It is usually pointless to pay any attention to whatever offensive comment Shintaro Ishihara manage to spew with regularity, seeing how he makes little secret of his goal to alienate about every single non-Japanese human being on the planet. The fact that he is the Governor of the greater Tokyo area makes it all the more pathetic.
His last display of xenophobic moronism, though, did manage to make me laugh in disbelief quite a bit.
During a speech at the Tokyo U-club, Japan’s most uninspiring buffoon declared (approximative translation, courtesy of yours truly, so don’t bet your life on it):
At Tokyo Metropolitan University, while there are numerous German and French teachers, there aren’t that many students. […] Because French is a language unfit for number manipulation, it is perfectly normal to contend that it cannot be used for international communications.
A langage such as French, that is not the least useful
The reason behind this sudden bout of linguistic imperialism, quite ironic from someone whose language is probably one of the least spoken among emerging countries, was some justification or other for his plan to make foreign language education an ultra-low priority at the rather prestigious Tokyo Metropolitan University.
I’ll leave it to the deeply offended local French community to express their indignation and argue their case for the importance of French in the business world. Though I suspect these geopolitical considerations aren’t much on the mind of the average middle-aged Japanese housewife when she opts to go learn about the language of love and cooking at her local Nova branch.
His asinine theory regarding the incompatibility between French and Calculus, though. This is gold. I mean, you must have skipped quite a few math classes yourself to so blatantly ignore the fact that a significant portion of the past three centuries’ mathematical history was written by German and French guys…
One only needs to look at the suspiciously French-sounding names behind half the theorems to realize that. Believe me: I should know… If there is one field the French have always excelled at, it would have to be abstract mathematics (that and going on strike).
While you could expect that “French is so romantic, it’s the language of love” tripe from some excitable teenage girl, you would be entitled to a more educated opinion from a veteran politician pushing a university reform. Then again, this poor excuse for a populist mop-head has built his career on this kind of drivel.
Anyway, I’m all too aware that going to such lengths of scrutiny when dealing with Ishihara is about as meaningful as berating a monkey for his poor command of Kantian dialectic, but it was just too stupid to let it go without a note.