Skibbereen Eagle how are ya

by Henry on February 4, 2008

From Three Quarks Daily.

Super Tuesday Surprise: Leading Minsk Newspaper Endorses Candidates in US Presidential Race

… From Belaruskija Naviny (translated by the Belarus Information Agency): Minsk (BIA) 1 February, 2008—
In America, there are not strong leaders like Aleksandr Grigorevich Lukashenko, who come into power, and stay in the power. The only president in American history to have held on his power more than two terms was Franklin Roosevelt. And he was cripple! He stayed long because of war-time situation, not strength. But every four years, the parties make their best effort. This year, because of failed war in Iraq and weak leadership of George W. Bush, the American people are going in for politics like never before in their history. … What choices are the Republican and Democratic parties offering them?

At this present, the Republican (“Grand Old”) Party has three candidates in competition: the Christian retail-store magnate and “healthy life-style” advocate Mike Huckabee, whose business practices were subjected to critique already in American independent cinema production “I Heart Huckabee” (2005); Mitt Romney, governor of State Utah and elder of Mormon church, which until Lukashenko’s bold measure against foreign missionary-activity was responsible for the common sight on the streets of Grodno and Brest and Vitebsk of clean and polite young Americans, speaking Belarusian like mother tongue, and promoting their heretical sect to our villagers like we were pagan Indians; and finally, John McCain, senator of City Phoenix and number-one opponent of current president George W. Bush within Republican party.

The Democrats have now only two candidates who stand to chance against this powerful phalanx: Barack Obama, senator of City Chicago and nephew of Saddam Hussein; and Hillary Rodham Clinton, organizer of popular solidarity-building women’s breakfasts for discussion of hair-hygiene and of place of woman in American politics, and only official wife of number-one enemy of Serbs and all Slavic peoples, Bill Clinton.

(for more on Hillary Clinton’s role in creating ‘polyclinics’, Barack Obama’s surprising failure to promote sport, leisure, tourism and patriotic games, and the key question of why shouldn’t Mike Huckabee eat pigs’ legs in aspic and goose-fat on craquelins, go to 3QD).



Nathaniel 02.04.08 at 7:56 pm

“Polyclinic” is pretty much an outpatient clinic, though not used much in English.


Nathaniel 02.04.08 at 7:59 pm

Also, pretty amusing.


Righteous Bubba 02.04.08 at 8:08 pm

Enjoy this list of professions from the Ukrainian education ministry.


Facing worker with thin slab
Collector of top of footwear
Tighten shoes man
Turner – whirling man
Moulder of sausage products
Machinist of scraper (scraperist)
Collector of a bottom of footwear
Rolling Meat maker
Elector-erector of schemes
Defectoscoper on magnetic test
The inspector of the orders
Sewing man of leather fancy good products
Improvised of Steel maker of electroslag remelting
Rewinding man of a string
Machinist of the bulldozer (mountain robots)
Forcemeat maker
Artist of tiny painting
Mechanic – collector of flying devices
Composer of trains
Beet cutting man


lemuel pitkin 02.04.08 at 8:09 pm

Like a pie in the face or a banana-peel pratfall, mocking foreigners who can’t speak English right is one of those jokes that never gets old.


Henry 02.04.08 at 8:50 pm

Well in the case of the original post, it isn’t mocking the English, so much as the Skibbereen-Eaglishness of the paper’s endorsement (I go through Skibbereen most summers, and the English spoken there is perfectly comprehensible if you have a reasonable tolerance for strong South West Ireland accents) and the peculiar obsession with foodstuffs, health clinics and patriotic games. I presume that there is some reason for these obsessions that has to do with the way the Lukashenko regime legitimates itself (if anyone knows more about this, would be fascinated to hear). Unless it’s a funny hoax, which is entirely possible (it is pretty over the top).


Henry 02.04.08 at 8:54 pm

After reading it again, it’s obviously a joke.


roac 02.04.08 at 8:57 pm

I dunno. Is this really, really real? The “I Heart Huckabee’s” reference seems too good to be true.


lemuel pitkin 02.04.08 at 9:05 pm

Is this really, really real?

No. Not even a little real.


Righteous Bubba 02.04.08 at 9:07 pm

It’s fake. My link however, is gloriously real.


Jacob Christensen 02.04.08 at 9:26 pm

@lemuel pitkin: Actually, poking fun at foreigners who get your language wrong is an old and popular pastime in all countries. The Swedes, for example, like to poke fun at the Finns.

The fun stops when the foreigners are from an inglisj-spiking kåntri, though, in whits case we traj to adapt our way of spiking.

PS: Centrifuge man, anyone?


Bloix 02.04.08 at 10:06 pm

Looks like Borat found a new job.


Warren Terra 02.04.08 at 10:11 pm

I’m with bloix: warmed-over Borat. It’s been done before (and before Sascha Baron Cohen did it, too), and it’s never really that funny.


Peter 02.04.08 at 10:19 pm

“The only president in American history to have held on his power more than two terms was Franklin Roosevelt. And he was cripple! He stayed long because of war-time situation, not strength.

Well, FDR won 3 elections in a row before the US entered the war, so I would credit a fair amount of his electoral appeal to “strength”.


Bloix 02.04.08 at 11:12 pm

Oh, I thought it was hilarious. But I was the guy at the Borat movie who was laughing so hard he almost choked to death. I went with my teenage boys and every five minutes they had to elbow me in the ribs and say, DAD!


Luke 02.05.08 at 5:20 am

Peter, to quibble: FDR won two elections prior to the war. The Fall of France solidified his 1940 run, and to a degree, his 1940 victory once Wilkie was the nominee. It’s certainly a wartime election, though US troops weren’t marching and American bombs weren’t falling (from American planes).

Just ’cause I’m a lil contrarian


Peter 02.05.08 at 9:30 am

Luke — to quibble in return: My statement was that “FDR won 3 elections in a row before the US entered the war”, and your comment does not contradict this.

In any case, those of us from the Eastern Hemisphere would put the start of that Second World War well before August 1939. Japanese fascist troops occupied China in July 1937, and there had been sporadic fighting between the two countries through the 1930s.


Mrs Tilton 02.05.08 at 11:45 am

One clue that it isn’t real was Justin Smith’s by-line at the top.

Lemuel @4,

of course mocking foreigners’ funny English can degenerate into outright xenophobia. So yes, I can see how one might have some slight uneasiness with the practice. But there’s no need for that uneasiness, I think, where the foreigners themselves are holding themsleves out as accomplished English-speakers, as for example in the case of English As She Is Spoke; or in the case of an official translation from a government ministry, had that been what the 3QD piece really was (but, so infinitely sadly, was not).


novakant 02.05.08 at 12:03 pm

Never liked Borat – he crossed the fine line between satire and defamation.

That said, the non-english speaking world makes fun of english-only speakers all the time, particularly Americans, as captured in this timeless classic; it’s just that for obvious reasons they don’t notice it.


Mrs Tilton 02.05.08 at 2:01 pm

Novakant @18,

there was a French comedy show back in the late 80s, IIRC, that had a character (an actual American, I belive) whose shtick was speaking French with an exaggerated American accent.[FN1] So yes, this is pretty much one of those universals, I think.

[FN1] And as such, completely unrealistic. As everybody knows, Americans cannot speak French at all, but do so in flawless Parisian accents.


Nathaniel 02.05.08 at 5:40 pm

It was clearly a joke, but although I feel a little guilty at the cheapness of laughing at bad English, it’s a pretty well-done parody. And I wouldn’t call it “warmed-over Borat” because it’s far more prudish and Justin Smith makes the wise decision to stick to politics, or a version thereof.

For comparison, read Eduard Limonov in the Exile.

In fact, concerning annoying precedents, I sense more of a kinship to that narrator/driver in Everything is Illuminated, although this is an older and, as I said, more political voice.


Kevin 02.05.08 at 8:29 pm

When the pollsters first missed the mark in Iowa, the social media research company I work for decided to see if the blogosphere was as wrong as the traditional media. Using a more primitive version of our current methodology, we were pleasantly surprised to see that a measurement of blog sentiment and activity would have correctly (if narrowly) predicted an Obama win. Our theory as to why this is: people so engaged in the political process that they publicly blog about their favorite candidates could fairly represent those who are engaged enough to vote in the primaries and caucuses at all. We followed 5 states for Super Tuesday and made overall and specific predictions, which can be found here, if you’re interested:

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