mercredi 3 septembre 2008

Guy Has Tea with Republican Women

September 2: Chanhassen, Minnesota. Here we are in the upper-middle class suburban milieu where these largely contented 'desperate housewives' are these days simply desperate for a Republican victory. Still these women yielded hints, traces, vestiges of transgressive fantasies, subliminally interjected in what was otherwise un cirque du bourgeois: afternoon tea with female Republican delegates who had traveled to St Paul for John McCain's nomination. What follows below are representative exchanges during the tea (and here below my anglais has not been at all fixed or edited).

Jessica from Illinois: So, Mister Lake-Doc, what do you think of our Republican party? Are American conservatives like French conservatives? Are your conservatives pro-life? Bet you Frenchies would never put a Sarah Palin on your ticket. Or maybe you would, she's a hottie, no?

: Your question presupposes, if I hear you so, that I am of friends with French conservatives. And besides, all politicians are anti-life. They rule life, which is to constrict it so that it is not life but rather, I would say, puppetry. So this is not the case. I do not know friends who are, what you say here, conservative. No. Rather, I am aware that beneath even the most radical, what you say left wing, under the skin of this most left wing French person there is a conservative mentality, esprit perhaps you might say soul, meaning, what you call etiquette is, in fact, for the French the very essence of daily behavior. In the USA etiquette is the exceptional. That said, there are no true outlaws in France.

Megan from California
: Gosh, Guy, no outlaws! And everybody is all chivalric and law abiding, hell, I'm moving to France. The road rage in Orange County is off the charts. And people dress these days like teenagers, grown men do! Not you Guy, I mean, look at that designer shirt you have on, it must cost $300. Here it's this Peter Pan syndrome. Oh, the French. Yes. Chanel, Yves St Laurent, ohhh, I so wanted to move to France. My husband had an offer from Apple to relocate and they were ready to set us up in one those pretty ban-loos near Lyon but our youngest boy Isiah, my my, he is so afraid of planes and flying that we just couldn't bear what it would do to him. But oh, France.

Guy: America, to my eyes, is a place that is fascinated with flying, yes? Soaring, you say. So your son would be the exception, to my ears. Superman, for instance, is super because he is the man of steel, yes, but mainly because he is the man who can fly, and you have your astronauts, your jumbo jets, Wright Brothers, Tom Cruise and The Right Stuff and so on, see, Top Gun, space shuttle and so forth. But to the French, we prefer to walk. Alors this American dream of flight is precisely why 9/11 was so shocking for you. Of course it was shock on us too of course but for us this is the price of power.

Hillary from Virginia
: Guy, please, don't say 9/11. I mean, you would think from my name I would be all for Hillary who is tough on the Islamo fanatics but I was a delegate for Rudy Giuliani. What do you think of Rudy, Guy? Have you been to New York City?

Guy: This Rudy. Ah oui. He is what they call as nickname Batman of Gotham City. Yes? Well, Superman, as you recall climbed or sortied over tall buildings at the speed of sound. Or some such, yes? But Giuliani, it seems cannot escape the dust cloud of 9/11 which was the collapse of tall buildings. Very unSuperman, that. Plus you Americans do not like crossing dress, as you say and Rudy did he not dress as woman?

Nancy, from New Mexico: Oh God yes, he's scary that Rudy. Liking women's clothes. Eeek! Originally I was going to become a delegate for Fred Thompson but, then my husband, he's a die hard Democrat because of the plumbers' union he's in, but he likes McCain so he talked me into being a McCain delegate, anyway, my husband one night he told me Fred Thompson was really Foghorn Leghorn in disguise, and we went on YouTube and my God ! Sure enough there was Foghorn Leghorn quoting Fred Thompson, or vice versa [loud laughter ensues]

Guy: I like this Anglo-Saxon Fog-horn, Leg-horn sound, very so. Yes. Fred Thompson, we are a fan in France of Law & Order. Special Victims Unit is our best version. For us, it is less British a la Sherlock Holmes than what we call hard-boil American noir, I have an essay on this Law & Order SVU how I would translate the project. Hmm. I say call it "an erotics of the slit and the cadaver."

Helen from Louisiana
: Oui oui Guy mais ses paroles sont tres macabre! Il y a des jeunes enfants à la maison! Ni 'le cadaver' ni 'erotique', si vous plait. Translation, ladies, in a nutshell, I told Guy here to hush up with the dirty talk.

Guy: I would like to talk of one more candidate of, you say, G-O-P who, is this Mitt Romney. Yes, he is like a telecaster, you saw, of news? Yet he is also Andrew Carnegie. But, as a Mormon, his knickers are believed to be of magic, no?

Hattie from Texas: Guy it's newscaster not telecaster my Lord! You no parlez English too well! [loud chuckles]. Mitt Romney doesn't believe in magic underwear. But I do not, I tell you I do not, trust the Mormons, Lord forgive me [makes sign of cross]. But you should like Romney, Guy, because Romney speaks French! Him and them Mormons were bopping round France in the 1960s trying to convert you froggies to Brigham Young's crazy cult.

Guy: Well, this is not possible, to only speak of religion and become a French speaker. To speak the language you must live as the people do--we French are atheists first, and believers only for the tax code forms.

Jena from Montana
: Speaking of France, help me out here, come follow us out here, our host Betty has a china set she swears is from 18th century France and Lord if she waits for Antique Roadshow to drop by her house, she might never get this treasure assessed.. [all converge on living room]

Nancy from New Mexico
: Guy are you married? You're too too handsome and smart not to be.

: In France, this is the last question we ever ask. Here it is the first, only after 'what do you do?" I will defer this question, yes? As for these No. This is not French. I tell you why. There you see, this kind of silly prancing dogs on the dish, is the kind of Victorian kitsch you only get from British aesthetique. In France we eat animals, we do not paint them on our plates. No!

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