samedi 15 septembre 2012

Get lost, you jerk!

This front page is that of the French daily Libération published in Paris and created by Jean-Paul Sartre in 1973. It is on the left side of the political spectrum and has made a point ever since its first issue to print provocative front pages with word plays and puns, witty and sometimes very elaborate. Readers often have to be in the know to understand them.  

The audience is mainly intellectuals and definitively made of what is called "Parisian bobos". Though a leftist outlet, the working class doesn't read Libé which is far too intellectual and full of cultural references to be understood by people with no or poor education. Would the New-Yorker be an appropriate comparison? 

Now the context needs further explanation.

The man we see is Bernard Arnault, first European fortune and 4th in the world with US$41 billion. He is a close friend to Sarkozy, was his best man when said Sarko married and it has been announced that he has just made an application to be granted the Belgian citizenship. The reason of this move is that Arnault doesn't want to pay the surplus income taxe rate that the socialist government has decided to implement on the super riches. I haven't done any research but the supplement the man would have to pay would be probably in the range of some millions €.

As Ned explains in the comments section, four years ago Sarko retorted a classy « Casse-toi pov’ con » to a man who didn't want to shake hand with him.     

So when Arnault, again a close friend of Sarko, has made it known he will leave France the staff at Libé had the good idea to reuse Sarko's insult but with a small change in the phrasing. It no longer is « Casse-toi pauvre con » but instead « Casse-toi riche con ». A tit for a tat so to say.

Of course it is a good example of why the French generally speaking  (those on the right don't objet even when they're workers or employees, their super egos do the job to maintain them in a state of mental submission) loathe capitalism and its great priests who always play the same old card of threatening to leave the country and let the French fall into poverty. 1789 anyone?

Arnault has made his fortune on high end products of century old French craftship, fashion, perfumes, jewellery etc. He personally is not an artist, hasn't created anything and is just taking advantage of what has been in existence long before his great-great-great-grand-parents were born. He is the very incarnation of the capitalist making a fortune out of other's work and skills.

Now, the interesting part of the story is that Libé reportedly has lost something in the range of 600,000 € of advertisement revenue when luxe companies have cancelled their orders and contracts out of sympathy for Arnault who they deem has been insulted the very same way Sarko insulted a French citizen four years ago.

It is also worth knowing that the major shareholder of Libération is another millionaire (but far from being a billionaire) Edouard de Rotschild, another friend of Sarko and a bi-national French Israeli businessman...

With a millionaire as main financial support, the loss of 500,000 US$ is not the end of the newspaper but it shows what conscience de classe is.

Let me explain: When these companies buy advertisement spaces in the paper, it is not out of generosity for a an outlet that defends values that are opposed to theirs (they have none but making as much money as they can) but more simply because their potential customers read this newspaper. But since their products also are high end ones, the market is limited and the customers don't have much choice if they want to buy Rolex, Mercedes or Christian Lacroix' marvellous jackets.

The companies which have decided to (temporally) boycott Libé run no risk to see theirs benefit be dented in the least, they just want to say to Bernard "We're on your side pal". It's called conscience de classe.Sarko was the embodiment of this world whose envoy he was at the Élysée palace and half the French regret him... 
Are there still some gulags available in Siberia?

23 commentaires:

Ned Ludd a dit…

One of the best front pages of the last years. But you are rather kind to use the word "jerk". "Bastard" would be more accurate. Correct me if I am wrong.

Of course people unaware of French politics won't understand the reference. For them, I'll give it. Il y a environ deux ans, le pauvre con le Président Sarkozy pendant une photo-op dit à une personne qui réfuse de lui serré la main, "Casse-toi pov' con."

"Get lost, stupid bastard."

Language very presidential and pronounced in a slang fashion.

Flocon a dit…

The correct translation would perhaps be "get lost rich asshole".

As Ned explains, it was during the annual Paris International Agricultural Show that Sarko said this to someone.

Here is what is said on the En wiki:

On 23 February 2008, Sarkozy was filmed by a reporter for French newspaper Le Parisien having the following exchange while visiting the Paris International Agricultural Show:

While quickly crossing the hall Saturday morning, in the middle of the crowd, Sarkozy encounters a recalcitrant visitor who refuses to shake his hand. "Ah no, don't touch me!", said the man. The president retorted immediately: "Get lost, then." "You're making me dirty", yelled the man. With a frozen smile, Sarkozy says, his teeth glistening, a refined "Get lost, then, poor dumb-ass, go

Can you magine Obama or Dubbya retorting in such a refined and delicate manner to anyone?

Flocon a dit…


Of course people unaware of French politics won't understand the reference. For them, I'll give it. Il y a environ deux ans, le pauvre con le Président Sarkozy pendant une photo-op dit à une personne qui réfuse de lui serré la main, "Casse-toi pov' con."

You first announce the context cannot be understood for people unaware of French politics (basically, Anijo, SemperFi et Jan) and then you explain... in French. lol!

Ned Ludd a dit…

Le Canard Enchaîné has a good title too: "Arnaud entonne: Wallons enfants de la patrie".

When I interrupt something I am writing, I sometimes switch languages without noticing, though other times it's intentional. I have seen you switch as well.:)

Ned Ludd a dit…

Arnaud is another myth of the self-made man. Just reading the Wiki link to refresh my memory, I remembered the controversy of the time when the French state gave him a subsidy to expand his fledgling empire and he broke his promises to the state. Later he was helped by the then state-owned bank Crédit Lyonnais.

From there it was all uphill. Without the help of the state he wouldn't be where he is and now he wants to expatriate himself.

ZapPow a dit…

Flocon, the "riche con" wasn't a "witness" when Sarko married, he was a best man.

Flocon a dit…


Je suis toujours admiratifs des gars (je crois qu'il n'y a pas beaucoup de femmes au Canard Enchaîné) qui toutes les semaines arrivent à pondre (comme une cane...) des titres aussi deuxième degré que ceux du Canard.

Par contre je ne regarde jamais l'album de la Comtesse, les contrepèteries j'ai toujours trouvé ça du niveau adolescents acnéiques.


Re self-made-man, reconnais-tu ce chanteur? (1966)

I confess, j'ai toujours eu de la sympathie pour Tapie que l'appareil PS a tout fait pour descendre.

Flocon a dit…

Merci pour la correction ZapPow, j'ai modifié en conséquence.

Le genre de petit détail qui fait la différence le jour de l'examen.

Ce qui me fait me souvenir qu'au BEPC j'avais mis "de côté" une expression dont je ne me souviens plus à l'instant (ça me reviendra peut-être cette nuit ou demain,45 ans plus tard) dont je me doutais qu'elle n'allait pas manquer de me valoir un petit " + " à l'écrit (à moins que ce soit à l'oral).

Ah, c'est loin tout ça...

Ned Ludd a dit…

The U.S. has its own "riches cons". The most notable is presidential candidate Mitt Romney(also call Mittens or Willard--his first name).

He doesn't expatriate himself, but his money, i.e. to tax havens like the Cayman Islands. His latest gaffe was recorded in a closed meeting with other "riches cons". A class traitor did it and put it on internet.

Basically, Mittens said that 47% don't pay income tax. Of course he meant Federal income tax, they still pay state and local income taxes and various others. But Mittens treated them as welfare bums.

Mittens didn't say that most of the rise in non-payers occurred during the Bush years. He already pays a lower tax rate than most Americans and under his partner's tax plan, he would pay 0%. He won't release his tax returns for the last ten years.

Among the non-payers are military service men and the retired. The government gives almost twice as much in subsidies to business as it gives to welfare. Many commentators say this may be the day he lost the election. Most ironic is this map which shows that, besides the richest thanks to Bush tax cuts, the worst payers are in the Republican heartland.

Flocon a dit…

Ah, ça m'est revenu l’expression que j'avais gardé en réserve en 1967... C'était to take to one's heels pour "prendre ses jambes à son cou" mais du coup je ne suis plus sûr que c'est l’expression correcte...

Flocon a dit…

En plus des insanités qui proviennent du GOP, Romney me fait carrément l'impression d'un psycho-rigide au sourire niais de l'imbécile coupé du réel.

Le système parlementaire permet à 100 millions d'électeurs de donner leurs voix à des détraqués mentaux et ça semble aller de pire en pire... And now a Mormon {ô_Ô}

Que ce type refuse de dévoiler sa feuille d'imposition des dix dernières années et que des dizaines de millions de prolos s'en fichent is another evidence que la démocratie is the worst system that can exist.

The slaves ask for more of the same...

Il y avait un article hier sur la science et le Parti Républicain. These folks could make millions of people believe the earth is triangular or there are Muslim bases on Jupiter ready to attack the U.S.

Anonyme a dit…

//Among the non-payers are military service men and the retired//

You are misinformed. Military pay is subject to Federal taxes just as any other income. Some allowances (like payment for housing for those not living in barracks,and food allowances for those not being fed in messhalls) are not taxable, to be sure. But these allowances are substitutes for things the Government traditionally provides servicemen for free. The base salary of every soldier, private to general, is taxed by the Federal Government just like any other income.

Likewise military retired pay is taxed by the Federal government just like any other income. As I can painfully confirm.

The urban legend that military people do not pay taxes is a stubborn one. It is especially frustrating because it has never been true. How do these myths get started and entrenched so that even well-read people pick them up?

Anonyme a dit…

Ned Ludd

Semper Fi, I am sorry if I made a mistake. I looked at many sites on the subject, but I guess I forgot to bookmark the one that mentioned the military and retired.

More on the tax breakdown;

CNN Money

CNBC has more on the "benefits" of tax cuts.

Anonyme a dit…

America's Finest News Source, The Onion, has a special program for the Southern Republican heartland.

The Onion

Another person, this time a well-known sports commentator believed that a story written by the Onion was real and tweeted several refutations.

Ned Ludd

Flocon a dit…


Your link to CNBC leads to another page where the Arnaud case is reported.

The comments are interesting like this one: "this Arnault guy is wise enough to get out of France as quick as possible and protect his family's hard-earned fortune."

his family's hard-earned fortune. ô-Ô

I was about to donate to the Arnaud charity foundation...

I like this one too: "The rich should all just move to Cayman Islands and be done with it. Then they can elect Romney as their country club president and everone will be happy!"

Ned Ludd a dit…

I have mentioned ARTE many times. It turns out that its highest rated program(at least documentary, but I think overall)is its "Goldman-Sachs-La banque qui dirige le monde".

Now it is on DVD and VOD, but ARTE has an Infographie Goldman Sachs, le supermarché de la finance. If you do a search you will find much more and a history on Wiki of course.

Flocon a dit…

L'infographie d'ARTE est sacrément bien fichue dis-donc!

Ned Ludd a dit…

Just when you thought that Republicans couldn't get any dumber, and then they surprise you.

After Romney's wife's plane had to make an emergency landing,
"Romney said the biggest problem in a distressed aircraft is that "the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem. So it’s very dangerous."

Goldfinger is a film I guess he hasn't seen.

Flocon a dit…

He he, I didn't know that one (I mean the movie).

I read about the incident with the plane Romney's wife was on but I didn't know about her husband's remark...

The tragedy here is that despite all of Romney's gaffes and that he apparently isn't the brightest mind the earth has ever known, he nonetheless will get about half the American citizens'votes.

And that is the same in every country where "democracy" as they call it is the unsurpassable political model implemented.

And it looks like it's getting worse with every election.

Or maybe am I only aging?

Flocon a dit…

Here is the video with Romney commenting

Ned Ludd a dit…

Even worse than Romney is his running mate Ryan who is an Ayn Rand worshiper.

"This recording confirms that the GOP's Vice Presidential candidate is the most politically extreme major-party candidate in living memory. His views have already drawn the opposition of Catholic theologians, as well as advocates for lower-income people, the middle class, seniors, the disabled and children.

If those views were better known, they'd also alienate independents, Democrats and seniors, as well as most Republicans and Tea Party members.

And by "alienate," we mean terrify."

As to more on Romney, you can see how white he is. But the day he addressed a Latino group, he had a sort of dark orangy "tan" that almost made him look as though he had spent a week in the Cayman Islands.

Ned Ludd a dit…

The American mind(less). The Daily Show had a report about labor strikes. Millions of Americans have twitted about them. No, it wasn't the Chicago teacher's strike. No, it wasn't about 2,000 workers on strike at a factory in China. Yes, it was about the National Football League's referee strike that has outraged concerned Americans because they feel that the replacements have made bad decisions that have changed the results of games.

Don't you love "democracy"? Ayn Rander Paul Ryan even tried to connect the referee strike to the Obama Administration. Nothing like sticking to the issues.

Flocon a dit…

J'ai vu il y a quelques jours le nom d'Ayn Rand une fois encore refaire surface, cette fois associé à Paul Ryan.

Il est stupéfiant qu'une délirante comme cette Rand ait imprégné la psyché collective américaine et c'est terrifiant oui.

As I've said before, I had never heard of that crook before you mentioned her last year.

This auto proclamed philosopher gives the Libertarian/Rep etc. la pseudo caution intellectuelle dont ils se servent pour faire valider their greed and cynicism.

But just consider how Sarko who was a know-nothing at school and a complete ignoramus, considers B.H.L.

The difference being that nobody in France has the slightest consideration for B.H.L (except, except, except his cronies in the media and Arielle Dombasle) whereas Rand seems to enjoy a cult status in the U.S. where her books have been sold (ans still are afaik) by the dozens of millions.

No wonder dozens of millions of Americans consider Socialism - even the softest version of it - as evil.