“Je remercie mes potes, les agents provocateurs…” (Part II)
zhuh ruh-mair-see may PUTT, lay zaa-zhah pro-vuh-kah-TUHR. Click below to hear this.*
“Thanks to my buddies, the troublemakers.”
Sounds like spies, doesn’t it? Secret agents. But un agent is simply someone or something who/that causes something else to happen, whether it’s an agent of change or a spot remover for clothing.
The trouble–literally–begins when you add provocateur to the phrase. In normal usage, un agent provocateur is someone who incites violence, riots, dissent, and other destabilizing events in society.
When you use the phrase jocularly, however, as happened at the Oscars last evening, it becomes a fond way to refer to your potes (good buddies; see yesterday’s post), the pack you travel with, who support you and incite you to take creative risks, who make things happen. They are the people with whom you feel alive and energized. They empower you.
Your turn now! Who are your agents provocateurs? When was the last time you thanked them? Do you do the same for them?
*Some mobile phones, such as Blackberries, won’t display the audio player. If no player appears, here’s an alternative link to the audio file: