You Say Putin, I Say Poutine

If you think the potpourri meme looks familiar, that’s because it is. It was the featured image in the last Saturday post all dolled up with a message for the masses or some such shit. It’s from the atmospheric film noir The Big Combo, which was shot by John Alton. Enough of my Noir Alley natterings.

I’ve been rationing my teevee war coverage consumption. The war zone clips and stand-ups are emotionally charged and overexposure to Richard Engel can make one want to go to a combat zone. If you watch more, you might want to volunteer for an Abraham Lincoln Brigade-type unit. They were the Americans who fought the Fascists during the Spanish Civil War. It’s often called the warmup for World War II. Let’s hope the Ukraine-Russia conflict isn’t setting the stage for World War III.

All the talk of the plucky, outmanned Ukrainians reminds me of how the Greeks resisted the Italian army in 1940. They essentially defeated the Italians. but the Germans invaded and conquered Greece. I grew up on these stories even though my immediate family came to America long before the war. They were a source of pride, which led my mother to counter with tales of the Norwegian resistance. I come from feisty stock.

I haven’t done a potpourri post in quite some time so let’s slice this sucker into segments, Odds & Sods style.

In Praise Of Joe Biden: The legacy media has let up on the Biden bashing because of his deft handling of the Ukrainian crisis. The way he’s handled the allies is reminiscent of Poppy Bush in the runup to the First Gulf War. This, however, is in a much better cause.

After four years of Trump, it’s quite an accomplishment to rally the NATO countries as Biden has. The Germans have done more than anyone thought possible. One reason is that Joey B Shark doesn’t need to take credit for everything. That’s something that could never be said about his predecessor who recently came up with a bizarre idea to disguise American war planes as Chinese then “bomb the shit out of Russia.” Oy just oy.

The best thing I’ve read about Biden and the Ukraine war is by Franklin Foer in The Atlantic: Biden Answered the 3 A.M. Call.  It’s a must-read piece, so read it already.

Foer’s title was, of course, inspired by this 2008 ad:

Vlad Saves Boris: The weird-haired British Prime Minister looked like a goner before Putin invaded Ukraine. The weight of scandals appeared to be weighing him down. The worm seems to have turned and the “greased piglet” is back. Check out BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg’s account of the rise and fall and rise and fall and rise of Boris Johnson.

Boris has had more comebacks than Bill Clinton. Talk about unintended consequences.

You Say Putin, I Say Poutine: Remember the whole freedom fries mishigas? It happened after then French president and former New Orleans cabbie Jacques Chirac refused to join Team Bush in its Iraqi misadventure. That’s how French fries became freedom fries in some quarters. You say French fries, I say Frites.

Let’s call the whole thing off with Robert Plant:

There’s a weird variation on the freedom fries theme in France and Quebec right now with some eateries removing Poutine from their menus. Here’s why: 

The name of the dish is widely believed to come from the French-Canadian pronunciation of the English word “pudding” to describe the mushy medley.

In English, differences in pronunciation mean that there can be little overlap with the Russian leader’s name. But the French transliteration of Putin – already tweaked to avoid confusion with the expletive putain – has left ample room for crossed wires.

“People, please stop confusing Putin and poutine,” tweeted one user. “One is a dangerous and unwholesome mix of greasy, lumpy and congealed ingredients, the other is a delicious food.”

I like Poutine as much as I loathe Putin. Let’s call the whole thing off.

If you were expecting a Gershwin tune at this point, you were wrong. The last word goes to the punk-polka stylings of the Dreadnoughts: