Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Better Pissed Off Than Pissed On

File this one under "Why Can't We Be More Like Europe?"

WHEN JOHAN VANDE LANOTTE, Belgium's Vice Prime Minister, goes to the toilets today, he finds the urinals in the offices of his ministry decorated with stickers. They show an American flag and the head of George W. Bush. "Go ahead. Piss on me," the caption says. Vande Lanotte is one of Bush's hosts in Brussels. Is peeing on your guest's head appropriate? In Belgium it is. After all, Brussels' best known statue is that of "Manneken Pis," a peeing boy.

The piss stickers, specially made to be used in urinals, can be seen these days in the public toilets of Belgian schools, youth clubs, and pubs. They were designed by Laurent Winnock, president of the Young Socialists, the youth branch of Vande Lanotte's Socialist party. [color me stunned - ed.] Winnock did his creative work during his office hours, which would not be worth mentioning if Winnock did not work in the offices of Vice Prime Minister Vande Lanotte, as one of his press spokesmen.

And what post would be complete without the appropriate Monty Python tie-in?

Braddon (Michael Palin): Well now, the result of last week's competition when we asked you to find a derogatory term for the Belgians. Well, the response was enormous and we took quite a long time sorting out the winners. There were some very clever entries. Mrs Hatred of Leicester Said 'let's not call them anything, let's iust ignore them'.

(applause starts vigorously, but he holds his hands up for silence)

And a Mr. St. John of Huntingdon said he couldn't think of anything more derogatory than Belgians.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled news item:

Meanwhile, however, a citizen of Ghent, where the stickers had also been distributed, has filed a complaint with the Belgian judiciary headed by Onkelinx. "This sticker has nothing to do with freedom of speech," he says. "If I go to the gents in the pub nowadays, I am forced to pee on Bush and the American flag because it is impossible to miss this sticker."

Nothing's impossible, my Belgian friend. Just pretend you're at the popular Boston College watering hole (emphasis on HOLE), Mary Anne's in Cleveland Circle and pee in the sink like everyone else.

(link via Stark Truth)