This is the first of 12 episodes of an online series called “Alan Partridge’s Mid Morning Matters” sponsored by Foster’s. If you go to the “official” site sponsored by Foster’s from the US you can’t access the show due to copyright issues, but YouTube has all six of the episodes that have been posted so far.
My friend schooled me on the real translation — and political and social context — of this poster. Way more interesting and complete …
Chienlit is a traditional French term typically translated as masquerade (French Mascarade) or carnival/chaos. It was brought to notoriety by General Charles de Gaulle in an angry speech during the student protests in Paris during May 1968 in France, when he used the vernacular term as a scatological pun “La réforme oui, la chie-en-lit non” meaning crap in bed.
He used it first in a private meeting discussing the demand for direct participation in business and government by students and workers. This was first reported by the Minister of Information Georges Gorse and softened by the French media to ‘masquerade/chaos’. De Gaulle then repeated it in a TV broadcast for high impact.
Subsequently the students re-used the expression on leaflets where the silhouette of de Gaulle was accompanied by the slogans “La chienlit, c’est lui ! – the chienlit, it is him!” and “La chienlit, c’est encore lui ! – it is still him!”.
I have heard a few versions of that saying on my poster. According to the newspaper article taped to the back of it, it was printed by students in 1968.
I was at the apartment of a friend of a friend and saw this vintage print. I love it. The caricature of de Gaulle is great. The rough translation is “He is a shambles.” The copy on the poster plays with “chien” (dog) and “chienlit” (shambles).
As a midwestern guy who was born and raised near a couple of those dots on Austin Goolsbee’s white board, I felt I had to post this. There are a lot of challenges ahead, but thanks to tough decisions made by both GM and the Obama Administration GM is now in a position to compete.