Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Just as a sidenote (I just remembered this anecdote, you'll love it).

I did my "national service" after graduation, as back then it still existed. And I did mine abroad, as a civilian with a french administration. Before going abroad, all the people like me who were leaving for a civilian service abroad, were gathered at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris for a briefing. During that meeting, we were first taught basic behaviour to have when abroad, because we represented France, we were the elite, and blablabla.

Then came in two guys from the French Secret Service (one internal, DST, the other external, DGSE). And they both gave this ridiculously theatrical speech about what to do and what not to do. The DST guy focused on day-to-day things: "DO NOT THROW IMPORTANT PAPERS IN THE OFFICE'S GARBAGE BIN, BECAUSE BEHIND A POTUGUESE CLEANING WOMAN LIES A POTENTIAL SPY" and also: "BEWARE THE JAPANESE, THEY ALL HAVE A CAMERA AND ARE NOT ALWAYS TOURISTS".

There is more I could tell you about this whole day at the Ministry, but these stereotypes are a good start.

by Alex in Toulouse on Tue May 2nd, 2006 at 10:12:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Very interesting. Now I am no longer sure about the quality of the French intelligence which Frederick Forsyth elevated into a myth.

I will become a patissier, God willing.
by tuasfait on Tue May 2nd, 2006 at 11:38:18 AM EST
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But you know the whole thing was so theatrical that I think they had planned it this way on purpose. The DST guy for example, looked exactly like a street cop, talked rough (in fact as he walked in his said: "CAN YOU HEAR ME IN THE BACK? GOOD BECAUSE AT THE DST WE DON'T LIKE TO SPEAK INTO MICROPHONES" ... ps: I'm putting this uppercase as the guy was screaming all the time, and he stood up all along). while the DGSE guy waltzed in with a very smart looking suit, talked mysteriously and ambiguously, sitting cross-legged, sipping water calmly ... you could almost hear the James Bond music in the background.

The worst part was when they played a "find the camera game". We were in an amphitheater. They had placed a camera somewhere and all of us had to guess where it was (while staying in our seats).

To help us do this, they plugged in a TV that was showing the camera's footage. And of course, of all people, the camera was filming me (which is not so suprising as everyone else was wearing a suit and tie, while I was in casual wear and had died my hair orange, and was sitting next to this hippie-looking girl who had volunteered (!) to do her national service. nb: it was only compulsory for men. she was going to Morroco.)

by Alex in Toulouse on Tue May 2nd, 2006 at 11:53:00 AM EST
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Sorry I forgot to explain what I meant by "they had planned it this way". By showing a mean-talking son-of-a-bitch DST (internal affairs) guy, in contrast to this elegant, mysterious, DGSE (external affairs) guy, they were most probably eliciting sympathy for the foreign secret service.
by Alex in Toulouse on Tue May 2nd, 2006 at 12:00:09 PM EST
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while I was in casual wear and had died my hair orange

You are my new hero.

Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire

by marco on Tue May 2nd, 2006 at 09:45:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I loved the Groland take on the Passion of the Christ, where the antisemitism is removed. Instead He is betrayed by the Blacks, the Chinese, and some Portuguese guest workers. (I'm sure I've forgotten a few groups.)
by Number 6 on Thu May 4th, 2006 at 12:17:29 PM EST
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Ahh I had forgotten about that one, it's excellent!!

A satire about a movie director who's offended by the anti-semitism in Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ" and who decides to set things right with a new movie of his own.

In his movie we learn that Christ carried his own cross because the Blacks that were paid to do it, didn't, being lazy like most Blacks are. And it's not the Jews who betrayed Christ but the Chinese, who are generally malicious and cunning. Christ ended up half-naked on the cross because some Arabs stole his clothes, since most Arabs are thieves. Finally, Jesus was nailed on the cross by Portuguese workers, because when they're not masons, the Portuguese generally are carpenters.

Finally the director is preparing a sequel, "The Resurrection of Christ", in which we learn that Jesus left his tumb because he was tired of all the noise that a Roma campment nearby was making.

It can be watched here (in French however):

by Alex in Toulouse on Thu May 4th, 2006 at 04:23:17 PM EST
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I forgot: the movie director explains that all the Jews did were sell Jesus his underpants, because Jews are very good when it comes to clothes and money.
by Alex in Toulouse on Thu May 4th, 2006 at 04:24:11 PM EST
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all the Jews did was sell
by Alex in Toulouse on Thu May 4th, 2006 at 04:24:36 PM EST
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