Friday, 29 February 2008

Synthesis!

Is it just me, or is this slice of World War I wonderfulness somehow reminiscent of the "Kick Racism Out of Football" posters? Albeit with a somewhat different intent, I admit.


It's a great poster on several counts: the colours are great, the composition strong, the background pleasingly childlike, the tricolour border detail charming. And any iconographic use of the pickelhaube is alright with me (despite its inherent unsuitability for footballing purposes) especially since I learned that the Italian Sign Language sign for "German" is to raise your index finger above the centre of your head, imitating the pickelhaube. This makes me smiley. As does the poster. The Rhine is looking a bit narrow here, mind.

(Monday's class is the War. How to fit it all in? I have no idea.)

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's the same in British Sign Language.

Spangly Princess said...

really? that's cool. I confess I don't know how closely the various international Sign Languages correspond, in fact I didn't know that they did so at all.

ursus arctos said...

It's lovely, but I'm confused about the geography. Are they claiming the Eastern shore of the Rhine? Or is that just supposed to be a signpost?

It's the tricolour post holding the sign that bothers me in that respect.

Spangly Princess said...

hmm. good question. could they want a kind of demilitarised zone...

aha no wait I have it. The "France" on the signpost refers to everything up to and including the river - the sign is over the water, after all, and the tricolor stripe runs down only one side of the post. Then everything from the far side of the signpost eastwards is the Unmentionable Other.

mattcr said...

I can't look at that without thinking about the possibility of impaling one's foot on the spike

ursus arctos said...

Well done, I hadn't focused on the two-tone nature of the signpost. The implicit claim seems to be for the entirety of the river and that dirt/sand strip on the opposite shore.

A rather difficult position to defend tactically, of course.

Brian said...

I'm concerned that such a strict definition of what is and what is not France would fatally undermine the eventual success of the French national team.

Phoebe Disco said...

I don't know how the various Sign Languages correspond, but I do know a lot of he BSL signs for countries and nationalities are borderline xenophobic. My sister's a signer, I can get a few more British ones if you want.

Spangly Princess said...

Matt: very true. Despite the many and varied qualities of the Pickelhaube, it is undeniably almost wholly unsuited for use in competitive sport of any kind. Imagine Peter Cech wearing one instead of his current headgear. Or a kind of Germanic American football, complete with opponent impaling.

Brian, are you positing a French team largely composed of Alsatians?

Phoebe: I know that Ireland is a kind of harp strumming, and is England something to do with rain? Spain is somethig about the glittering of a matador's outfit, iirc. Get your sister to fill us in!

Anonymous said...

It's a great poster, but what I want to know is why it says "Ask for a receipt guaranteeing the origins of the product" in cursive script along the bottom.

De Vertalerin here, but I can't see any way of posting a comment in my name.

ursus arctos said...

I think the marginalia has to do with "demanding proof" that what one buys in a shop is "truly French" and not some dodgy Teutonic import (or perhaps even worse, form "occupied" territory).

BTW, you can add your name by selecting the "name/url" choice below "choose an identity" and then typing it into the box that appears; you can leave the url tag blank.