Wednesday, May 02, 2007
From Ananova via the DJourno:
"A TV worker has been sacked for mocking the French presidential favourite in English subtitles.
"A plea by Nicholas Sarkozy for voters to join his campaign before the Sunday poll was interpreted as "rally my inflated ego".
"The subtitles were broadcast across the United States in the English news bulletins from public broadcaster France 2.
"Channel chiefs blamed it on freelance workers."
Hilarious. I'm waiting to be paid by a firm based in Spain. Apparently Spain works several weeks behind the actual world, so I sympathise with freelancers who are bored out of their wits, and rather admire their ability to crowbar a joke anywhere near the region of Sarkozy, a man who probably had a sense of humour once but decided it was spoiling the lines of his suit.
I admire anyone who has actually managed to hold on to their languages. I had to interview Marion Cotillard from the excellent Edith Piaf biog La Vie En Rose on Monday and having spoken to the PR in French had a mad crazy panic when asked if I wanted to do the interview in French.
Waiting for the next (ludicrously supercilious) PR to get her, I had horrible flashbacks to what happened when I interviewed Daniel Auteuil in French at the Hidden LFF screening. I was so nervous that I not only got my words the wrong way round but made an enormous clanger caused by having missed the only screening that week. There is no scorn like Gallic scorn or worse, pitying scorn.
Technically, I have half a degree in French. It shouldn't be a problem but for the fact that it's a degree I got three years ago, I've spoken French about six times since and mostly in Beaujolais on Litchfield Street asking what wine they'd recommend to cheer up the sad person sitting next to me.
Beaujolais is a happy place, the flipside to Ed's Diner where only bad things seem to happen to the people who end up eating their grotesquely smiley burgers. I took my dad to Beaujolais last night: it's packed full of oddly-shaped tables that don't quite fit, has ties dangling from the ceiling, blues blaring out of the speakers, over-priced bar snacks, a massive cellar, assorted cheery Frenchmen hanging around the bar and an incredibly vivacious manager who waves you off to your seat to "Rrrrrelax!" while he brings your your bill.
We had a bottle of Fleury and chatted over cigarettes and pistachios. I realised a couple of months ago that a half hour phone conversation in February was our first proper chat in about five years. My dad is brilliant and it was lovely to hang out with him, more so now that I am no longer a Vile Teenager and can actually hold a conversation without blaming my parents for something.
I nipped off to the shop to get some Sluts (Silk Cuts rather than Charing X giftshop) and was chatted up by the smooth operator behind the checkout. "Are you drinking next door? Are you drinking with your friends?" he asked.
"No, with my dad," I smiled sweetly, walking out the door. You never saw a face fall so hard.
Great piece on the BBC: French voting turn out is in the 80%s - in the estates as well as nationally, and more and more young people are voting. Depressing to think that's never the same over here, even more depressing to think I've been so focused on France I totally forgot about local elections over here. I have a horrible feeling I'm still registered in Wales...