Bits and Pieces

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Palm d'Or

I like the French. I love the language; I love the food; I love playing boules in the shade of a tall tree on a warm day. I have fond memories of family holidays to Nice, Ile D'oleron and Carnac in my boyhood - six of us piling into the car to take the cross-channel ferry from Dover to Calais; driving out to the local hypermarket to buy sweets and biscuits you can't buy in England (for good reason - they sucked), and then retiring to a hammock by our palatial tent to play Biscuit Russian Roulette.

I love the slow pace of things over there. The French go about their day with a lazy indifference to serious matters, as if to say 'If your country was this beautiful, you wouldn't worry either' There's a good reason that 'laissez-faire' is one of the best known French phrases, God love 'em.

Over the past few years, though, the French have become much maligned. Renaming French fries 'Freedom fries' was childish at best, cruelly racist at worst. Chiraq has been painted a traitorous coward, in league with those who seek to destroy us: terrorist-by-proxy. 'French' has become a by-word for coward, appeaser, scum (OK, they have always had something of a reputation, but in the last few years even more so). Most of this I ignored.

However, I'm beginning to feel the pressure. The idea of Michael Moore accepting the Palm d'Or before a crowd of cheering Frenchmen just rubs me up the wrong way. I'm gonna have to get a baguette and some decent cheese to remind me what I love about France.
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