Vous savais que ces hommes-rats, ils demandent la terre comme rançon?
Oui, je le sais.
Oh, have you heard? Those rat-men, they want the world as a ransom.
Oh, yes, so they do. How tiresome.
There is something a lot more visceral about homme-rat too, much like referring to Man-Bat instead of Batman. You get a much stronger sense of these rat-men being, well, seriously ratty.
Not having seen any of the earlier episodes, I think another thing that puzzled me was what the hommes-rats had stolen. If they were demanding a ransom then, presumably, it would be for the return of something or someone valuable. But if the whole world was the ransom, what could it possibly be? And wouldnt it have to have been taken away from the world in the first place? So then it would surely be included in the inventory of Planet Earths fixtures and fittings when the rat-men take possession anyway? Theyd return something only to get it back straight away... along with the whole of the world. A smart trick on their part, I thought, but a pretty dumb piece of bargaining by the Earthlings. It would have been like the Lindbergh kidnapper demanding the entire Lindbergh family, including the baby, as a ransom for the baby.
All the same, when I read in the Financial Times today about the deal that George W. Bush is trying to push through the US Congress I was reminded of Mandrake and les hommes-rats. The bankers are rat-men indeed, and their ransom is nothing less than the Earth.
This isnt a negotiation. This is an unconditional surrender... of everything. All that seems to be at issue is just how fast Bush can give it all away.