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When was the last time you heard someone from France say they wanted to be American and take a bite of something of ours? Ponder that for a moment.

Is this yet more anti-intellectual propaganda? ie the French are snob intellectuals and (thus) hate all Americans?

If there has been any display of hate, contempt or other such base feelings between the two countries, it certainly did not come from France. But hey, who cares about reality, even today?

As usual, it's flattering in an indirect way., I suppose.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 12th, 2008 at 05:38:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 I thought she was just welcoming the French minister's comment.

On the other hand, the fact is that more and more French people take bites of things American and, sadly, that's mostly from McDonalds, etc. And the French have a huge appetite for US media, as TV schedules here attest.

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Wed Nov 12th, 2008 at 05:54:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's Garrison Keillor.  I suppose the French don't know him (which just proves his point.)

I think he'd get a kick of being called anti-intellectual propaganda.  LOL.

Anyway, you obviously have some issues you need to work out.  I don't see how "When was the last time you heard someone from France say they wanted to be American and take a bite of something of ours?" is "anti-intellectual propaganda" "French are snob intellectuals and (thus) hate all Americans" or "display of hate, contempt or other such base feelings between the two countries".

Sheesh.  What is going on with you?  I seriously don't get it.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Nov 12th, 2008 at 06:01:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]

"When was the last time you heard someone from France say they wanted to be American and take a bite of something of ours?"

says as explicitly as it can be said "the French hate us (or resent us or despise us) but now, for the first time, it's not the case"

  1. no, the French don't hate or despite or resent Americans. The fact that such a belief is propagated by "even" Garrison Keillor (whoever that is) suggests that it is widespread. Such supposed hate or resetment makes it easy, in turn, to mock, belittle and generally ridicule the French and, occasionally, like in 1995 or 2003, engage in fullblown vile, hateful campaigns. In other words, we're a convenient scapegoat/enemy, and a carefully cultivated one;

  2. that you don't see this casual hatemongering just shows how omnipresent and accepted it is, and it would be unthinkable, and untolerated for pretty much any other sub-group of population - which I take as a compliment that we don't need protection very much, and as a sign of latent racism as well (the French, they can take it, as opposed to [insert other minority group]); French-bashing is politically-correct-compatible, and is thus an outlet for other frustrations;

  3. no, Obama's election has not miraculously solved all problems, and made America again the shining city on the hill, however much you want to believe. It does not make you superior to the French or to anyone else.


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 03:48:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jerome, I'm amazed to see you persisting with this and for once I think you're just wrong. Of course there has been a lot of anti-French rhetoric in the US, but it's not universal and clearly not shared by poemless, nor is to be found in what Keillor says. The quotation (I mistakenly attributed it to poemless - it was late :-)) does NOT "say explicitly" that "the French hate us (or resent us or despise us)". The French don't usually say they want to be American, nor admire US cuisine, but that doesn't at all entail that they "hate" or "despise" Americans. Garrison Keillor is a most unlikely person to think that French in general (but cf him on BHL below) are "intellectual snobs" - he's the kind of anti-Bush liberal who Karl Rove would present as suspiciously sympathetic to the French :-)

Note that he says similar things about the Swedes and Danes - do you assume that he hates and despises them too ? !


So enjoy the afterglow of the election a while longer. We all walk taller this fall. People in Copenhagen and Stockholm are sending congratulatory e-mails -- imagine! We are being admired by Danes and Swedes!

http://www.salon.com/opinion/keillor/2008/11/12/obama_victory/

You say:


no, Obama's election has not miraculously solved all problems, and made America again the shining city on the hill, however much you want to believe. It does not make you superior to the French or to anyone else.

As Keillor says in another recent article:

His [Obama's] picture goes up in the kitchen shrine alongside FDR and JFK -- BHO elevated to sainthood and now expected to walk on water and turn it into wine. Meanwhile, everything he said about the national mess is utterly true and a lot more. And now it is Barack's mess. Yikes.

A good shingle for the new administration to hang out, rather than The New Covenant or A Fair Exchange or English Spoken Here, would be Keep Seat Belt Buckled. Happy days are not here and the sky above is not clear.

http://www.salon.com/opinion/keillor/2008/11/05/happy_couple/

These French intellectuals - they can be SO sensitive :-)

Mind you, Keillor was a bit unkind to one of the most celebrated of them, but you might agree with him about that Jereome :-)

Any American with a big urge to write a book explaining France to the French should read this book first, to get a sense of the hazards involved. Bernard-Henri Lévy is a French writer with a spatter-paint prose style and the grandiosity of a college sophomore; he rambled around this country at the behest of The Atlantic Monthly and now has worked up his notes into a sort of book. It is the classic Freaks, Fatties, Fanatics & Faux Culture Excursion beloved of European journalists for the past 50 years
...
[BHL]" I can't manage to convince myself of the collapse, heralded in Europe, of the American model."

Thanks, pal. I don't imagine France collapsing anytime soon either. Thanks for coming. Don't let the door hit you on the way out. For your next book, tell us about those riots in France, the cars burning in the suburbs of Paris. What was that all about? Were fat people involved?

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/29/books/review/29keillor.html



Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 05:47:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Thanks, pal. I don't imagine France collapsing anytime soon either. Thanks for coming. Don't let the door hit you on the way out. For your next book, tell us about those riots in France, the cars burning in the suburbs of Paris. What was that all about? Were fat people involved?

The usual defiant tone - "what, you dare criticize us? But you're worse so shut up." So nice and friendly. And note the distinction between the collpase of the "American model" and of "France".

You know, it is disappointing in so many ways to see Americans have as their standard "we're no worse than the French" after spending paragraph after paragraph telling us how fucked up (or socialist, like the Scandinavians) we are.

bleh.


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 07:07:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Right in the USA seem to have a particular need to identify their domestic adversaries (the libruls) with all sorts of Yurpians of whom the French (cheese eating surrender monkeys who never said thanks for being rescued from Nazism) and the Scandinavian socialists are the most vile.  This is because the Libruls keep looking to Europe for examples that there are alternatives to free market neo-conservativism.  

Using this Yurpian angle to put down the Libruls has the added benefit of appealing to US Nationalism/Imperialism - the shining city on a hill/greatest nation on earth sort of stuff.  US libruls can thus be defined as not being real Amurkans at all, but French speaking elitists who prefer European food/culture to the native brew and who are therefore not really being patriotic at all.

Yurpians are better off just laughing at this stuff - it bears no relationship on the realities of Europe at all, but is part of an internal US power struggle between Conservatives and Liberals where cartoon stereotypes of Europe are used to illustrate a domestic argument between xenophobic and chauvinistic nationalism and an attempt to create a more informed and globalised world view.

Barack Obama will undoubtedly transcend those stereotypes, and will expand US consciousness and horizons about the middle and far east as well - so that ignorance of the world cannot contribute to the creation of more Vietnams and Iraqs.  Its about the US growing up out of the Disney world created for them by the neo-cons.  

In the meantime, we in Europe shouldn't be too complacent about our future either.  We don't have the political structures, never mind the leadership capable of transforming our polities in the way Barack just might in the US.  Wouldn't it be ironic if Barack transformed the US to the point where it became the leading producer of sustainable energy in the world - whilst we wallowed in our petty rivalries.

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 09:43:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
one made:

"we're no worse than the French"

LOL!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 09:53:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure you want to drive around with that?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 10:29:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hell, I drive less than 200 miles a year.  The big problem would be some college kid trying to swipe my bumper while I'm parked, to mount on his dorm room wall.

PS. Found this yesterday.  Will persue the companies once I get my new machine next week.  Got to close up shop in about 30 min.

Once again, thanks for the help.  Keep your brain perkin'.


They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 10:43:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You OK Jerome ? You were very grumpy in the E forum:

"Journalists are so f%$*ing stupid." All of them ? ! You sound like nanne :-)

Here you seem quite paranoid. Keillor was objecting to one Frenchman and one book. If being rude about BHL means someone is anti-French, then quite a few French people are anti-French.

It's still absurd to see his remarks about the French, Swedes and Danes as negative about them (by the way, he married a Danish woman and lived in Denmark for a few years). He's just obviously relieved that many citizens of other countries now have a positive reaction to the American political situtaion  after 8 years of the Bush gang.

Checking him out I find he has a nice radio programme about literature and what do you know, during the last week he respectfully included two - wait for it - French intellectuals - Camus and Barthes ! :-)

http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/index.php?date=2008/11/07

http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/index.php?date=2008/11/12

Not bad for US radio. As he says at the end of each programme:

"Be well, do good work, and keep in touch."  :-)

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 02:13:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jerome, I read the article that BHL put out in the Atlantic, and it was utter crap. BHL living up to his (French) rep as a living self-parody of the Left Bank intellectual. Think of it this way, in bashing BHL, Keillor is just being French.  Or just think of how many French people, yourself included, would respond if one of BHL's good neo-con buddies like Marty Peretz did the same sort of hackwork on France.
by MarekNYC on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 11:48:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
where did you see me defend him? I did not criticse the BHL bashing, I criticised very specific cases of generalised French bashing as in "when did the French blablabla", not "when did BHL blablabla'"...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 05:56:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jerome I've read that paragraph three times (the whole paragraph, not just the out of context sentence you present) and I still don't see how you got anti-intellectual propaganda out of it.  

Of course it's flattering to France.  Indirectly? Sure. It also indirectly slams America for her bad behaviour to the French since 9/11.  Because the last time anyone in France said anything about being American (We are all Americans now) America slammed the door in her face and idiots in the American government did rude things like rename French Fries "Freedom Fries".

Garrison Keillor has a sophisticated audience despite his folksy style.  His listeners and readers know this.

The best evidence for his statement that we won the jackpot is that someone representing France said such a nice thing despite the atrocious way we treated France the last time they said something similar.

At least that's how I read it the first time and how I still read it.

by Maryb2004 on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 03:28:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and like your interpretation, but my (long and extensive) experience of reading English language media commentary on France does not incline me to  believe your intepretation is more correct than mine.

You have no idea how extensive AND intensive the French-bashing is in the media until you actually start noting things down, which is a dreary thing to do.

Maybe one day I will do it, just for the sake of demonstration.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 05:25:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I doubt if anyone here will deny how extensive French-bashing is in Anglo-American media; this does not justify seeing it in even innocuous comments like those of liberal Democrat Keillor. Why would someone who features 2 French intellectuals in his US radio programme in the past week turn on the French - allegedly ? Now three of us find your interpretation quite implausible - unfortunately it's a bit late in the diary comments - but does ANYONE else find Jerome's interpretation plausible? Weird.

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 05:40:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
His comments are innocuous in that he does not specifically intend to bash the French, but he does repeat, casually, things that are "bashing" and thus gives them additional credit.

It's just like the left calling the Paulson bailout "socialism" for the rich. Even as it criticises the bailout, it validates the use of "socialism" as an insult.

Keillor validates the use of the French as a target, and as a knee-jerk anti-American grup.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 06:11:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You've lost your mind.  It's official.

Come, my friends, 'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
by poemless on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 06:13:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But you got it WRONG this time.  You are looking for things and finding things that aren't there.  Russia bashing in the press is everywhere too, but I don't assume everyone is bashing Russia. Or is it just easier to lump all people into one group you don't like and presume they are guilty?

Come, my friends, 'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
by poemless on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 05:48:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
but they still repeat Russia-bashing stories, even if not on purpose. It's not on purpose, but it's still carelessness.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 06:12:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you realize that Garrison Keillor is a humorist?  Not a serious pundit or commentator?  He's sort of the Mark Twain of the late 20th - early 21st century.  

I'm just having a hard time thinking that he fits into the category of serious "English language media commentary on France".

I'm sure I don't notice it as much as you but I really do notice French bashing in the media.  And ... unlike my compatriots in this thread, I don't mind if you want to call each and every instance out of even borderline France bashing out.  I like to do that with lawyer bashing :)

by Maryb2004 on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 07:36:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If there has been any display of hate, contempt or other such base feelings between the two countries, it certainly did not come from France.

If you mean to say there is no silly and/or hostile stereotyping of America and Americans in France, now or in the past, you don't really know your own country. Perhaps because as someone who is not American you are both less exposed to such stupidity, and less able to recognize it when you do hear it.

by MarekNYC on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 11:42:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it's just not official policy, never has been, unlike anti-French policies in the US.

A friend, pretty senior in the Pentagon establishment, told me that people were actually deleting that they spoke French from their resumes  in 2003, because it would kill their prospects then.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 05:58:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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