the laughing fit

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Spoof Gone Sour

In this day and age of attempts to perfect the spoof some dabblers in the art are failing miserably. The laughing fit reports directly from Lebanon (via CNN) where a Christian TV spoof of Hezbollah Leader Nasrallah ignited the usual fiery bunch "later... somewhere in the Middle East". Here's the news report as provided by CNN:

Hezbollah spoof sparks protests

BEIRUT, Lebanon (CNN) -- Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah urged demonstrators to return to their homes early Friday after a television program satirizing him spurred hundreds of followers to set bonfires in the streets of Beirut.

Nasrallah told Hezbollah's television network Al-Manar that he was grateful for the support, but "We care very much about stability in this country."

"I ask the demonstrators to stop their acts and go back to their families and homes," he told the network in a telephone interview.

"Your brethren in Hezbollah will follow up on this issue, so no one will be disrespected in Lebanon," he added. "But again, we don't want these feelings to be used in the wrong way."

The protests were sparked by a program on the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation, a private Christian channel, in which an actor spoofed Nasrallah. Besides the bonfires, hundreds of Lebanese threw garbage cans and tires into Beirut streets and set them on fire.

The main road to Beirut's international airport was blocked, as was a smaller road in the popular nightclub area called Monot. The nightclubs, which had been busy, evacuated their patrons into the street.

Rita Khouri, an editor for LBCI's news division, said the network did not produce the program and did not necessarily endorse its political views. She said the show producer, Charbel Kahlil, had sent an apology to Al-Manar, which read it on-air.

Though there were no demonstrators near LBCI headquarters, government security forces erected a barricade in front of the building.

Several Lebanese predicted the demonstrations would further enflame an already tense situation on the streets. Hezbollah is designated a terrorist group by the United States and Israel but is a significant player in Lebanon's fractious politics.

Cross-border clashes erupted between Israeli soldiers and Hezbollah fighters last weekend after last week's assassination of a Palestinian militant leader in the southern Lebanese city of Sidon.

The Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad blamed the attack on Israel, which denied involvement.

Hezbollah began firing rockets, mortars and machine guns into several Israeli towns and villages on Saturday, while Israeli warplanes pounded Hezbollah targets along the border in response.

CNN's Arwa Damon contributed to this story

From the Inbox: Zobb

article received in Inbox:
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Erectile dysfunction drug importer
has hard time with Maltese translation of penis
David Lindsay

On a lighter note to the heated debate over the cost of registering medicines in Malta, and one which demonstrates the bureaucratic difficulties of the system, a medicinal importer recently described how the failure to find a suitable translation of the word “penis” into Maltese had given him and the Medicines Authority something of a hard time. Some time ago, the importer started bringing a well-known erectile dysfunction drug into Malta but, unlike other similar drugs, the product had fallen under the Europe-wide centralised registration procedure applicable to newer and hi-tech medicines.

The procedure in question necessitates the translation of the product package and informational insert into Maltese and, given the nature of the medicinal in question, the word “penis” had figured in the product literature to no small extent. But when it came to translating the word into Maltese, the importers found themselves at something of a loss and requested guidance from the Medicines Authority, which, in turn, referred the importer to the tried and tested Prof. Joseph Aquilina’s English-Maltese dictionary for clarification. But when the importers purchased the pricey reference book, they found penis translated simply as “zobb”, with no other appropriate suggestions available, and went ahead with the translation as per the dictionary definition.

But when the Authority received the translation, with penis duly translated to zobb, it recoiled at the mention of the word, considering its somewhat crass everyday usage. The Authority, however, was at a loss for a viable alternative, as was the importer. The advice of lawyers was eventually sought and the importer was informed that the Maltese courts sometimes referred to the penis as “il-metafora” (the metaphor), which was rather ambiguous for inclusion in medical literature. Unfortunately, there was no precedent as this appeared to be the first such incidence in the Maltese medicinal registration field.

Both the Authority and importer alike were stumped and the importers set about racking their brains for a solution to the problem of terminology. A great number of synonyms were bandied about, including another word used in the courts – il-gisem (the body). For want of a better solution, in the end both the importer and the Authority settled for the Italian translation of penis – “pene” for the Maltese literature. “I can only imagine what difficulties could arise if literature for a women’s health product had to be translated into Maltese,” the importer mused.

The Foul That Wasn't

Getting ready to rumble. WC Final 1998 - Barthez bulldozers Ronaldo in the penalty area. For the referee there is no foul. For the crowd there can only be one result.

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  • A journal of merriment. "He deserves paradise who makes his companions laugh". Inspired by Punch, MAD, the Onion and other irreverent magazines. This is the blog that was created because "not everyone is in on the joke". The laughing fit ... the moaning stay out.


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"He deserves paradise who makes his companions laugh". Inspired by Punch, MAD, the Onion and other irreverent magazines. This is the blog that was created because "not everyone is in on the joke". The laughing fit ... the moaning stay out.