Saturday, August 26, 2017

Saturday & Sundry Moments from The Week That Was - French Style

Gallic-flavoured momentary discomforts: the qu'ils mangent de la brioche: "let them eat cake!" moment, combined with a mauvais quart d’heure, (as well as having fifteen minutes of fame, one can also have a “bad quarter of an hour” — a brief but embarrassing, upsetting, or demoralizing experience) - this week's related shaming award goes to Louise Linton, labels-loving wife of Steven Mnuchin, US Treasury Secretary. She replied condescendingly to an Instagram poster about her lifestyle and belittled the woman, Jenni Miller, a mother of three from Portland, Oregon for having less money than she does. Thereafter Twitter and the rest of the net did what they do best (or worst depending on one's viewpoint).
BUT... what would Madame Defarge have done?

Our plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose moment (the more things change, the more they stay the same) came with President Trump's speech on 22 August : more troops to Afghanistan.

Blackwater founder says Trump's Afghanistan plan is 'Obama-lite'
By Ellen Mitchell

Linked to that is our après moi, le déluge moment: “after me, the flood.”

Stephen Bannon was removed, one way or another, from the White House -

After Bannon, Do Hawks Rule the Roost? By Miles Mogulescu
Without Bannon’s strategic guidance, it’s likely that Trump wouldn’t be President. There’s a special place in hell for that.
But there was another side to Bannon that has been lost in the turmoil over his departure from the White House. The New York Times characterized him as the White House’s “resident dove. From Afghanistan and North Korea to Syria and Venezuela, Mr. Bannon… has argued against making military threats or deploying American troops into foreign conflicts.”

Loosely linked also - another recent exit from The White House: that of Anthony Scaramucci, he of the colourful language and tale-telling proclivity. Sadly we lost him before he could delight us further. This was, no doubt at all, our
pour encourager les autres moment. “So as to encourage the others”— that's the straight translation, but this actually, and obtusely, refers to an action carried out to discourage any future episodes of similar behaviour, unhelpful to The Powers That Be.

Lastly, not an actual moment but a famous (in Britain) French phrase, seldom uttered, often seen as legend on isignia: honi soit qui mal y pense - "shame on him who thinks badly of it". In English, used to discourage preemptively or unjustly talking something down. Dates from the early Middle Ages. Tongue in cheek cartoon (at right) could represent a imagined recent honi soit moment for Queen Elizabeth II.

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