Friday, May 04, 2007

Après moi, le déluge

I came across a new phrase today. Literally, it translates as 'after me, the flood'. Attributed to Louis XV of France, the attitude expressed is one of myopic self-interest. It doesn't matter what happens after me as a result of my (in)actions, so long as my desires are satisfied. Let catastrophe come, as long as it comes once I'm gone.

Prior to the the Earth Summit in Rio (the UN Conference on Environment and Development 1992) George Bush snr is allegeded to have warned: 'the American way of life is not negotiable.' Après moi, le déluge.

UPDATE: Dan suggests an excellent Christian response: Plongeons dans le déluge (maintenant!).

11 comments:

One Salient Oversight said...

Hmmm. Someone watched "Crude Impact" on SBS the other night.

Did you like all the 4wd ads?

linden said...

"I'm not worried about global warming, I've got air-conditioning."

byron said...

OSO - yeah, any idea who chooses which ads go where? I was imagining some SBS underling having fun.

dan said...

A possible Christian response:

Plongeons dans le déluge (maintenant!).

Grace and peace.

byron said...

(For non-Canadians and those who haven't yet found Babelfish, Dan's beautiful suggestion reads: Let us plunge into the flood (now!).)

Michael Westmoreland-White said...

Unfortunately, that view is widespread here in the U.S.--but not only here. I find it especially strong among those whose view of creation is that it is just a stage for the drama of human salvation and whose eschatology is that everything will soon be destroyed anyhow. When I was a child, we thought those views a distinct minority. Now, I think they represent, if not a majority, a large plurality of the U.S. public.

I weep.

Anthony said...

George Hezekiah Bush, perhaps? I know he says it stands for Herbert, but maybe he's fibbing...

Dave Lankshear said...

Hi Byron and others...

Don't forget that this quote also comes up in the preview, where Dick Cheney has parroted the same ideals. Kunster replies well...

"The trouble with that statement is that if you don't want to negotiate your way of life, you automatically get a new negotiating partner, named reality".

Watch the preview, there's some other great quotes in there! ;-)

"These are all things that you, and you alone, are responsible for figuring out. Don't expecting Santa Clause or the Tooth fairy to come do it for you!"

Dave Lankshear said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave Barrie said...

I was listening to Dostoevsky's
"The Idiot" on the weekend when when I heard an untranslated French phrase. Normally it would just go over my head, but not this time!

One of the characters, Hippolyte, decided to read out a rather long suicide letter which he entitled, Après moi, le déluge

byron said...

Glad I could be of some small help in your cultural education! :-)