Swedish Meatball? No, Swedish Meathead!

From The Washington Post:

BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg attempted an earnest apology Wednesday for the worst environmental accident ever to befall America, but it will be remembered for only two words:

“Small people.”

Svanberg came with other BP executives to the White House, where he said President Obama made clear that he is “frustrated because he cares about the small people.”

“And we care about the small people,” added Svanberg, who is Swedish. “I hear comments sometimes that large oil companies are greedy companies or don’t care. But that is not the case indeed. We care about the small people.”

The “small people” took the remark very well and reacted accordingly.


Original movie poster

Just like that, a new slogan was born. It sardonically swept through cyberspace and landed in the gulf, where it was greeted with no more enthusiasm than the unrefined crude gushing from BP property.

“We’re not small people. We’re human beings. They’re no greater than us. We don’t bow down to them. We don’t pray to them,” said Justin Taffinder of New Orleans.

“Purely a translation matter,” e-mailed BP spokesman Scott Dean. And later Wednesday, Svanberg apologized for his apology: “I spoke clumsily this afternoon, and for that, I am very sorry.”

BP’s European executives have consistently struggled to strike the right tone in response to the oil spill. Svanberg was the guy who was supposed to demonstrate all the humility that Tony Hayward, the company’s chief executive, can’t quite muster.

Heckuva job, Svannie!

BP officials have also caught flak for using the word “scheme” — British parlance for a large institutional plan but a word more akin to “scam” here — when talking about a fund to pay claims.

Here’s a tip: In America, when we say “put a lid on it,” we mean all of it.

Here’s another tip, Svannie–hire someone from this side of the pond who knows how to apologize:

36 Comments

Filed under Barack Obama, Environment, humor, movies, parody, politics, Republicans, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

36 responses to “Swedish Meatball? No, Swedish Meathead!

  1. writechic

    Barton should be uh-shimed. Fucker.

    And I hope to Heaven Haley Barbour doesn’t get any of that money to allocate, because it won’t help a single person in need if he does. His record with Katrina was atrocious.

    • these guys are too stupid to be uh-shimed, and there will always be morons around who will pat them on the back and tell them what a good job they’re doin’. i wonder what’s going to happen when rushbo calls out little joe for taking back his apology. i look forward to heads ‘sploding.

  2. Pingback: BP Chairman Tony Hayward Faces the Wrath of PCW Competition Committee « Political Championship Wrestling

  3. Wi nøt trei a høliday in Sweden this yer? See the loveli lakes, the wonderful telephøne system, and mani interesting furry animals, including the majestic møøse. A Møøse once bit my sister … no, realli!

    All keeding asøød, da Svede døes gøt løst in th Transøcean, errrr, translatiøn. Bøøt realli, da Svede no mean it. Prømise. He meant to sai “stupid, litigiøus Americans” bøøt slipped frøm da skript.

  4. jenn/jlms qkw

    zomg, no! it is not a translation issue, it’s a cultural gap. i learned to speak swedish.

    i would have missed this completely except for you dear nonnie!

    • someone at the big orange said that it’s silly to make a big deal out of it, because it was just a matter of him not being familiar with american idioms. i don’t know what he thought he might be saying. did he mean to say ‘the little guy?’ that’s pretty condescending, if you ask me. was he trying to be just one of the guys by using language like that? he could have just said, bp cares about people. he didn’t need an adjective.

  5. jenn/jlms qkw

    oh and nonnie- the beach and surf aren’t oily enough, imho 😉

    • those are actual pix of the gulf and one of the beaches (well, i had to triple up on the beach so i’d have enough to cover the poster). what i should have made oilier, in order to be more realistic, is svannie.

  6. I think this guy spoke his true perspective…..
    Big oil, small people.

    If it really is a language barrier, then I will speak “UK proper English”…

    Bloody Oily Hell! & I’ll even throw in a “Piss Off”.

    How’s that?

    • even if he just meant to say that they care about the little guy, it would still sound condescending instead of friendly. i can’t believe how much tone-deafness can exist in one corporation. their arrogance just shines through every time they open their mouths.

  7. Seeing Carl-Henric all inconvenienced like that brings to mind what Frank Zappa used to say: “Didja get any onya?” And after watching the former NY mayor make a total fool of himself on TV this morning, I ask myself, who could outdo this idiot. Why of course, His Assholyness Joe Barton, one of our metromess deans of dumbass! Ever alert to the suffering of rich people everywhere, even foreigners. He was told once of a suffering rich guy who actually had to drive a Buick for a while. You would think things like obstructing government and teaching our Texas kids how not to catch babies from toilet seats would keep him busy enough, but no. His oral service to BP was quite remarkable even in the crowded field of total idiot gopers, and we’ve got dozens of them. Too bad the big Boner made him take it all back, but at least we know now who the Princess will pick for her running mate.

  8. MNLatteLiberal

    …and now in the Bachmann News

    A bit off-topic yet again, but this puppy is precious. Follow the link to the City Pages write up of G-Biz (hip-hop artist) FUCK BUCHMANN poster campaign around the Twin Cities that’s been making waves for the last 24 hours ’round these here parts. See the lovely comments. A moose once bit my sister.

    ~ Latte
    Well, sort of.

    • i just hope that doesn’t backfire and make batshit bachmann sympathetic. it’s great publicity for the rapper, but the dems should put out a statement saying they don’t approve, even if they do so with a wink and a nod.

      • MNLatteLiberal

        Well, nonnie, I see your point.

        On the other hand, she’s got her constituency solidified: ~ 42% of CD6 are wingnuts who will support her no matter what.

        The indies who are *STILL* unaware of her lunacy after all these years are not going to be swayed by FB slogans simply because they will not see them.

        And the hardcore Bachmann opposition in our district – well, we’ve seen it all before. Four years ago there were “Nuclear Option Bachmann” posters all over town with a mushroom cloud detonating out of her head, illustrating some of her foreign policy statements. The dem’s are not going to vote for her, no matter what. The thinking republicans (yes, there are some here, I’ve talked to them at gas stations as they comment on my “to hell with Bachmann!” bumpersticker) will not vote for her.

        So, imho, it’s a zero sum game, save for some pub for the rappers. As Steven Colbert would analyze: let the market decide. We will see by the attendance at the G-Biz concert whether the market has spoken. Methinks, it will have: my entire family is likely to attend the gig as a result of this poster. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have.

        For the record, my illustration idea for her latest standing up for BP drill here/drill now oilgasm, is infinitely more childish, vile and downright pornographic.

        ~ Latte, who NEVER posts mad. 🙂

        • i understand your argument, and i would agree wholeheartedly, except for one thing. batshit bachmann will use this to collect campaign donations from all the loonies out of state. the rethugs love to portray themselves as victims, and the teabaggers swoop in the play the rescuers. they’ll pin this on the dems, even though it was just one guy behind it and only for publicity for his gig. there might have been some rethugs who would have not bothered to vote this time around, but if batshit bachmann has clever enough commercials, they’ll get off their pasty asses and vote for her.

          • MNLatteLiberal

            nonnie,
            what makes you think that even if the MN DFL establishment officially distance themselves from G-Biz, do so immediately and prominently, etc., Ms Batshit will take that into consideration when soliciting donations? I will give you 10:1 odds that no matter what anyone does in the DFL, if Bachmann wants to use this to raise funds, she will and not a mention will be made of who made the poster and why.

            You know what my wife and I do, so let me tell you, we’ve already seen Bachmann’s fundraising emails to her inner and outer core supporters. You should see how Tarryl Clark is vilified in them, how she is rolled into one steaming ideological sandwich with Nancy Pelosi and the other boogiemen who keep Limbaughs awake at night.
            I tell ya, just like with any good propaganda machine, be it nazi, communist or taliban, the truth has nothing to do with it. You can dissociate yourself from anyone you want, but if Bachmannia wants a poster child, Bachmannia paints a poster child.

            Sorry to get all serious on you.
            Won’t happen again (for a c0uple of days),
            ~ L

            • i would never expect batshit bachmann to tell the truth. the dems need to disassociate themselves just for the record, though it won’t make a difference to batshit and her true believers. my internets keep breaking (thunder and lightning here), so i tried to type fast, and i might not have ‘splained myself well. the dems disassociating themselves from the posters won’t do anything, but they should still do it. my main point was that the posters might be getting lots of attention for the rapper, but if he thought he was helping out the dems, he was very wrong. if he did it just to draw attention to himself, mission accomplished, but it was a rather selfish thing to do.

              • MNLatteLiberal

                Ah, and here it is. Just as I called it. Please note the penultimate paragraph, right between “wife” and “$1000”:

                “You and I both know they are resorting to these vulgar attacks because they know their time is up – the American people have their number and won’t put up with the continued trampling of our freedoms at the expense of their liberal ideology”

                Code words, thinly veiled, but QED nonetheless. We agree, btw, on the rapper being out to promote himself first and foremost. But call me an idealist ;), I still see water in that half-drunken glass. Imho, G-Biz must strongly dislike Bachmann too. And for now, that’s good enough for me.
                ~ L

                • if g-biz can actually get people to vote, then his poster is fine by me.

                  i never saw marcus in action before. my gaydar alarm won’t go off. if he had a kerchief in his hand as he bounced on his toes and waved his arms, it would have mistaken it for a scene from la cage aux folles.

  9. jeb

    I actually like Swedish Meatballs. Swedish meatheads is a completely different matter but I don’t want to be accused of being small here by pointing out that the problem with corporate CEO’s (no matter their native lingo) is they’re so out of touch with our reality that they will inevitably step in it from one direction or another.

    • i bet that, if they could round up enough swedish meatballs, they could clog that big hole on the bottom of the ocean. maybe the small people can help them make all the meatballs necessary.

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