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calendar   Thursday - December 10, 2009

France in the news. State secret uncovered. French obsession with the bottom revealed

ooh lala. Oh those French ....

(and 50 minutes still counting. Obvious time in this country means something different. Like maybe the clock is metric or something? or 30 minutes really means, when the little hand is on ...)

Where was I ?  Oh right. Still in La Belle France ...

France’s obsession with the bottom is laid bare this week in a major new documentary and book charting how “les fesses” have shaped history.


By Henry Samuel in Paris

The highbrow study claims to demonstrate the huge contribution the “derrière” has made to civilisation, mixing the views of top psychoanalysts, philosophers, scientists and artists.

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The role of “les fesses” in human evolution has been overlooked, claim the experts, while they have been prominent at every turning point in society and art history – from the ancient Greeks to Grace Jones. 

“They are every present in daily life and yet they have never been considered a serious subject of study in their own right,” claim the authors of La Face Cachée des Fesses (The Hidden Side of the Bottom). “They speak of the foundations of our society – in the literal and metaphorical sense – of its taboos and desires. When we talk about ‘les fesses’, we’re talking about ourselves.”

The film claims that the bottom line is that without our Gluteus Maximus, humans would never have come down from the trees.
Claudine Cohen, science historian at Paris’ Higher School of Social Sciences said: “The gluteal muscles are unique to humans, enabling bipedal locomotion – on two feet. (Their) size and strength developed to fulfil an essential human need, erect posture and walking.”

The importance of this change even escaped Darwin’s notice in his theory on human evolution. He made no mention of the fact that once humans gave up moving on all fours, males no longer knew when a female was fertile. This led to the rise of breasts and buttocks and the art of seduction.
While we all have them, “fesses” is a uniquely French word, claims the documentary – broadcast tomorrow (Thursday) night on the Franco-German channel Arte. An accompanying book will be on sale in all French museum shops starting this week.

Edward Lucie-Smith, an art historian, pointed out there was no exact translation for the word covering the thighs, the bottom and the loins.
“There’s no word in English which means quite the same thing. English words reduce it to the backside,” he said.

As for French artists, the documentary claims they have marked history above all others with their talents for depicting the derrière – through painters such as Courbet, Boucher, Toulouse-Lautrec, Ingres, Matisse and Degas.

“We have a special relationship with this party of the body,” said Allan Rothschild, co-director of the documentary. This was best summed up by Brigitte Bardot in the film Le Mépris (Contempt), when she asks, naked: “Et mes fesses? Tu les aimes, mes fesses?” (And my bottom, do you love my bottom?).” Buttocks have also played a key political role, in particular baring them as a protest gesture – favoured by punks and environmental activists. .

They also were instrumental in giving birth to feminism, which grew out of the misogynist and sexist late 19th century. “Les fesses” were exaggerated by making women wear “faux-culs” – literally “false butts” – huge bustles with a tiny waist and corset that actually enlarged their posteriors.

Philippe Comar, morphology professor at the Ecole des Beaux Arts said: “The faux-cul reduced the woman to a sexual object. It is not surprising feminist movements took flight at this time.” While buttocks marked important phases in art, this was also true for photography, film and advertising.
In 1972, Michel Polnareff, a popular French singer, stuck thousands of posters of himself dressed as a woman and baring his behind with the slogan: “I’m a man”. The posters were banned and France was shocked.

The number of expressions and synonyms for the posterior in French is a tribute to its importance in society, and it can be found in many French songs, from Serge Gainsbourgh to Georges Brassens.

Mr Rothschild, who co-directed the film with Caroline Pichon, said that the French were more obsessed than ever with the behind. “They are on billboards, in pharmacy windows everywhere.” But he regretted recent changes in French tastes. “Only a few years ago, large ones were in fashion. Now they must be small, almost androgynous – there’s almost no difference between male and female. It’s rather a shame.”

The prospect of the in-depth fesses study will come as welcome light relief to the French, who are in sombre mood.
As one internet commentator noted, “Between swine flu, minarets, Sarkozy and the debate on national identity, here at last is a subject that gives pleasure.”
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SOURCE OF BOTTOM


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 12/10/2009 at 09:26 AM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesFRANCEFun-StuffHumor •  
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France in the news as Nicolas Sarkozy defends Swiss minaret ban. Good for Sarko but …

Did he have the more liberal minded wifey dear Carla’s permission to say that? 

Whatever ..... Kudos to Sarko. There aren’t many EU politicians speaking out on behalf of those evil minded Swiss who after all, are making a small attempt to keep their country Swiss.  Why ... the nerve of them.  Where did they ever get the idea that they had some sort of civil or human right to think that way?  The european convention on human rights clearly DOES NOT cover that subject.

Vive la France ...

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OH right. UPDATE on our zapping water.
Wife got a call late last night, I never heard the phone, that someone would be out here today between 1 and 6pm. Great. Ya think?
Have another thunk.

A little over half an hour ago I got a call from the folks who cover us to say that the “engineer” had an emergency call where someone had a broken line or pipe and their house was being flooded and it would be an all day job.  Could we reschedule?  What? They only have ONE person they can call on?
Anyway, I explained (to the fifth person since this all started yesterday) that there was electric shock hazard and for the umteenth time I went thru the story blah,blah,blah.  Oh says person number five .... what you need is an ELECTRICIAN.  DOH.  ya don’t say.  Hello? Has anyone been listening?  OK says Number 5, I will have someone get back to you in 25 to 30 minutes.  Really, I smartly replied.  Let me tell you what happened yesterday when someone told me I would get a call within the hour.  Yadda,yadda 2hours 45minutes.  No,no says number 5. You will be called in 25 to 30 minutes.  zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz We are now approaching 40 minutes. Still no call.  Still no use of hot water. Still no idea where the problem is.  Keep in mind BMEWS readers. This is England which no longer swings in the sense of that old song.  It’s more like hanging by a weak thread.  Not to worry. I’m sure someone might call before Christmas.  Or maybe not.  Coming up on 45 minutes.

Stay Tuned

Now where the heck was I?  Oh yeah ....  In France ...

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Nicolas Sarkozy has defended Switzerland’s ban on building minarets with a warning that religious groups should refrain from “ostentation and any provocation”.

By Henry Samuel in Paris
Published: 6:35PM GMT 08 Dec 2009

The French president made the remarks as he sought to justify his own, controversial, “great debate” on France’s national identity, which critics say is alienating mainly Muslim immigrants.

In an opinion piece in Le Monde, the president said that while he regretted the “painful misunderstandings” created by the referendum, the vote should be respected.

“Instead of irrevocably condemning the Swiss people, let’s also try to understand what it sought to express and what so many peoples in Europe, including the French, feel,” he said.

“What happened has nothing to do with the freedom of religious practise, or freedom of conscience,” he wrote.

He asked all believers to avoid “ostentation and provocation” and instead show “humble discretion”.

“The peoples of Europe are welcoming and tolerant: it’s in their nature and in their culture. But they don’t want their way of life, their mode of thinking and their social relations distorted,” he added.

His comments came as Eric Cantona, the French footballer, joined the debate, deriding “stupid” nationalist approaches to the issue of national identity.

“Being French, does that mean having to speak French, sing the Marseillaise? That’s just stupid,” said the retired France and Manchester United striker who is a son of Spanish and Italian immigrants.

“Being French means being revolutionary.”

France is home to Europe’s largest Muslim minority and where Islam now ranks as the nation’s second religion.

Next month, a parliamentary inquiry will produce a much-awaited report on whether to ban the burka, or full Islamic veil, which Mr Sarkozy has said “has no place in France”.

Despite several local campaigns by the French far right, dozens of mosques are due to be built in France, including a Grand Mosque in Marseille that will have an 82ft minaret.

The government has ruled out a minaret construction ban but says that mayors have the final word on building new mosques with towers, which is a matter for “urban planning”.

France’s six million Muslims congregate in fewer than 2,500 mosques and prayer houses, many in basements. France has 64 mosques with minarets.

Mr Sarkozy’s words were published hours before the French parliament began a debate on national identity, after weeks of town hall meetings on the issue.

A government website on the subject has received 40,000 comments, though up to 10 per cent have been removed for being “racist or xenophobic”.

The French Left has accused the president of igniting the issue to woo far-right voters ahead of regional elections next March.

Although Mr Sarkozy has called it a “noble debate”, detractors – some from within his own camp – warn he is playing into the National Front’s hands.

“How can one be surprised at the success of extremists when one doesn’t take into account the suffering of voters?” he asked yesterday.

FRANCE


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 12/10/2009 at 08:52 AM   
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calendar   Saturday - December 05, 2009

Ah le belle France … There’s wonder and romance and blue skies and it’s all in the USA.

THE JOY OF FRANCE, MADE IN AMERICA

A promotional video showing the joys of the French way of life was filmed in America, it has emerged.

The film, made for the UMP Party of President Nicolas Sarkozy, shows an eco-friendly house with solar panels on the roof, smiling children and a mom hugging a little girl in a sunny garden.

A voice over boasts about Mr. Sarkozy’s achievements since 2007, and the benefits of living in France. 

However, the French TV channel, Channel+, discovered that most of the footage was bought from Getty Images with the family house and hugging mother in California, and class of schoolchildren in Wisconsin

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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 12/05/2009 at 01:35 PM   
Filed Under: • FRANCEMiscellaneousUSA •  
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The French, in the person of Mr. Sarkozy, have managed to anger the Brits this past week.

Just so you know, Sarko is referring to London when he says “city.”
Woo-Hoo and another Hoo.  That caused a bit of a flap this week I must say.  Whatcha gonna do? Brits and French have this love/hate thing. But really, Brits do not I don’t think, actually dislike the French. I may be wrong on that score.  I think they laugh at em a lot though and the French know it.


War has not been declared.

We are in charge now, Sarkozy tells the City

Francis Elliott, Suzy Jagger, Martin Waller and David Charter
The Times

Alistair Darling has delivered a blunt warning to the EU’s new French finance chief against meddling with the City of London.

As Nicolas Sarkozy gloated over impending curbs on the City, the Chancellor said that such moves would drive financial services out of Europe.

The French President’s glee at the appointment of Michel Barnier as Commissioner for the Single Market took on an edge of menace when he said that unfettered City practices must end.

“Do you know what it means for me to see for the first time in 50 years a French European commissioner in charge of the internal market, including financial services, including the City [of London]?” he said yesterday.

One of the very bothersome things about the new French EU finance chief is .... he is very left wing and much given to govt. control.
He hasn’t been very big on capitalism either, and has made no bones about that in the past.
The Brits I think were hoping to get that post btw.  At some point in time, either the EU will solidify and RULE supreme, or else collapse in upon itself. 

“I want the world to see the victory of the European model, which has nothing to do with the excesses of financial capitalism,” he said.

His implicit threat was just what Downing Street had feared when Mr Barnier, formerly an agriculture minister, was given the portfolio last week.

Mr Darling, writing in The Times , said that it would be a “recipe for confusion” if firms were supervised by the EU as well as national watchdogs and that Britain would not accept new laws that could lead to taxpayers picking up the bill for bailouts ordered by Brussels.

He rejects claims that the economic crisis was the fault of the “Anglo-Saxon” model, pointing out that French and German banks were among the biggest creditors of the failed US insurance giant AIG.

Terry Smith, a prominent banker, said that the threat of increased regulation was already threatening the City’s future.

“I’ve never seen so much work going on by companies, individuals and teams of people to evaluate relocation out of the UK,” he said.

SOURCE

SOMETHIN TELLS ME THAT THIS IS THE ONLY SARKOZY THE BRITS WANT TO SEE FOR AWHILE!  LOL

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Posted by peiper   United States  on 12/05/2009 at 01:00 PM   
Filed Under: • EconomicsEUro-peonsEye-CandyFinance and InvestingFRANCEInternationalUK •  
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