Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Freud, Get Your Beret On

Hmmmm. I wonder what's on the French government's mind these days.

The French Defence Minister Herve Morin, being interviewed a few days ago on a small radio station, Radio Beur, about France's involvement with the war in Afghanistan, was asked about the fact that a majority of French people opposed the involvement of French troops in that arena (France has about 3,500 troops serving with NATO there, at a cost of about half a billion euros annually, and has lost about 45 soldiers in the fight against the Taliban). He replied by saying that "It is difficult to explain to... men and women... that part of their safety is ensured 7,000 miles away."

Or that's what he ended up saying. But what he actually said initially (before quickly correcting himself) was:

"C'est difficile d'expliquer à des cons... "

...which translates into "It is difficult to explain to cunts..." Most mainstream media that has reported on it has chosen to translate it in the far more idiomatic (and polite) "It is difficult to explain to idiots..."

For those who can understand French, here is the clip as it aired on the radio:

Of course, this comes on the back of two other embarrassing gaffes by French government politicians. The most recent one before Morin, was that by Brice Hortefeux, the French interior minister, who in an interview on October 17 referred to digital fingerprinting as "genital impressions." That's Brice Hortefeux on the left with one of his genitals, sorry, digits.

But that was only after former Justice Minister and now Member of European Parliament Rachida Dati, while attacking foreign investment funds in a television appearance last month, confused the word 'inflation' with "fellatio." She said:

"When I see some of them looking for returns of 20 or 25 per cent, at a time when fellatio is close to zero, and in particular in a slump, that means we are destroying businesses."

She later laughed off the slip-up by saying that it happened because she was trying to speak too fast. You can see a clip of that now infamous moment here. Of course Ms Dati is rumoured to have been removed last year as Justice Minister because of First Lady Carla Bruni's distaste for her, although officially it was said to be because of professional lapses. It is widely believed in France that she was President Nikolas Sarkozy's former lover and also has a child from an unnamed father, who many believe (rightly or wrongly) is Sarkozy himself:

Would you say the French government seems a little distracted?


hemlock said...

Clearly you guys have been reading bbc :) readin this here was like deja vu.

Anonymous said...

Infellation/flatio, tomatoes/tomatoes. Same thing!

TLW said...

Well of course they are distracted, haven't you heard of those massive French strikes?

Hip fighting protestors Vs Robocop suited riot police.

Vive La France!

Tilsim said...

Pff! The French unhappy about the war in Afghanistan?

Merde, l'Afgan, crazy like the Americains about this biziness of religion. Mon Dieu, so uncivil - no appreciation of les femmes or couture or vins. Life in the barracks - non je ne regrets rien!

Merci et adieu, the brave soldats of France-sissy as they say in urdu:)

affairesetrangeres said...

This is completely unfair. What the honourable Minister was about to say was "c'est dfficile d'expliquer à des concitoyens qui sont contre la guerre"...okay, lies, he was probably gonna say "cons".

Also, though "cons" can mean cunts, remember, the French are really liberal with their swear words. If I had a dime for each time I've heard shit (merde) or whore (putain) in French offices...

Khalid FAROOQ said...

I have been speaking french for a couple of years and have been told these jokes. Infact, the pronounciation where Ms Dati slipped is very close to each other. And they seem similar to each other. French is a very different language in terms of pronouciations and such incidences are picked up quickly by media. But here, they are just shrugged off as a co-incidence. This is nothing special about this government.