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our latest little Napoleon can't stand having to deal with people not under his command
There's another example of this with the Rugby World Cup. On Friday evening, Sarko was of course present for the opening, France being the host country.
French TV rights to the Cup were bought by TF1, the number one commercial TV in France, owned by Sarko's personal buddy Martin Bouygues, and totally devoted to the president's cause. Before the match, Sarko was interviewed by TF1 honcho Charles Villeneuve with widely-noticed smarm and lickspittle. Then the head of state was shown at his place in the grandstand, ready to cash in on the glory and the surge of national feeling that would accompany a good French performance.
Meanwhile... The French players, it is now known, were subjected to a very special preparation programme during the day. Instead of being left to follow their usual stress-management patterns, they were called up for rather emotional rituals: a jersey-awarding ceremony for the players who weren't on the match list, and above all the reading of the eve-of-execution letter by young French Resistance fighter Guy Môquet (that Sarkozy instrumentalised during the campaign by rubbing a tear or some dust out of his eye during its reading at a memorial ceremony). The letter apparently moved the players to near-tears (not as cynical as certain politicians, perhaps), as they were put on the spot to perform for the honour and glory of the nation. The result, according to some, including former French internationals, put too much emotional pressure on the players just when they needed to evacuate stress.
So out come the players and play dreadfully, uncharacteristically badly, seeming incapable of doing anything right or collecting their spirits.
During the game, the producer cut in shots of well-known people in the grandstand. But not Sarkozy. One may be forgiven for thinking that, if the French had played well, TF1 would have treated us to shots of the smiling president applauding at each exploit. But by some sixth sense the producer knew better than to associate Sarko with such a disaster.
Finally, a leaked video of which I saw a bit last night on Canal + (I haven't been able to find a copy on Internet), shows Sarko in the dressing-room tearing a strip off the players and assorted officials. Present with the players were Bernard Lapasset, president of the French Rugby Federation, Jo Maso, French team manager, and Bernard Laporte, coach and about-to-become Sarkozyst Sports Minister. Sarkozy's tone was stinging, brutal, and belittling. The players looked gutted, as well they might. It looked to me as if Lapasset turned away in anger as if to hold back from arguing with Sarko. (That was my impression, I may be wrong).
I think Napoleon said he won his victories with his soldiers' dreams. Sarkozy looks set to turn dreams into nightmares. It might not take too long before the French wake up.
The special preparation has been commented on here and there. See the first commentary in L'Equipe by Laurent Bénézech, former international, and this article from Le Monde.
The video of Sarko's dressing-down was on Michel Denisot's show last night on Canal +. I only saw the end of the sequence. Present on the set was Sylvain Marconnet, absent from the French team because of injury. His reaction was to say that, in the state of dismay the players were in, the president's words would surely go straight to his team-mates' hearts. Said with a tight little smile.
What a fucktwit.
The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet.
and from wikipedia
Money is a sign of Poverty - Culture Saying
The odd thing to me, living in French rugbyland, is that it's distinctly working-class/plain folks whether it's 13 or 15. Much less social difference than between Union and League in Britain, certainly.
I had thought the social distinction in the stands for Rugby Union football evolved more with respect to Association football ... as in the old aphorism that (association) Football is a game watched by thugs and played by gentlemen, and Rugby Union is the opposite.
Mind you, Australia inherited the class distinctions between the two Rugby codes of football, with Rugby Union better supported in the big end of town and Rugby League better supported in the little end of town ... at least in Sydney and Brisbane.
OTOH, the class distinction in Australian Rules, in the "southern half" of the country, is more in terms of where you are sitting in the stands, like the NFL in the US.
I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
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