November 10, 2004

France Over the past few


Over the past few days, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” haven’t been particularly vituperative. In fact, devotees of our humble “weblog” may have noted that we haven’t proved as spiteful of late. Where, they may be asking themselves, is the contumely?

Well, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” believe that the comparatively mannered tone of our e-musings in recent days is related to the subject matter that we have chosen to tackle: C-Span callers, NOW boosters, and other assorted ne’er-do-wells.

Sure, these things are all irritants, but they aren’t galactically wretched. As such, in order to live up to our full vindictive potential, we needed to hit upon a topic that could inspire the wrath of a comatose nun.

We think, dear reader, that we have found just the thing—a topic so repellant that if you don’t hate it, you are probably dead. Or, French-Canadian, which is just as bad.

And to what, you may ask, are we referring? Why, France, naturellement. It has come to the attention of the Official Archives Department here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” that we have yet to offer a full frontal assault on our frog-like friends.

Frankly, dear reader, we find this mystifying. After all, it’s not as if France could withstand a full frontal assault—or, at least, for more than a couple of days. We distinctly recall friends informing us that frog-legs taste like chicken; well, the Frogs who inhabit France may not taste like chicken, but they sure act like them. A few insults from the crack young staff should have our Gallic pals shouting “We surrender” faster than you can say “Le Car.”

So, dear reader, allow us to roll up our sleeves and deliver an official “smack-down” on the beloved land with a curious history of complaining and capitulation.

Recently, The Wall Street Journal reported the following comment from Michel Barnier, the French Foreign Minister, on the topic of France’s role in world affairs:

Our world needs several powers….We are in the process of gathering the pieces and the will to become another power.

To be certain, this kind of rhetoric is the meat and potatoes of French Foreign Ministers. Moreover, it’s difficult to take pugnacious rhetoric from a guy named “Michel” seriously.

Yet we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” find this particularly irksome. M. Barnier is informing us that he hopes France will “gather the pieces and the will to become another power,” eh? Well, it may not take too long to collect “the pieces,” but we have a sneaking suspicion that mustering “the will” shall prove a whole different matter altogether.

In fact, M. Barnier’s comments seem about as laughable as an Irish Foreign Minister (if such a creature existed) informing the world that his great nation yearned to “gather the pieces and the sobriety to become another power.” We wouldn’t bet a Guinness on it, lad.

Such polemical rhetoric from a nation only slightly less cowardly than the average new-born infant would seem merely laughable if it weren’t for one thing: France has the irritating habit of grumbling about everything that the United States does. Sure, France spends only 3 Euros a year on national defense; but this doesn’t stop its populace from incessantly carping on America’s role as a so-called hyper-power.

And when the French government isn’t preoccupied with complaining, it’s usually acting munificently—toward odious thugs, terrorists, and dictators. When Yasser Arafat feels a cold coming on, he heads to Paris, thanks to the warm welcome of Jacques Chirac.

All of this has led us to wonder: Which aspect of the French personality do we most detest? The inept, effete caterwauling, or the disgraceful moral preening? Or the inflated sense of ego? Or the coddling of authoritarians? Or Gerard Depardieu?

In fact, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” suppose there’s only one thing to love about France: There are so many things to hate.

Posted at November 10, 2004 12:01 AM | TrackBack