samedi 26 janvier 2008

The day I felt embarrassed.



All along the 60s the space race really enthralled me. Gagarine, (yes, I was there...) the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs. What a hell of excitement that was for a teenager then!

It is said most of us remember where we were the night the Eagle landed on the moon. For my part, I was in Germany during this month of July 1969, but this is another story...

After their feat, the three Americans who made history were on a world promotion tour. And then they arrived in Paris to be introduced live on French television from the Palais de Chaillot, on October the 8th of 1969.

Man! And you thought they'd performed the hardest part of their mission... How wrong you were!

They had to endure a one hour long speech by no other than Maurice DRUON, of the French Academy. Why was this man chosen to welcome the American astronauts will for ever remain a mystery.

I still can vividly remember the three stoic men standing in row behind the talkative peacock and I couldn't help thinking what their thoughts might have been...

"Boy, they didn't warn us back home that the French leg would be that painful!"


No, really, I was so embarrassed that these men would be given such a cogent confirmation of what the French are renowned for among Americans: pretty good at making lengthy speeches and totally impotent when push comes to shove...

And Druon would go on and on and on and I was saying to myself: "Will he ever shut his big mouth?".

I had to admire the patience and fortitude of Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin for keeping a permanent smile floating on their lips while this buffoon was making a fool of himself. And to be polite and courteous enough to nonetheless thank him when their ordeal had come to an end.

Every time I remember this sinister episode of French stupidity I hope someone at least came to them and apologize for the despicable show they were dragged into.

38 years later, I still feel embarrassed...


8 commentaires:

LASunsett a dit…

Hi Flocon,

Your link to the Wiki entry for Druon is bad. I think you double httped it. I have never heard of him, I will have to read up on him. Chances are if you do not like him, I probably will. ;)

Flocon a dit…

Hi LA

Thanks for the info.
It has been corrected now.

"Chances are if you do not like him, I probably will"

Hmmm, not sure about that. Druon is a staunch Gaullist... ;-)

Anajo/Anijo/JoAnn a dit…

lol Flocon. This entry made me laugh. You have a certain dry sense of humor that I enjoy.

Anajo/Anijo/JoAnn a dit…

Speaking of being embarrassed... I clicked on the links on your sidebar and read the comments by "Pablo" and "Rob".

Yes, Francophobia in the United States is alive and well it seems.

The blogs that I usually visit (the liberal blogs) don't engage in French bashing. In fact, there is a lot of respect for the French health care system and way of life on the liberal blogs, so I was simply not aware of this. I thought it was just the sort of thing that occurred on low-class blogs such FF.com.

:(

Mustang a dit…

Good manners would suggest patience and some appreciation for the fact these three men were so warmly welcomed, and while they might have had private thoughts about the length of the remarks, I hope they were civil enough to keep such ideas to themselves. You should not be embarrassed — then or now; none of us are responsible for the words or deeds of other people. We all understand the tendency among prominent individuals to amuse themselves with their own sense of self-worth. Here we say the best part of any speech begins with, “So in conclusion . . .”

Semper Fi

Anajo/Anijo/JoAnn a dit…

none of us are responsible for the words or deeds of other people

Et quand même Flocon, t'avais dit à Ned d'être plus polis car t'avais cru responsable de ses repos, même qu'il n'avais pas étais aussi mal qu'eux qui ont parlé de la France comme pays communiste et d'un façon tout à fait mal poli...

Anajo/Anijo/JoAnn a dit…

Au moins Ned avais parlé de son coeur...

Obob a dit…

I was mere month old at the landing, I feel like a pup here. Odds are I will do the same as lasunsett and look info on this cat. Just for the sake of knowing who he is.