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The Quenelle - Anti-establishment or a reverse Nazi salute?
December 30, 2013 8:07 AM   Subscribe

With his celebration during a match on Saturday, French striker Nicolas Anelka has brought renewed attention to a gesture originating in France, known as "The Quenelle". Anelka has vehemently denied any racist intent and has argued he was merely expressing solidarity with the inventor of the gesture, the controversial French comedian known as Dieudonné. Dieudonne and others maintain that the gesture is merely anti-elite in nature (signifying a fuck you to the establishment), but given Deudonne's past, in which he coined the term Shoananas and expressed particular support for Hezbollah and Hamas, many disagree.
posted by beisny (88 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm not quite sure how "I'm not an anti-Semite but merely proclaiming my solidarity with a particularly vocal anti-Semite" is really that much better.
posted by griphus at 8:17 AM on December 30, 2013 [16 favorites]


What does that shirt mean in the Wikipedia picture? Does it have meaning for the gesture? I don't seen any explanation for the numbers on the sleeve. Is he pointing at one of them?
posted by sio42 at 8:17 AM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can see the reverse Hitlergruß, but don't see how it's anti-elite.
posted by stbalbach at 8:19 AM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


From the "renewed attention" link:
The sport has also experienced outbreaks of racist and anti-Semitic behavior by fans throughout Europe. Fans of teams with large Jewish followings, like Tottenham in England, have experienced opposing fans making hissing sounds, a grotesque emulation of the gas chambers at Nazi concentration camps, during matches. Spurs fans were met by the sounds at a match in Rome and in England against West Ham.
There's a lot to like about European fan culture -- the songs and chants, the flags -- but yikes.
posted by notyou at 8:24 AM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


A, "fuck you" to The Establishment? He's a professional, playing the world's most popular sport. This is fascist double-talk.
posted by alex_skazat at 8:25 AM on December 30, 2013 [14 favorites]


I hadn't heard of this before. I understand that it is being widely used in antisemitic ways, and that the guy who created/popularized it is (or at least is widely viewed as, I don't know anything about him) an antisemite, but I don't understand descriptions like "reverse Nazi salute" or "Nazi-like salute" that are throughout the articles.

I mean, if they're just referring to it being antisemitic, OK, but I gather they're referring to the physical act of the salute itself as being somehow like a Nazi salute. I don't get it. It doesn't seem (physically) like a Nazi salute to me. I mean, they both involve one or more arms, but that's true of all salutes. Am I missing something here?
posted by Flunkie at 8:26 AM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm not quite sure how "I'm not an anti-Semite but merely proclaiming my solidarity with a particularly vocal anti-Semite" is really that much better.

hey, some of my best friends are anti-Se

wait am I doing this wrong
posted by threeants at 8:27 AM on December 30, 2013 [11 favorites]


If your 'fuck you' to the establishment can be perceived as anti-Semitic, racist, or offensive to any other traditionally oppressed group, then either you are an idiot or the establishment has played you good. More than likely, it's both.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:27 AM on December 30, 2013 [8 favorites]


It seems like it's only anti-establishment if one is working from the assumption that the establishment is largely Jewish, which--uh, no, that's not any better.
posted by Sequence at 8:28 AM on December 30, 2013 [14 favorites]


Am I missing something here?

It's a Nazi salute angled downward with an extra gesture with the other arm. It's clearer in some photos than others.
posted by griphus at 8:28 AM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Regarding the figures on the comedian's sleeve: this article says that the success of the gesture is proportional to its size - and cites some numbers. So I guess that is part of his joke.
posted by rongorongo at 8:29 AM on December 30, 2013


Yeah, I guess Sequence actually has nailed the issue even more clearly and I feel hopelessly naive for not realizing that sooner.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:29 AM on December 30, 2013


Ah, that makes it clearer. Thanks griphus. Previous images that I saw all looked like the arm being pointed at was just hanging straight down at the side.
posted by Flunkie at 8:29 AM on December 30, 2013


"Inverted Nazi salute" is probably a better description than "reverse Nazi salute." When you focus on the hand that's pointing at the ground, it's pretty obvious what quenelle-ers are going for there.
posted by Etrigan at 8:32 AM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


ProTip: their definition of "the establishment" explicitly includes synagogues.

Also: there are not enough sighs and eye rolls in the world to sum up my reaction to the term "shoananas".
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:32 AM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Quick, load the van full of unreasonably attractive anti-fascists!
posted by The Whelk at 8:35 AM on December 30, 2013 [19 favorites]


Lieh Seig!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:36 AM on December 30, 2013


Dieudonne and others maintain that the gesture is merely anti-elite in nature (signifying a fuck you to the establishment)...

Since Dieudonne maintains simultaneously that the establishment is controlled by the cabal of international Jewry, being "merely anti-elite" doesn't really excuse them.
posted by Etrigan at 8:38 AM on December 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


My opinion of this salute, is that it's a fascist salute, but instead of straight, or slightly raised, it's down, because the person doing it is completely and utterly fooling themselves, thinking, "No way is this a fascist salute, I'm not a fascist - I'm against the establishment! (which isn't fascist) - can't you see that! WHY CAN'T YOU BE TOLERANT!" The whackjobs in France that are all pro fascist are loons. Scary loons.

Here's a serious of arm gestures that are not fascist. It's not very hard to understand the difference.

And my personal opinions on this matter, I think, are over. And you know what? I am an intolerant person. Of fascists.
posted by alex_skazat at 8:38 AM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Quick, load the van full of unreasonably attractive anti-fascists!

Or CLOWNS! WOOOO!!!! CLOWNS


Honestly, let's get this P-Funk/Ramones , Block party happening. Everyone's invited!
posted by alex_skazat at 8:40 AM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I don't see this as an "anti-Nazi" salute. There just isn't that much territory in the category of "salute". For a play, we had to come up with a salute that wasn't the standard US/UK/etc salute, wasn't reminiscent of a Nazi salute - and wasn't ludicrous. We failed to do so, and reverted to the "standard" one.

IIRC, we even tried something like this, which we gonged because it was stupid looking.

These guys are annoying but we shouldn't Godwin them - rather argue with their actual platform on its own merits (or lack thereof).
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:40 AM on December 30, 2013


No, please, I came here to avoid la quenelle. You can't turn the radio on or attend a christmas dinner without being lectured about this. "He should be allowed (Dieudonné) to state what's on his mind / you can't tell a joke about jews without being considered as a nazi / He's not an anti-Semitic but just antisionist / He's just a jerk who craves for more air time". The fact is that he's about to see his own stand-up show forbidden on a case by case basis (i.e. by local authorities) but with the appraisal of the government.

BTW, his movement showed some support and announced that "Le Parti Anti Sioniste condamne l’acharnement à l’encontre de l’humoriste Dieudonné, et condamne l’ingérence de l’entité sioniste dans les affaires de la France. Le mouvement de la Quenelle traduit le ras-le-bol de la société française." > Roughly "The Anti Sionist party condemns the way Dieudonné is treated and the interference of the sionist entity in French policy. The Quenelle movement shows that French society is fed up"

It seems that he's an anti jew / anti gay braggart and I don't see the point in discussing if he should be allowed freedom of speech. I hope he'll face the consequences of his gibberish in complete obscurity.

And I don't want to discuss the political views or the world view of a soccer player like Anelka.
posted by nicolin at 8:41 AM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


It wouldn't be the first time that 'elite' is used as a euphemism for Jews and or general non-Christians.
posted by octothorpe at 8:42 AM on December 30, 2013


These guys are annoying but we shouldn't Godwin them...

Dude's doing a mighty fine job himself on the "Godwin" front:

“Me, you see, when I hear Patrick Cohen speak, I think to myself: ‘Gas chambers…too bad [they no longer exist].”

When it steps like a goose...
posted by griphus at 8:42 AM on December 30, 2013 [13 favorites]


and wasn't ludicrous.

HAIL HYDRA
posted by The Whelk at 8:42 AM on December 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


I have seen people post elsewhere that this is the same guy (Dieudonne) who made some tasteless jokes about Terry Schiavo onstage back in 2005 and was assaulted for it but can't find any sources.
posted by rosswald at 8:45 AM on December 30, 2013


Why, if this is not an anti-Jewish piece of trolling, are people making it in front of temples and places of signifigance to Jews, like the Holocaust Museum? The degree of childish "I'm not touching you! I'm just standing here doing nothing!" is ridiculous.

I like to think that if more young men from immigrant families were employed in jobs appropriate to their skills and training rather than their names and skin tone that this would be less of a problem, but I have no way of knowing if that's true. I do know that if we controlled everything as Dieudonne says we do then shutting down his theater and him with it would've been easy, but apparently the big scary Zionists who rule continents can't shut him down. Dude must think he's pretty special to resist a powerful force like us.
posted by 1adam12 at 8:45 AM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


the controversial French comedian known as Dieudonné

It makes you nostalgic for the good clean fun of Le Pétomane.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:46 AM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


These guys are annoying but we shouldn't Godwin them...

Yeah. Let's wait until they actually have the power to act out their fascist fantasies. I mean, the guy's an entertainer for cryin' out loud. What's the harm [SLYT]?
posted by mondo dentro at 8:47 AM on December 30, 2013


Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs is getting in on the action as well.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:48 AM on December 30, 2013


Yeah, I don't see this as an "anti-Nazi" salute.
The picture griphus linked to really makes the reasoning behind the various "Nazi-like" descriptions a lot clearer in my mind. It's essentially pointing at (i.e. calling attention to) your extended straight arm. That extended straight arm is not extended in the direction that a Nazi salute would be, but that's (presumably) why you call attention to it in another way.
posted by Flunkie at 8:50 AM on December 30, 2013


I'm tired of all the racist dog whistle bullshit. If you're racist, or homophobic, or xenophobic, or a MRA, just stand up and say, "You know what, I'm an asshole, and I'm comfortable with that."

Chickenshit imbeciles strutting around going "I sure hate all these octopods running the media!" and then rubbing their elbows together, wink wink.

Just own up to being a waste of air, already, so people can stop paying attention to you and shun you like the scumbags you are instead of this "ooh, is he or isn't he?" business.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:51 AM on December 30, 2013 [19 favorites]


I read it as a Strangelove gesture: my arm wants to give the Nazi salute and I have to hold it down with the other one.

But I could be utterly wrong.
posted by Segundus at 8:52 AM on December 30, 2013 [20 favorites]


Yeah, I don't see this as an "anti-Nazi" salute.

This salute seems to be anti-Nazi the same way things that are inflammable are flammable.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:00 AM on December 30, 2013 [27 favorites]


Eh, if you have to explain why unnecessary action x isn't really discriminatory/hateful, you should probably just not do it anymore and save everyone a lot of trouble.

Mind you, the advice is only useful if you give a damn if people think you're discriminatory or hateful.
posted by Mooski at 9:19 AM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


This sickens and angers me.

As someone who presents black in the US, I am just astounded there are dark-skinned elite athletes who would even THINK to make such a gesture.
posted by mistersquid at 9:25 AM on December 30, 2013


Yeah, it's really strange to see a black French man resurrecting neo-Nazi iconography and ideas:

The quenelle is of a piece with Dieudonne’s coining of the term “shoananas,” a mashup of the Hebrew word for Holocaust and the French word for pineapple that is seen as a safe way to suggest the Holocaust is a myth while not running afoul of French laws prohibiting Holocaust denial. Dieudonne fans have taken to performing the quenelle next to pineapples.

And this is key:

Why, if this is not an anti-Jewish piece of trolling, are people making it in front of temples and places of signifigance to Jews, like the Holocaust Museum?

Whether an average person looking at the gesture will see an inverse-Nazi symbol is minor compared to the reality that people are posting pictures of themselves making the gesture in front of the Anne Frank House, synagogues, concentration camps, etc.
posted by mediareport at 9:29 AM on December 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


This salute seems to be anti-Nazi the same way things that are inflammable are flammable.

I am now re-reading all of Dieudonne's quotes from the links in Dr. Nick Riviera's voice and suddenly all his statements have the appropriate amount of gravitas.
posted by griphus at 9:34 AM on December 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


Why can't people leave the Jews alone already?
posted by Mister_A at 9:44 AM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh my god mediareport that is insane.
posted by sio42 at 9:45 AM on December 30, 2013


Here in New Zealand, people are stupid too.

The Mongrel Mob MC kinda use nazi salutes to greet each other. But honestly, judging by the grasp most New Zealanders have of history, they really don't know what they are doing.

Idiots abound.
posted by hal_c_on at 9:47 AM on December 30, 2013


Relevant.
posted by Decani at 9:48 AM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


thank goodness my non-reading of media has been successful – this is the first I'd heard of it, and now all of a sudden all the odd remarks about Lyonnais sausages (that's what quenelles are normally) make more sense.

As does Charlie Hebdo's recently-published cover which is NSFW as in NOT AT ALL SAFE for work. That is a quenelle-sausage, by the way. (Charlie Hebdo is a vocally tolerant, anti-racist publication, as well as having... forward... senses of humor.)

Don't know any Dieudonné fans personally and hope it continues that way. Haven't paid the man any attention in years now. He used to do comedy duos with Gad Elmaleh, waaay back when. That stopped right quick when Dieudonné went wack.
posted by fraula at 9:49 AM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I watched this game and when I saw both goal celebrations the thing that struck me besides the weird gesture was how totally joyless Anelka seems even after scoring a goal. Very, very, strange.
posted by josher71 at 9:50 AM on December 30, 2013


It doesn't matter whether or not the actual gesture resembles an actual Nazi salute if the purpose of making the gesture is to show support for anti-semitic beliefs. Why is this difficult for people to understand? If I do something resembling the chicken dance at the Dome of the Rock and state that it is an anti-Islam dance, and people all over the world start doing this chicken dance outside mosques and muslim holy sites as a demonstration of anti-Islam sentiments, or doing it to commemorate acts of anti-Islam violence, it doesn't really matter what the origin of this silly dance is. What matters is the dance's intent to show support for anti-Islam bigotry.
posted by elizardbits at 9:52 AM on December 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


I do hate the chicken dance.
posted by Mister_A at 9:53 AM on December 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


how totally joyless Anelka seems even after scoring a goal. Very, very, strange

That someone would be joyless or that Anelka would? Because the latter is no longer strange. I want to dislike him, but after years of reading about him, he seems more a target for pity than hate. He seems lost and hopeless.
posted by yerfatma at 9:55 AM on December 30, 2013


I was hoping to somewhat reduce the incidence of the chicken dance as a byproduct of that comment, I admit it.
posted by elizardbits at 9:55 AM on December 30, 2013


> I read it as a Strangelove gesture: my arm wants to give the Nazi salute and I have to hold it down with the other one.

Yeah, that was my read as well, but as a kind of mock self-censorship, i.e. "ooh, look here's me stopping myself from doing this gesture!" A bit like how you can make it clear you're flipping somebody off without bending any of your fingers if you do it right.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:58 AM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


When I was in sixth grade I thought I could curse politely by saying, for example, "ship" instead of "shit." I got away with it for a while, until I said it in front of an actual adult with authority, who immediately gave me detention. "No no no, I said ship..." It took about thirty seconds to work through why I wasn't going to argue my way out of it. Thanks, French comedian, I hadn't thought of that in years.
posted by one_bean at 9:59 AM on December 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


That someone would be joyless or that Anelka would?

I haven't watched much Anelka and don't know much about him. It was just such a different reaction than almost every other footballer I've ever seen. He doesn't even smile.
posted by josher71 at 10:00 AM on December 30, 2013


Balotelli has a pretty serious game face and a reputation as a somewhat temperamental character but the difference between them is nevertheless significant; at the very least you can definitely tell that Balotelli is enjoying himself post-goal.
posted by elizardbits at 10:06 AM on December 30, 2013


Expressing support for Hezbollah and Hamas is equivalent to creating both an anti-semitic gesture and a derogatory slur?
posted by xqwzts at 10:09 AM on December 30, 2013


You start out in 1938 by saying, "Jew, jew, jew." By 1945, you can't say "jew" — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like zionism, cultural elites and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now that you're just making hand gestures, and all these things you're talking about are totally political things and a byproduct of them is that Jews get hurt worse than Christians and Muslims. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the anti-semitism problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, "We reject the establishment," is much more abstract than even the Zionism thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Jew, jew."

(With apologies to Lee Atwater)
posted by R. Schlock at 10:12 AM on December 30, 2013 [14 favorites]


Why can't people leave the Jews alone already?

Well, the ongoing theft of Palestinian land by far-right fundamentalist Jewish settlers and their political apologists in Israel and the United States is arguably a factor, though certainly not an excuse for the kind of muddled, hate-filled garbage represented by the quenelle.
posted by mediareport at 10:21 AM on December 30, 2013 [8 favorites]


You know, I'm pretty rigidly opposed to settlements and the treatment of Palestinians by the state of Israel in general, but in my personal experience every time those get brought up in this sort of conversation, it's only as a post-hoc justification for pre-existing bigotry.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:27 AM on December 30, 2013 [18 favorites]


Justifying 2,000+ year old hate with the troubling domestic and international policies of a 65 year old nation does seem a little unhelpful at times.
posted by elizardbits at 10:32 AM on December 30, 2013 [17 favorites]


Yeah, this is very much in the long-standing tradition of European anti-Semitism that dates back way, way before the State of Israel was an issue you could take a side on. You can tie the treatment of Palestinians by Israelis (and the defense of it by other parties, Jewish and non-Jewish alike) into that, certainly, but it's rarely been the prime mover and being a shithead at the Anne Frank house of Aushwitz isn't indicative of empathy for anyone at all.

Anti-Semitism, like any other sort of racism or even really any sort of hatred -- homophobia, misogyny, you name it -- loves having an excuse, but it certainly has never needed one.
posted by griphus at 10:33 AM on December 30, 2013 [7 favorites]


Idiotic. I'm as anti-elite as anyone, but does that require a special arm gesture that will only play into the hands of those who are constantly trying to reframe any serious understanding of Israel as 'anti-semitism'?
posted by colie at 10:35 AM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


in my personal experience every time those get brought up in this sort of conversation, it's only as a post-hoc justification for pre-existing bigotry.

Well, now you have personal experience where that's not the case.
posted by mediareport at 10:37 AM on December 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


It doesn't matter whether or not the actual gesture resembles an actual Nazi salute if the purpose of making the gesture is to show support for anti-semitic beliefs. Why is this difficult for people to understand?
Well, speaking as (I believe) the first person here who asked about why it's being physically likened to a Nazi salute, I guess I have to ask: Who exactly do you think doesn't understand this?
posted by Flunkie at 10:41 AM on December 30, 2013


[Folks, I know it's super hard to find an argument on the internet about Israel and Palestine but I'd still appreciate it if you refrained from starting up one in here.]
posted by cortex at 10:45 AM on December 30, 2013 [11 favorites]


I haven't watched much Anelka and don't know much about him.

I started watching the Premier League around 2006 and one of my earliest memories was being taken aback by a play-by-play man's open disgust for Anelka. After watching a few more seasons (plus his part in the 2010 implosion/ farce of the French World Cup team), I grew to understand why. He's the closest I've ever seen to the cartoon cliche of someone with a storm cloud following overhead at all times.
posted by yerfatma at 10:46 AM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


By "those who are constantly trying to reframe any serious understanding of Israel as 'anti-semitism'?" whom are you referring to, exactly? Any serious understanding of Israel requires a knowledge of the history and practice of anti-semitism, and to include the fact that it is still a factor in many people's anti-zionism today. In a thread about dog-whistles, this comment really stands out to me.
posted by Mchelly at 10:47 AM on December 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


Who exactly do you think doesn't understand this?

If you are going to take my deliberately impersonal and generalized comment personally then please let me assure you I meant any other person on earth than you.
posted by elizardbits at 10:49 AM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the main problem with antisemitism is that it plays into the hands of the Zionists.

What a grotesque statement.
posted by Wordwoman at 10:52 AM on December 30, 2013 [7 favorites]


Any serious understanding of Israel requires a knowledge of the history and practice of anti-semitism, and to include the fact that it is still a factor in many people's anti-zionism today

Also, that the careful cultivation of a sense of persecution is a major driving force behind support for the settlement of the territories. If these morons actually cared about a free Palestine and the self-determination of Arabs, they'd be working to address the historical roots of the Zionist concern for territorial control and to convince Jews in Israel and abroad that an open, pluralistic democracy is not an existential threat to the Jewish people. Every time some asshole makes a Hitlergruss or a gas chamber reference, it only reinforces the impression that Jews need to control land in order to be safe.
posted by R. Schlock at 10:52 AM on December 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


If you are going to take my deliberately impersonal and generalized comment personally then please let me assure you I meant any other person on earth than you.
How weird. I'm not trying to be fighty. I genuinely don't know who you are referring to, but it's obviously at least conceivable that, among things said by other people, you're referring to something said by me. And if that is so, then I want to be clear that asking about why it's being physically likened to a Nazi salute is not implying that that's more important than any underlying bigotry.

If you want to get all weirdly GRAR RAR RAR defensive and not give a straight answer, well, OK, your prerogative, and I'll not talk about this anymore.
posted by Flunkie at 10:56 AM on December 30, 2013


Like I said, my comment was not directed towards you in any way shape or form, and I urge you to not take it so personally as there was no such intent at any time.
posted by elizardbits at 11:01 AM on December 30, 2013


careful cultivation of a sense of persecution is a major driving force behind support for the settlement of the territories

Eh. The driving force has more to do with a lack of a political agreement between Israel and Palestine following '48 and then '67 (now almost a half-century later).
posted by rosswald at 11:13 AM on December 30, 2013


mediareport, I'm not certain you took my comment this way, but it wasn't directed at anyone in this thread at all, and I'm sorry if it seemed like I was accusing you of something.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:14 AM on December 30, 2013


Zizek may be on to something here:

"I think that we should stick to one axiom: the Palestinian struggle should absolutely, unconditionally appeal to the solidarity with, whatever we call them, anti-Zionist, progressive Israelis. The moment we formulate it as a simple, clear ethnic struggle of Palestinians against Jews, then we should kill ourselves. This universal dimension must absolutely remain there."
posted by klue at 11:24 AM on December 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


[Folks, I know it's super hard to find an argument on the internet about Israel and Palestine but I'd still appreciate it if you refrained from starting up one in here.]
posted by cortex at 13:45 on December 30

posted by Etrigan at 11:32 AM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm an Arsenal supporter, where he played for a while... Anelka was profoundly unlovable during his time at the club. I think his brother is his very aggressive agent (he has played for at least 11 teams) and he appeared to bring a boardroom-showdown type of money-first negativity to the way he moved on the pitch. Obviously I've never met him but this was the impression he gave off to many supporters.
posted by colie at 11:41 AM on December 30, 2013


EXERCISES IN STYLE - Quenelle, Raymond. 1947, translated into English in 1958. The same short anecdote related 99 times in 99 different styles, including journalese, philosophical cant, and heroic couplets. A man boards the Paris S bus and witnesses an altercation between a young man and an older gentleman, both of whom are standing. The young man mutters something under his breath. The older gentleman objects. The young man sits down in a huff. Two hours later, at the Gare St.-Lazare, the man sees the young man again. A friend of the young man's walks beside him, agreeing with him that what he said wasn't anti-semitic at all.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:14 PM on December 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


There's already a couple of perfectly serviceable hand gestures that mean "Fuck the elites" not sure why anyone needs a new one.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:33 PM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Johnnyscashandrotten.jpg
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:33 PM on December 30, 2013


I wouldn't exactly compare Anelka to Mario Balotelli, who, while not being the sharpest knife in the drawer, also has been the focus of a good deal of discrimination in Italy, on top of what appear to be genuine personal problems.


Looking back at Anelka's club history, not to mention his international record, puts him closer to someone like Joey Barton in terms of "poor impulse control."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:57 PM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


BBC: What is the quenelle gesture?
posted by rosswald at 1:14 PM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


while not being the sharpest knife in the drawer, also has been the focus of a good deal of discrimination in Italy, on top of what appear to be genuine personal problems.

No, you're absolutely right on those counts - my comparison was really just in the sense of me trying to find someone else who fit the mentioned example of "someone who doesn't really display the typical gleeful giddy excitement upon scoring a goal" and was based solely upon a 30 second google image search of my dozen or so favourite footballers' names plus the word "goal".
posted by elizardbits at 2:08 PM on December 30, 2013


Anelka is strange, he has been round the block twice, played everywhere. And every time it was the same, everyone pleased but it never seemed to work out. Maybe its Anelka himself but I don't know. He was at the French Football Academy at the same time as Henry, and he was rated as good as Henry, so I don't know why he never got there.

Balotelli didn't smile when he scored while at Man city because he has a persecution complex. Then he went back to Italy and we found out why.
posted by marienbad at 4:23 PM on December 30, 2013


Here's a French blog post with a gallery of people making that sign. As you can see, the context is important. Source: The Times of Israel
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:01 PM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


fraula: "Charlie Hebdo is a vocally tolerant, anti-racist publication, as well as having... forward... senses of humor."

Charlie Hebdo made a point out of printing a bunch of Muhammad cartoons, both the ones that imply muslims equal terrorists, and new ones they had made especially for the occasion. That's hardly "anti-racist" or "vocally tolerant" in my book, and is at least pretty obviously the work of assholes.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 7:27 PM on December 30, 2013


There is a laugh buried in the Shoanas link. Anelka (mistakenly) believes Obama, Jay-Z and Bey are all doing the quenelle, when in reality, as is obvious in his tweeted pic, they are just brushing dirt off their shoulders.
posted by thinkpiece at 11:54 PM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Anelka is an idiot cursed with the delusion that he is clever. He is a wretched individual.
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 4:39 AM on December 31, 2013


This whole quenelle story makes me very depressed about the state of political discourse in France these days - I wish it was easier to ignore idiots like dieudonné - but their awful discourse does resonate with some people who are not aware of the antisemite connotations, or themselves feel disenfranchised (France having both strong antisemite and racist traditions makes this possible) - this requires constant explanations, and I fear the way public officials are addressing the issue now does not help.
Of course the anelka thing adds another layer of idiocy on top of that - to have a professional footballer famous for his sense of entitlement proclaim that he's against "the system" is laughable.

I think this is a strong symptom of the worrisome state many European countries are in.
France is having municipal and European elections in 2014 - I predict huge abstention, and better than ever scores for the far-right nationalist parties.
posted by motdiem2 at 9:17 AM on December 31, 2013


The official response of the Polish government was that Kozakiewicz's arm gesture had been an involuntary muscle spasm caused by his exertion.
posted by ostranenie at 4:13 PM on January 1 [1 favorite]


On the one hand, I don't think much of anti-hate laws. On the other hand, the guy they're looking for is scary and the police should be talking to him:

Quenelle salute may breach anti-hate laws, French minister says
Police seek man who performed Nazi-style gesture at Toulouse Jewish school where Islamist terrorist killed 3 children and rabbi

Stupid analogy, but the last third of the article makes an interesting point:

Despicable Meme: Why the Quenelle Is the Grumpy Cat of Anti-Semites
[...] if you’d like your take on the quenelle to go viral, you have to set it up against some interesting backdrop, like a poster of Anne Frank or the front of the Toulouse school where those Jewish kids were shot not too long ago. Whereas the Shoananas, say, merely invites you to pass it along, the quenelle demands that you become part of the play. It’s interactive, and that is what makes it all the more dangerous. And it lives on social media platforms, where it can continue to spread without need for context or qualifications.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:49 AM on January 3


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