Tuesday, March 06, 2007

We surrender!

In the animated movie "Flushed Away" there is a scene in which the French mercenary Le Frog (voiced by Jean Reno) announces: "To Action!"

His pack of Gallic henchfrogs promptly throw up their hands while chorusing: "We Surrender!"

The sprogs didn't get it, but I laughed until my ribs hurt.

Although Jean Reno does give me some hope that their are still some Frenchmen running around with spines, unfortunately the joke above -- as does all humour -- has more than a bit of a basis in reality.

Witness the latest law coming forth from the French Constitutional Council.

It is apparently now unlawful for anyone except a "professional journalist" to take pictures of violent acts, or to film violent acts.

It is further unlawful for anyone to broadcast or publish violent acts without having a prior government certification.

Allow me, Gentle Readers, to explain that.

If you have a cell-phone capable of taking photos or video, and during your perambulations through the homeland of wine and cheeses you happen to stumble across, say a full-blown riot of Islamic, Muslim, Ethnic North African Anonymous Disaffected Youths setting various and sundries alight -- it is against French law for you to take pictures or film them in the act of violence.

To the tune of about five years in a French clink and somewhere in the neighborhood of US$100,000 in fines.

Show of paws: How many Gentle Readers notice that the potential punishment for filming an act of violence in France is liable to be higher than the punishment for the act of violence itself?

Give yourself a cookie.

Of course, France being a Socialist Workers Paradise(TM) and all that, the Frog Gummint has quite generously proposed a certification process that:
* Web sites;
* Bloggers;
* Users of video-capable cell phones; and
* Internet Service Providers

will be able to undertake that will allow the above to become an "Government Approved Source of Violent Media" -- as long as they agree to adhere to certain rules generously and arbitrarily provided by that same Gummint, of course.

You know, I used to hide my head under the blankets to avoid the Boogeyman. As long as I couldn't see him, I was safe.

One should point out, however, that I was five years old at the time -- one would hope that the French government has at least one or two members who have gotten past the whole Boogeyman/Closet Monster thing.

Seriously, folks, what is this? Does someone in the upper echelons of Frog bureaucracy really think if riots and such don't get filmed they'll just go away?

Do you seriously think that if you forbid Jacques Vino from filming a mugging on his cell-phone, then by-God the mugging didn't really happen?

*sigh*

I mean, I've heard of burying your head in the sand, but I always thought that was a metaphor.

LawDog

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think the "froschesser" have their collectivist heads somewhere rather moister and fouler smelling than in the sand.

Gerry N.

Stephen Renico said...

LawDog,

Moonbattery.com has an interesting take on the reasons behind this. Not altogether different from yours.
link

tkdkerry said...

Does someone in the upper echelons of Frog bureaucracy really think if riots and such don't get filmed they'll just go away?

Of course not, but I bet they do actually believe they can hide the truth from the general populace. This will avoid the intolerant, hate-mongering, minority-bashing that's sure to pour forth from small-minded bigots who think that all members of a society should be held to standards of law and behavior.

stulenzke said...

Not overly suprising coming from Le Amphibian govt. In his great book, Anti-Americanism, (an outstanding pro US book by that rarest of French/Europeans, an Ameriphile, rather than an Ameriphobe, & no, I don't consider the Brits, et al, Europeans)author Jean-Francois Revel writes of a French civic leader judging 'progress' as 20 less cars burned on a certain day than the year before. Twisted? I'd say, and not in a good way....

Stuball

Gay_Cynic said...

Lawdog -

This entry just cries to be submitted to Le Monde as an opinion piece *evil grin*

Hammer said...

I have a feeling this law will spawn a rebellion among amateur photographers and people posting to offshore blogs.

This law sure smacks of desperation, but will probably be unenforceable.

Raytracer said...

So.... If a cheese-eating surrender monkey falls down in the forest and there's nobody there to hear it does it still have a snotty attitude?

Joe

Sailorcurt said...

The term "Orwellian" comes to mind.

If the government can control what images and reportage about a particular incident are presented to the public, they can then control what perception the public will have about the incident.

The French government is already socialist. Not too many steps hence it will become totalitarian...the natural progression continues.

Marko said...

See? I'm starting to think that German invasions are sort of like a natural reset button on the French. They go all wonky if left too long without sauerkraut-munching overlords telling them what to do.

Anonymous said...

My first thought/reaction to this was different from yours. Although you point certainly has value.

My thought was that the French Government (hereafter referred to as "elected weenies") was trying to prevent any recording of their Crepe Stormtroopers dealing with the rioters using excessive violence. It was just such a incident that has made Rodney King famous, and generated a lot of hatred and violence from the masses.

Anonymous said...

You may be right, Lawdog, but it also makes me think of the cretins who chased Lady D into the great hereafter that may produce a beneficial thing. Having said that, any attempt to muzzle folks from reporting via pics should be put under the boot.

KCSteve said...

I think they intended this law to be against 'happy slapping' - the practice of groups of idiots going out to randomly attack someone and then post their videos of the event.

Oh, and Ace calls them 'YOUEE's - Youths Of Unknown Ethnic Extraction.

Neutrino said...

Well, close, but not quite.

It ain't sand that they've got their heads jammed into.