French Intellectuals

Apologies for the gap in posting: I was off in North Africa. Most of the readers of the weblog will have seen this already, since it’s been doing the rounds for over a week now, but some of you may not, which makes it worth reposting:

French Intellectuals to be Deployed to Afghanistan to Convince Taliban of Non-Existence of God

The ground war in Afghanistan heated up yesterday when the Allies revealed plans to airdrop a platoon of crack French existentialist philosophers into the country to destroy the morale of Taliban zealots by proving the non-existence of God.

Elements from the feared Jean-Paul Sartre Brigade, or ‘Black Berets’, will be parachuted into the combat zones to spread doubt, despondency and existential anomie among the enemy. Hardened by numerous intellectual battles fought during their long occupation of Paris’ Left Bank, their first action will be to establish a number of pavement cafés at strategic points near the front lines. There they will drink coffee and talk animatedly about the absurd nature of life and man’s lonely isolation in the universe. They will be accompanied by a number of heartbreakingly beautiful girlfriends who will further spread dismay by sticking their tongues in the philosophers’ ears every five minutes and looking remote and unattainable to everyone else.

Their leader, Colonel Marc-Ange Belmondo, spoke yesterday of his confidence in the success of their mission. Sorbonne graduate Belmondo, a very intense and unshaven young man in a black pullover, gesticulated wildly and said, “The Taliban are caught in a logical fallacy of the most ridiculous. There is no God and I can prove it–take your tongue out of my ear, Juliet, I am talking!”

Marc-Ange plans to deliver an impassioned thesis on man’s nauseating freedom of action with special reference to the work of Foucault and the films of Alfred Hitchcock. However, humanitarian agencies have been quick to condemn the operation as inhumane, pointing out that the effects of passive smoking from the Frenchmens’ endless gitanes could wreak a terrible toll on civilians in the area…

I’m not sure where this is from originally, so if anyone can give credit where it’s due, please get in touch.

Raj writes [22.3.2002]: First saw the ‘French Intellectuals’ piece on NetTime. The home for it appears to be here.

Total but welcome stranger Shaun agrees [26.3.2002]: I’d like to pass on the following as the source of the French Intellectuals In Afghanistan piece… You’ll get a great laugh fromMichael Kelly’s site as this stuff is so typical of his humor and he deserves the credit where it’s due!

Chris replies [26.3.2002]: Credit where it’s due, indeed, though most of the rest of Michael Kelly’s site seems to me to be not terribly funny at all, and the splendid Afghanistan piece a rare triumph. That’s a swift verdict after spending less than five minutes at the site, though, so not to be taken especially seriously.

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