|By Roger Strukhoff||
|April 1, 2010 03:12 AM EDT||
President Nicholas Sarkozy of France has signed into law new legislation that outlaws use of the term “2.0” in France and all of its holdings around the world.
“This imbecilic term led so many people, in the business and consumer sectors, to hold a false impression of the truth of the world,” Sarkozy said in an official statement.
“It was proven without doubt in 2001 that there is no such thing as a new economy; today we can say without contradiction there exists no possibility of applying the term ‘2.0’ to anything that is viable or comprehensible.”
Sarkozy added, “This vacuous term led to the global economic meltdown in 2008-09.” The legislation itself notes that “the idea of ‘2.0 thinking’ led to overconfidence among entrepreneurs building a so-called New Economy 10 years ago.
“Then, after the dot-com bubbleburst (éclat de soufflé in French) the term returned immediately, being used ubiquitously to justify risk in financial instruments and machinations that proved to be untenable and catastrophic.”
France has a long tradition of resisting US influence, whether in movies, television, food, or fashion. Only blue jeans, Jerry Lewis, Mickey Rourke, and Le BigMac have penetrated this cultural Maginot Line.
“Resistance to the term ‘2.0’ should thus be viewed through this prism of French opposition to bad ideas,” explained Avrile LaPlaisantre , an analyst with the Paris-based trendspotting firm, Obtenuvous. “We French truly believe that most ideas emanating from the US are, how does one say, merde.”
A redesign of the Élyséé Palace website (referred to as “la version 2.0” in the leading French newspaper LeMonde at http://bit.ly/dqjf5q) was said to have been the “pièce de resistance” that led to the new law.
The redesign was announced only three days ago, but contained numerous gaffes and faux pas. Officially, “la version 2.0” was reportedly considered by Sarkozy to have “un certain je ne sais quoi” that he disliked. (The Palace is the official residence of the President of France.)
The law may have far-reaching implications for media companies and retailers who brand new products and ideas with the 2.0 label.
Under terms of this legislation, products with the term “2.0” on their packaging will be confiscated. Offending retailers and wholesalers are subject to fines of 100 euro per item. Newspapers, magazines, television shows, and radio broadcasts who use this term are subject to closure and minimum fines of 10,000 euro.
The French government has requested a “expedited local normalization” from the European Union that would allow this legislation to remain in force within overall EU trade and commerce guidelines. “I think also that the Sarkozy administration will push to normalize this legislation throughout the entire EU,” LaPlaisantrie said. “I believe there is a universal loathing of this term in Europe, and that France’s courageous stand will be widely supported.”
The Obama administration had no immediate comment on the legislation itself, but a senior aide noted, “Mr. Sarkozy is a good friend to America, and we’ve valued the good will of the French people since the time we worked together so closely in the 1940s. We will address any concerns we have at the next G8 summit in 2011 (which coincidentally, will be held in France).”
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