( published 15th March 2002 )
culture shocks are my hobby. What is a scandal in one country, and totally acceptable in another? Latest example, politics in France and politics in the U.S.
In France almost every valuable politician ( I know, valuable
is the wrong word ) is involved in a corruption accusation. Very very seldom
in the States, where it is known that parties are largely funded by private
companies. Not in France: there the only way for the parties to find their
money is to basically "take a percentage" on public monies. Very
common, well recognised and almost totally accepted. But not by the justice,
who will find it difficult to prove their accusations ( or to prove the
"proofs" ).Latest example, today a case involving policemen organising
a burglary to cover up corruption accusations against ELF, the major French
petrol organisation, was dismissed without investigation...
On the other hand in the States the scandals are almost always linked to sex. A politician gets involved in some sort of sex game or relationship, bang, scandal, court, out! In France? Mitterrand had a daughter with another woman, the whole political world and the press knew about it, nobody ever cared. It's only when Mitterand "allowed" the publication of the news that it appeared in the papers...imagine Bush being father to an extra-marital relationship !!!
Weird, weird world, think about it!
Two little boys go into the grocery store. One is nine, one is four. The nine-year-old grabs a box of tampons from the shelf and carries it to the register for check-out. The cashier asks "Oh, these must be for your mom, huh?"
The nine-year-old replies, "Nope, not for my mom." Without thinking, the cashier responded, "Well, they must be for your sister then?" The nine-year-old responded, "Nope, not for my sister either."
The cashier had now become curious. "Oh. Not for your mom and not for your sister -- then who are they for?"
The nine-year old says "They're for my four-year-old little brother." The cashier is surprised: "Your four year-old-brother?"
The nine-year-old explains: "Well yeah, they say on TV if you wear one of these, you can swim or ride a bike -- and my little brother can't do either of those things."