We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

The thing is we know how these sorts of plans work out. France has long insisted that a certain amount of French language – and often French produced – material be played upon radio stations. So, there’s a cottage industry in recording songs in French. Which then sell 15 copies – enough for one to each radio station – which are then played at 3 am when even Frenchmen are asleep. This meets the quota and the daytime hours, when adverts are worth something, is in English just as the listeners want it to be.

Given that we’re talking about on demand services here even that much chicanery won’t be necessary. Buy up the rights to some set of old European shlock and have it available in the catalogue and we’re done. There will be tapes of old Danish game shows out there, Greek chat shows, French – Que Dieu nous aide – intellectual debates. The rights to each entire series costing perhaps €1 in perpetuity. Stick them up and we’re done. Judging by the standard output of Portuguese TV there’re thousands upon thousands of hours of accordion music available.

No one will watch them of course, just as they didn’t first time around. The law will have had no effect other than to signal the cultural sensitivity – and economic stupidity – of MEPs. But then what would politics be if it wasn’t mere such signalling?

Tim Worstall nailing it perfectly 😀

23 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • terence patrick hewett

    Speaking “blighty” or “Limey” is quite a “beaut” “prob” and not at all “cushy” especially if you wear “pyjamas” in your “cot “and live in a “bungalow” in the “jungle,” wear a “bandanna” and use “shampoo.” Of course you can spend a bit of “wonga” and “trek” up to Aberdeen where they speak “bonzer.” Or I could consult a “bloke” like a “guru” but I am too much of a “bludger” for that.

    Quelle Horreur!

  • Julie near Chicago

    Or, to xlate Tim, “[Bloody] gawd-help-us!” 😆

  • Tim Worstall

    “[Bloody] gawd-help-us!”

    AKA “Oh, look, there’s Henri Bernard Levy!”

  • Adam Maas

    Canada has similar regulations regarding CanCon.

    They became a national laughingstock in the mid 90’s when the new Bryan Adams album didn’t qualify as CanCon (as it was written/produced largely in Scotland by Scots) while the new Rod Stewart album did (written/produced largely in Canada by Canadians).

    Canada does thankfully have a robust music industry that Canadians actually like the product of (and occasionally merely inflict it on the world) and Canadian music is actually popular worldwide. France doesn’t seem to be so lucky.

    Of course, the most damning thing you can note about French music is the fact that the most popular Francophone singer in the world hit it big only when she started singing in English (that being Celine Dion, who recorded her first English album before she’d actually learned the language. She’s Quebecois of course)

  • llamas

    Two words.



    Any questions?



  • Mr Ed

    Come now, Plastic Bertrand must have sold at least 16 records.

    And over here, once leaving Cardiff after a work trip, I heard a Welsh song to the tune of Guantánamera, now that would be forced ‘de donde crece la palma‘, not ‘hombre sincero‘ of course.

    Anyway, I am now boycotting radio as there is no sign language.

    My favourite incident was in the 1990s iirc, a Quebecois man called the language police because he had bought a parrot that turned out only to speak English.

  • Vinegar Joe

    “Canada does thankfully have a robust music industry…..” – Adam Maas

    Indeed. Who can ever forget Chilliwack?

  • CaptDMO

    the US has a robust Blue Cheese (NOT Roquefort) industry, a booming sparkling wine (NOT Campaign)industry, and a world class Military.
    With complaint from France threatening “trade sanctions” on the US, I can’t imagine what the cheese eatin’ ,wine swillin’, surrender monkeys- in service to the EU, have to offer.
    Canada has a robust music industry….
    Great, Can the US return some of the “popular” artists living, and “protesting” here, and exchange them for more Quebecois Zydeco players, beer brewers, and Poutine chefs?
    Gosh, I wonder if restricted trade with France might mean more trade with an Independent England?

  • Behold the future of European Netflix…

  • Sometimes the signaling is more pernicious.

    “Look, we understood we couldn’t make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue…that we couldn’t resist it.” – John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

  • Julie near Chicago


    I’d say we really do have a booming Campaign industry!

    Plus plenty of hollering, screeching, cussing, and hitting below the belt. All so that the “elites” can comfort themselves that they’re putting on good healthy rivetting entertainment for the Great Unwashed.

    Edutainment, don’tcha know.

  • Tim Worstall

    Canadian music. Nickleback.

    Hey, it’s great capitalism, got that going for it, give the teenage punters what they want but as music…..

  • Nickleback are awesome. They basically wrote one song & kept releasing it under different titles. Clearly they understand the idea of capitalising on sunk costs.

  • Mr Ed

    Judging by the standard output of Portuguese TV there’re thousands upon thousands of hours of accordion music available.

    I would like to point out that on YT, there is a superb range of documentaries on the history of Portugal, fronted by the late Prof. Antonio de Saraiva, who was a sort of Portuguese equivalent to the Sage of Kettering. Trouble for most people is that they are in Portuguese.

    And yes they do like their folk music in rural Lusitania, they also have 12-string guitars, and if you are unwary, bagpipes.

  • Ian Bennett

    Canadian music is also Rush, April Wine and Loreena McKennitt, among others.

  • Rudolph Hucker

    There’s money to be made out of this. What am I bid for a boxed set of all the series of Jeux Sans Frontières? With Eddie Waring and Stuart Hall dubbed into French.

  • pete

    Here in the UK we have sizeable, taxpayer financed cottage industries to promote languages nobody wants to use, Welsh and Gaelic – TV stations, radio stations and bureaucracies.

    Another source of amenable middle class employment is in the various theatre companies, ballet companies and opera houses which would cease to exist if they had to survive on income from the tiny number of people interested in what they do.

    We needn’t look to the French or the EU for vanity, virtue signalling schemes run on the people’s money.

  • RAB

    Also Canadians are Neil Young and Joni Mitchell…

  • Runcie Balspune

    I think Justin Bieber on his own cancels out most of the good music from Canada.

  • ns

    Canada tried this, with at least one good result: The McKenzie Brothers in their show The Great White North.

  • James

    Perhaps Welsh National Opera should sing everything in Welsh. A Welsh Ring or a Welsh Mikado… Or just the Mastersingers of Machynlleth.

  • staghounds

    They won’t be one Euro any more. And think of all those DomestiCon compliance monitoring patronage jobs!

    It’s not waste if someone gets the money…