe d'où partent de nombreux embarquements de fortune. Ne le dites pas à voix haute pourtant. Ça pourrait offusquer les indigènes. Ils ont la gachette fastoche sur la ceinture d'explosifs.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Where the Wild Things Are Au régal des vermines
Against a background of anti-Semitic graffiti like 'Fuck the Jews', French youth express their indignation to a reporter from Le Monde Al-Jazeera on the Seine (please understand, the poor things have been humiliated) and take the opportunity to vent their uncontrolable envy and hatred of all things Jewish.
Sur fond de tags antisémites style 'Nique les juifs', de chères têtes blondes franchouilles expriment leur indignation à un journaliste chez Le Monde Al-Jazira sur Seine (faut comprendre, les bambins ont été humiliés les pov') et profitent de l'occasion pour nous faire une démonstration de leurs pulsions d'envie et de haine vis-à-vis de tout ce qui est juif.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Just tag him and bag him Pesé, emballé, jetez-le
No burial, just a pigskin shitsack
Pas d'enterrement, un sac à merde en carcasse de porc suffira largement.

Up your ziggy with a wawa brush Fais-toi ramoner l'entrée des artistes avec une brosse à chiottes
Isn't 'cocksucking liberal media' hate speech in these parts? Too bad.
L'expression 'média gôchiste suceur de bites' ne constitue-elle pas un discours haineux par ici? Tant pis.

The kids are alright Des guns, des keufs, des histoires de caillera --- mais comment veux-tu faire kiffer les tera?
Le Monde Al-Jazeera on the Seine can serve up all the appy polly loggies it wants. It is nevertheless an accomplice in the continuing undeclared civil war in this country.
Le Monde Al-Jazira sur Seine peut nous fourguer autant d'exqui cucuses usées qu'il veut. Il est tout de même un collaborateur actif dans la guerre civile non-déclarée dans ce pays.

Clinton's Saudi Policies Were No Different Than Bush's

In a letter (third one down) to Craig (House of Bush, House of Saud) Unger, Rachel Bronson takes on one of the central denunciations made by Michael Moore and Richard Clarke.
I think it's worth returning to the original question: Has the money that has flowed and the history that has passed between the House of Bush and the House of Saud affected the course of American politics to the detriment of the American people? I think we both agree that the administration has made some major missteps. But I don't think the evidence stacks up that it's because of a personal relationship between the families. …

Before 9/11, did Bush pursue such a different policy toward Saudi Arabia than Clinton did? Clinton's relationship with Saudi Arabia around terrorism was relatively cordial, much to the chagrin of those in Clarke's shop. Clarke was pushing Clinton to come down harder on terrorist financing, but Clinton worried that if he did, it would have a significant and possibly unrecoverable negative effect on the global economy, and so he chose not to pursue the advice of Clarke on that one. There's no evidence that the Clinton folks were coming down hard on the Saudis and then Bush suddenly changed course. The Clinton folks, by the end, were much more concerned with terrorism than the Bush team was at the beginning of their tenure, but for reasons addressed earlier, it has less to do with money and ties than Cold War blinders.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

The French Resistance to Helping in Afghanistan and Iraq is Now Downright Dangerous

…with a flick of a hand, Chirac dismisses [Afghan president] Karzai — and, of course, the U.S.
writes Charles Krauthammer in the Time Magazine article Why the French Act Isn't Funny Anymore.
Before Sept. 11, France's Gaullist anti-Americanism as a form of ostentatious self-aggrandizement was an irritant. With a war on — three, in fact: Afghanistan, Iraq and the larger war on terrorism — France's willful obstructionism becomes dangerous and deadly. …

Why then is Chirac making things as difficult as he can for the U.S.?

It is not just pique. It is not just antipathy to George Bush. And it is not just France's traditional and reflexive policy of trying to rein in, cut down and domesticate the world's greatest superpower so that ultimately secondary powers like France could emerge as leaders of a multipolar world.

There is something far deeper going on here…

(Merci à Tom P)

France Again Displays Its Unequalled Humility, Reasonableness, and In-Depth Understanding of World Affairs

France really shows its in-depth understanding of international relations, of which governments can claim to be the genuine article, and who, alone, is competent to making such judgments.
Pascale Boniface [sic: the first name is Pascal], director of the Institute for International and Strategic Relations in Paris, said renewing ties with France would help the new Iraqi government establish its legitimacy.

"Iraq has to show that it is not locked into a subservience to the United States," Mr. Boniface said.

Should Belgium show that it is not subservient to France? Non. Should Paris have shown that it was not subservient to Saddam Hussein? Non. Did Saddam ever have to prove that he was the genuine representative of the Iraqi people? Not at all, do not be ridicules! But the new Iraqi government must show France that it (the Baghdad government) is not subservient to Uncle Sam!

Good for you, France, what would we do without you? You proved it again: La France veille!

Answer: a French one Réponse: un trou à merde fwançais
Question: What kind of a shithole is this where you can insult somebody only if they are straight?
Question: C'est quel genre de trou à merde où on peut insulter que les hétérosexuels?

Smoke 'em out of their holes Les enfumer pour les sortir de leurs grottes
Call a spade a spade.
Il vaut mieux appeler une racaille une racaille.

La Fin for France's Film Rules?

What I found most interesting in Eric Pfanner's IHT article is how the EU, while striking down France's protection laws, said squarely and forthrightly that "the measure deprives French consumers of a wider choice of European cultural goods". That, of course, goes against the conventional wisdom here, the one that repeats the government's mantra, the one that claims that the government's protection is of the benign type, since it allegedly provides for endless diversity and boundless creativity. (Emphasis is mine.)
The European Commission has taken square aim at a pillar of the French "cultural exception," asking the government to change rules that ban television advertising of films and books.

Paris maintains that the ban aids the endangered newspaper industry by channeling ad sales its way and encourages media diversity by helping French films and books survive amid bigger-budget (that is, American) competition. The commission disagreed with that justification.

"By impeding operators in other member states from advertising and using a very efficient means of promotion to enter the French market, the measure deprives French consumers of a wider choice of European cultural goods," the commission said in a statement. The commission has been aggressively pushing ways to create a more unified market for goods and services across a newly enlarged European Union.

…Under pressure from the commission, France has already had to lift a ban on television advertising by retailers, which was intended to protect small shops against hypermarket operators like Carrefour. The French television ad bans are unusual, though Germany, like France, has long had restrictions on discounting of books, for instance, in an effort to protect small publishers and booksellers.

…Film is another matter [than the book market. The TBWA's Jean-Pierre Rousset] estimated that movie distributors might spend as much as E50 million, or $62 million, a year to promote their films in France. A sizable portion of this might be new spending from Hollywood studios or the larger French distributors, who have been forced to rely mostly on newspapers, billboards and radio until now.

"In the end, it's a lost fight," he said of efforts to keep the ban in place. "It's much better to find other ways to discover new talent." In addition to banning television ads for movies, France encourages local film production with the largest public subsidies of any European country. It has been relatively successful in its effort to foster the development of the domestic film industry.

In 2002, 35 percent of French box office sales stemmed from domestically produced films, the highest percentage in Europe …Thus, independent producers argue that ending the advertising ban would put them at a severe disadvantage.

…It is not all bad news, however. The government has also been weighing allowing French television channels to run more advertisements. Advertising time has been strictly limited, particularly on publicly financed channels like France 2. Because broadcasters are required to give a portion of their revenue to finance cinema and television production, increased ad sales could create a bigger pool of money.

Liiive from Paris, It's the Capital's First All-English Radio

Chris Oakes has an article in the International Herald Tribune on the French capital's first all-English-language radio station.
…since May 11, Paris Live Radio has been reaching what it says is 30,000 daily listeners, albeit by nontraditional signal paths: cable TV and satellite radio channels and streaming over the Internet via PLR is also participating in the testing phase for fledgling digital radio in France. …

Judging by the experience of Paris Live Radio, … it looks as if the only reason no one had started an English station before is that no one had tried. … The absence of an English-language radio station surprised [Renzie Duncan when the Australian expatriate] first stayed in Paris, in the mid-'90s.

…for now, those among Paris's 200,000-plus anglophone expatriate community who can tune to one of Paris Live Radio's signals find a menu of brief on-the-hour news updates, information as diverse as local events, language and cultural tips and the major component, pop music. On that score, the station must meet the same legal requirement as any music station in France: a minimum of 40 percent French artists.

France's Beacon Dimmed by Racism

In his Politicus column for the International Herald Tribune this week, John Vinocur discusses hard days for La France Universelle. (Do bear in mind that one of the events discussed in the past few days has since turned out to be false.)
Tomorrow is Bastille Day, and if France still represents some kind of universal message, it is having a miserable time matching the dim wattage of its current beacon with that of its luminescent past.

If this were a country with a more circumscribed self-description of its own worth to humanity, a cheery Denmark, or an exuberant but problematic Brazil, nothing horribly cosmic might be made of France's current corrosive reality of anti-Arab racism, hundreds of no-go communities penetrated by Islamic fundamentalism, or anti-Semitism that has gotten out of hand. But France defines itself, with historical legitimacy going back to July 14, 1789, as a vector of values for everyone, a universal proposition of intelligence and reason, offering assimilation for seekers of citizenship or psychic belonging for admirers of its good sense. Skipping over the pretense of grandeur, a serious argument could be made that alongside America's more pragmatic projection as the world's indispensable power, France kept in the game through the postwar years as a worthy adjunct, committed to freedom, human rights and fairness in its own brilliantly self-interested way.

These days, both the Republic's notion of itself as an inspirational force and example, and the affection of some of its friends — "To live like God in France," goes a German phrase describing a universal ambition for the good life — are hard put by events.

Last week, a sociologist, Pierre-André Taguieff, director of research at the state-sponsored National Center for Scientific Research, talking in an interview for a series of articles in Le Figaro called "What it is to be French today," described racism here as so lethal now that the French live in a fractured republic that no longer merits the label "one and indivisible."

After all, the day before, the government's internal intelligence service, les Renseignements Généraux, furnished the corroborative details, reporting that 300 "troubled neighborhoods" nationwide, grouping about 1.8 million residents, had become communities "in retreat." Decoded, this meant that a substantial part of the country's Arab population of five to seven million live in areas submerged in separatist-like situations involving what the Renseignements Généraux indicated were Islamic fundamentalist preachers, contempt for France and the West, anti-Semitism, and violence. Le Monde described the Renseignements Généraux's analysts as deeply pessimistic about circumstances they called "difficult to halt." Acknowledging the substantial failure of a system of assimilation which stops with brotherhood and equality in word only, this went to the heart of the notion of a universal French beacon. In terms of reality, verbal theory had never coincided with equal opportunity for France's Arabs or what the French-Arab community considers it merits in terms of respect from the state or the French themselves.

It is this jagged gap in France's relationship with Arab immigrants at home, paradoxically exacerbated by a continuous French message of pro-Arab sentiment to the Middle East, that appears to be a central element in deflecting the French-Arab community's anger toward French Jews.

Beyond attacks by Arab youths on Jews … and what Taguieff says is a demonization of Israel in France, the sociologist indentifies the presence of a new "judeophobia" here. While Taguieff says this is not the policy of the state, he believes it has entered the tissue of national life with the French "majority looking on as indifferent or complaisant spectators."

Running after events, but getting consciously ahead of the self-celebratory aspects of Bastille Day, Jacques Chirac, certainly no racist or anti-Semite, for the second time in a year pledged last week to put a stop to the problem. Unlike Taguieff, he insisted "the nation" shared the victims' pain. But Chirac offered no names, no responsible parties, just confirmation of a disgraceful but, in his formulation, near-virtual situation in which la France Universelle remained essentially blameless. In the same manner that Charles de Gaulle considered the Nazi collaborationist Vichy government illegitimate, and its crimes not those of France, specific official acknowledgment of discrimination in France against its Arabs, or that the hoodlums attacking Jews essentially come from the French Arab community, appeared too much in conflict with France's universalist aspirations to get spelled out by Chirac.

"In trying at any price to avoid stigmatizing certain segments of the French population," Taguieff explained, "we don't dare anymore to call anything by its right name or to describe it unequivocally."

This, in turn, seems mirrored in France's refusal to modify or fine-tune its approach to the world. Pascal Bruckner, the writer, talked years ago of the inflexibility growing out of his country's "unique mixture of arrogance and self-hatred." And this awkward French place between pretension and reality affects its current politics internationally.

If France weren't wedded to a desire for global resonance, its seriously challenged handhold on a share of leadership in Europe and its attempts to mark international affairs with its own stamp could be scribbled off in its private accounts as a bad run in day-trading on the global geopolitical bourse.

But because they treat leadership in Europe as a national birthright, France's politicians have now moved into the embarrassing position of not knowing whether they want to stage a referendum on the European Union's new constitution, or, ultimately, be for or against it — although the treaty is substantially the oeuvre of a Frenchman, former President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing.

The unspoken reason is that the constitution holds out no palpable, specific advantages for France. As a result, its political caste, across factions left and right, has atomized into groups weighing out potential gain by the gram of support or opposition on a scale of domestic political positioning. This has zero to do with Europe's interests or the greatness of the French example.

The situation came as a piece with Chirac's behavior two weeks earlier at a NATO summit in Istanbul as the Alliance offered up minimalist support for a mission to train the armed forces of the new Iraqi regime. A participant recounted later that after France raised no objections in a closed-door session with the entire membership, Chirac proceeded to trash the plan in front of the press.

It was a glaring moment of French unilateralism, with Le Monde, in a departure from its usual portrayal of French wisdom, describing Chirac as "isolated" and "in the role of eternal complainer and killjoy."

As the flags and the brass bands come down the Champs-Elysées on Wednesday, it would not be reasonable to expect a national expression of newfound humility to be included in the president's traditional television interview. All the same, taken together on Bastille Day, French life and politics in 2004 suggest a universal proposition that for the moment is one of considerable modesty.

Stone them back to the bomb age Bombardez-les de façon lapidaire

The Good, the Bad, and the Do-Nothings

Today is the birthday of John Clare (1793-1864), the English writer who (besides "If life had a second edition, how I would correct the proofs") wrote that
The best way to avoid a bad action is by doing a good one, for there is no difficulty in the world like that of trying to do nothing.
Just thinking to myself: doesn't "doing nothing" come close to the (non-)agenda that the anti-Washington pacifists have been claiming would (somehow) sort the world out right?

Also: exactly what good actions can France's foreign affairs ministry claim over the past few years (decades?); except of course the obviously genial one of opposing Uncle Sam at every step?

(Just asking…)