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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
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[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 ]

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