Monday 17 May 2010

The joke: Part 2 of the story

Tracing back viral stories (like a joke) to their origin is not very easy, but one can at least try.

Last Wednesday I wrote about the EU joke that Ashton told at the LSE in London, and according to the press and the moderator at LSE this joke was first told by Finnish foreign minister Alexander Stubb.

I wrote to Mr. Stubb to ask whether this was true, and via his secretary he told me that he heard the joke from Māris_Riekstiņš, who was the foreign minister of Latvia until March.

Does anyone know what Mr Riekstins is doing now or how one could contact him? Since he is no longer foreign minister, it's kind of difficult to address him.

Because the question now is: Was he the originator of the joke?

Picture (from the left: Stubb, Riekstins, Bildt): © latvianmfa/ / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


antyx said...

Maybe he is, but I told the joke to a girl at a bar, and turned out she knew it. (She was also a poli-sci major, but still.)

Anonymous said...

this is turning into the political version of the 'navy versus the lighthouse'. So many versions he origin will never be known!

Julien Frisch said...


Well, I don't actually suppose he is, before it really looked like Stubb was the origin. It would be interesting to see where and when it popped up for the first time (and in which version).