July 24, 2005

"Il a fait la lutte gréco-romaine au lycée catholique unisexe..."

I can read French up to a point. I find that phrase easy enough to read, but the surrounding material, which links to this blog -- in the last paragraph -- gets too complicated for me. I guess I'll never hear the end of it after writing about that NYT article that made Roberts look gay (in my view). I did hesitate before writing it and carefully framed what I thought it was appropriate to say. I mean, I made la lutte gréco-romaine with my conscience. (Don't worry! No lettuce was involved!) I wasn't trying to stir up or help the right or the left. I was just reading an article in the NYT and became aware of a new idea that had formed in my head and tried to trace it down. I'm not crazy, just reading and observing my own mind, being honest about what I find and somewhat circumspect but somewhat daring about what I'm willing to put in writing.

UPDATE: A reader provides a translation. Here's that last paragraph:
Over here some troublemakers on the left are having fun trying to spike the gay-meter in regards to Bush’s Supreme Court nominee, [John] Roberts -- he wrestled Graeco-Roman style at a boys-only Catholic high school, he married late, he’s definitely not ugly (noted several times on TV by John Stewart with the most ironic smile imaginable) – which all in all is driving the right crazy and has got them hollering ‘scandal’ and ‘invasion of privacy’ and so on. Thanks to Sideshow for sending me the link.
The link to me is on "troublemakers." So, in France, apparently, I'm a "troublemaker on the left." Just "having fun"! And those cranky old right wingers can't take a joke. Now, I'm going to go back to my TiVo to see if Jon Stewart was "trying to spike the gay-meter" with that "ironic smile."

Remember, if you want to say "spike the gaymeter" in French, it's: "relever du compteur gaiomètre." And if you want to spike the gaymeter with the most ironic smile, it's "relever du compteur gaiomètre avec un sourire des plus ironiques."

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: I got an email from Sale Bete, the French blogger who linked to me:
Unfortunately I wrote what I feel was a good explanation of the reasons why I linked to you (via Sideshow) in a comment that has now disappeared, but the gist is that I thought it was curious that other people had noticed "something gay" — vaguely, non-specifically, about Mr Roberts, as I had myself upon reading the New York Times article. But my gaydar frequently misfires or is simply wrong (and I am myself gay). So it was interesting to discover that others had also picked up on "something". Of course it may be totally nother, and I did point out in a reply to a comment that I was being somewhat nasty and mean-spirited in passing along this very likely unfounded gossip — but that's the risk of being in the public eye. I referred to "malins de la gauche" which to me translates as "clever types" or "smarty-pants of the left" rather than troublemakers (fauteurs in French). So I did not intend to be rude or disparaging of you or of anyone else.
Well, I feel confirmed to hear someone else say they got the same vibe from the NYT article that I did. And I'm glad I'm a "clever type" and not a "troublemaker." "Malins de la Gauche" sounds like a good blog name.

7 comments:

gs said...

Poor Ann! (smile)

No, you're not crazy although, as a previous commenter has said, that piece did not quite ring true. I thought you were deliberately trying to expand your audience. It might have worked!

Per a previous thread, popular culture is so drenched with sexuality that it can be difficult to tell whether a sexual implication is deliberate or accidental.

Unfortunately we can't observe what would have happened if you and Wonkette--I cannot believe I'm mentioning you and Wonkette in the same sentence--hadn't spoken up.

Ann Althouse said...

GS: This is one of the few times I'm not enjoying the links. If I had wanted to be inflammatory, I would have written more, loading it up with more evidence. I didn't even bother to put the Peppermint Patty thing in.

Brendan said...

I wonder how the Times dealt with Souter's nomination lo those many years ago. If there was one guy you could mock as suspiciously gay, it was (and is) him. In fact, I seem to remember women's groups objecting to his nomination based solely on his bachelorhood, noting that he couldn't possibly empathise with the "needs and concerns" of women.

Sissy Willis said...

It's a classic Marcusian "fiction is truth" inversion -- one of my favorite topics, blogged here One bad apple and here Galloway admits he sold his soul. You are all that is good and earnest and bright and beautiful. That is, from their perverted world view, you are all that is evil and devious and dark and ugly (Pardon my French).

Sissy Willis said...

It's a classic Marcusian "fiction is truth" inversion -- one of my favorite topics, blogged here One bad apple and here Galloway admits he sold his soul. You are all that is good and earnest and bright and beautiful. That is, from their perverted world view, you are all that is evil and devious and dark and ugly (Pardon my French).

Nigel Kearney said...

I'm sure Greg Kinnear could play him in a movie.

Bruce Hayden said...

As to the update from Sale Bete, I am not sure how well anyone's gaydar really works other than in person. Mine, at least with guys, and some women, does work in person. But in pictures? I really doubt it.

That said, I just saw the latest episode of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy", and those guys are gay. No question about it.