The French

Got a kick out of this comment from Phillip:

The following is completely a non-sequitur, but I absolutely can’t
resist: in today’s State, Brad and Dave’s worst nightmare…"France had
more babies in 2006 than in any year in the last
quarter-century…capping a decade of rising fertility that has bucked
Europe’s graying trend…."

Then he followed it up with some kind of twisted Paris talk
that I couldn’t make out:

Nous avons votre "valeurs familiales" exactement ici!

It doesn’t make sense to me, either. But I think the thrust of it is that Phillip is suggesting I have a certain antipathy toward the Gauls, to which I can only say: Hate the French? Moi? Perish the thought.

I’ll confess that I did enjoy Sasha Baron Cohen’s send-up of every "Old Europe" stereotype ever conceived in "Talladega Nights" (yes, I finally got around to seeing it, and yes, it was mostly pretty awful, although I also enjoyed Gary Cole, as usual).

But how can any red-blooded American despise the French these days, with signs that the De Gaullists are dying off? And check out (again) who might be their new president:

As I said to a colleague the other day when I ran across that video, "You know, if she were my president, I’d probably believe everything she said, even though I wouldn’t understand a word of it." Being a good friend, he warned me, "Careful … it’s just like those French socialists to send comely, sweet-talking females to fool American men." To which, being besotted, I could only reply, "If she wanted to surrender Paris to the boche, I’d say, ‘Sure, we can get it back later….’" Hey, we’ve done that for the French before, right?

But pretty is as pretty does, and we have to assess folks by words and actions as well as by pulchritude and sheer foxiness. Fortunately, Segolene measures up pretty well in that department to — relatively speaking. For a French Socialist.

Here’s a link to a WSJ piece that had encouraging things to say about her, and especially about her center-right opponent. I was encouraged, anyway. Here’s a pertinent excerpt:

His version of Gaullism — and Mr. [Nicolas] Sarkozy does after all lead the general’s old camp — would save "la France éternelle" through a rupture with the Gaullist past.

Less can be said about Ms. Royal’s views; she smiles
much and reveals little. But, in a series of debates before November’s
Socialist primary, what Ms. Royal didn’t say said plenty. As the other
candidates brought out the well-worn trope of France as counterweight
to the evil hyperpower, Ms. Royal stayed mum. So far she refuses to
play the anti-American card. Though Iraq’s "a catastrophe," she says
its democracy deserves support. To more guffaws from Paris elites, Ms.
Royal calls for "extremely strong diplomatic action to prevent Iran
from getting nuclear power, which would be very dangerous for the whole
region" and rules out atomic energy for civilian use. That’s as hard a
line as any out there today. Ms. Royal, wrote a gushing editorialist in
Le Monde, "favors a break with the soft consensus that for too many
years has prevailed in French foreign policy."

As I said — for a French Socialist.

40 thoughts on “The French

  1. Mary Rosh

    Again I say, THIS is what consumes so much of your time that you are unable to vounteer at the VA to help some of the soldiers who have been maimed in furtherance of the policies you advocated?

  2. chrisw

    France did have more babies this year than in any other year of the last 25 …only because it has more Muslims than in the last 25 years…the Muslims are having the babies!
    The underlying problem of the Frogs not replacing themselves is still true…and in fact is probably getting worse.
    The Tadpoles of the these Frogs have allegiances to Mecca and North Africa, not Paris.

  3. bill

    “Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists principally in dealing with men.” ~Joseph Conrad

  4. Ready to Hurl

    LOL, great quote, Bill.
    Mary, Brad has no shame but keep reminding us of his incredible hypocrisy.

  5. Brad Warthen

    You’re right, RTH. I have absolutely no shame in not having embraced a form of public service that you and a few others have decided, on your own, that it would be keen to see me perform.
    You have presented it in such an attractive way that I’m sure everyone is truly astounded that I haven’t quit my job in order to go do that FULL TIME, much less nights and weekends.
    It’s such a brilliant, irresistibly surreal argument: “Behold! He refuses to be our trained monkey, and therefore he is a hypocrite.”
    You’re doing great. Golly, if either of you had the guts to put your actual names behind what you espouse, “Mary” might even be able to get some traction with that “Brad is a coward” thing. As it is, well, “she’s” pretty pathetic.
    Surely you can do better than that. Or at least, one of you might be able to.

  6. bill

    “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
    By any other word would smell as sweet.”

  7. serge belloni

    Your knowledge of the French nationalism is shallow. It does not go much farther than the stereotypes which make your knowledge of the French. You will be disappointed if you believe that the socialist and the sarkosist will be more friendly in depth to American governments. As for the American people, he gave the best reelection ever to Bush 2 years ago only to turn its back to it 2 years later. American people is a genial people. It understands quickly everything provided you explained long enough the case.

  8. Mary Rosh

    “Golly, if either of you had the guts to put your actual names behind what you espouse, “Mary” might even be able to get some traction with that “Brad is a coward” thing.”
    What has that got to do with anything? As far as I know, the only person in the world who is hung up on this issue is you. As I’ve said before, knowing the real identity of an Internet commentator doesn’t shed any light on the quality of his arguments. Back before Atrios revealed his super-secret decoder ring identity, his real identity was unknown, but his online identity was known, and was consistently used. One was able to evaluate the arguments made by “Atrios” and to identify changes and inconsistencies (if any) of his arguments, and to identify any differing standards he might have used – for example, if he had attacked one candidate for a position on an issue, while giving another candidate a pass on the same issue. Knowing that posts under the name of “Atrios” were made by the same person was relevant. Knowing that Atrios was Duncan Black didn’t contribute anything to an analysis of his argument. Imagine the following conversation:
    Atrios says X.
    Who is Atrios?
    Duncan Black.
    Who’s Duncan Black?
    I don’t know, some guy with a blog. He writes using the nom de guerre “Atrios,” and as “Atrios,” he established himself as the preeminent liberal blogger, until that title was wrested away from him by Kos, probably sometime in 2003. He is consistently critical of what he sees as hypocrisy in the media, he has been a consistent critic of the Iraq war. . .
    This could go on for pages and pages, with the fact that Atrios is really Duncan Black being irrelevant to any of it.
    The only reason someone could want a blogger or commentator to use his or her real name is to make them vulnerable to attacks by thugs. The use of a real name, as opposed to a consistently used name, is irrelevant in evaluating their argument and viewpoint.
    That being said, I do not agree with RTH that the specific post above is an example of your hypocrisy. You are not, for example, specifically calling on others to perform the same service you shirked in Vietnam, and that you shirk today.
    My point was not that this particular post revealed you to be a hypocrite, but that it showed a depressing overestimation on your part of the value of what you do here and at the newspaper.
    This was a trivial and silly post, taking the opportunity to swipe at France for opposing a war that is now opposed by a solid and substantial majority of Americans. How much better off would we have been, if we had listened to the French!
    Walter “Freedom Fries” Jones is a vocal opponent of the war. He doesn’t minimize or trivialize America’s losses. He writes a personal letter to the parents of every soldier killed in the war, and he has a (too large) display of the “Faces of the Fallen” outside his office.
    You could have chosen to address the issues in a serious way, the way that Walter Jones has tried to do. But you didn’t. You chose to waste your time on trivia.
    My point isn’t that this particular post shows you to be a hypocrite. My point is that writing trivial posts about the French is not the best use of your time.
    You suck as a writer.
    You suck as a journalist.
    You contribute nothing to our understanding.
    You provide no insight.
    That’s my point. You could cut down on the time you waste here, either by writing less, or by writing more efficiently, and use some of the time save to undertake actions that have some benefit to somebody somewhere.

  9. Phillip

    Goodness, look what I started. Brad, I know your razzing the French is generally light-hearted, so I mentioned the news item in that same spirit, as directed to you, but I also knew that Dave would come back with the Eurabia thing.
    The rough translation of the French phrase would be, “We got your family values right here,” accompanied by whatever gesture one might imagine.

  10. Lily

    Question to the gatekeeper (Brad): does Dave’s “ooh la la” comment/link violate the rules? Even if he is just trying to bait someone, anyone, that post is vulgar at the very least. More evidence, I suppose, that he really is a sheep in wolf’s clothing – maybe Nadine Strossen??

  11. Ready to Hurl

    Uhm, Lily, I would think that you’d be more offended by Brad’s fixation with the physical attributes of a female French leader rather than Dave’s rather mild appreciation of a French television star.
    Brad, here’s the deal: whenever you can report that you’re personally doing anything to compensate the victims of the war that you so zealously push, then you can call me by my name. BUT, the compensation must entail you PERSONALLY coming in contact with the casualties or their families.
    You don’t have to change bed pans. You could read novels to soldiers blinded in combat. You could mentor the children of soldiers killed. You could attend the funerals or personally call on the families to offer grief counseling. Why, if you think so highly of your writing abilities, maybe you could help a brain-damaged soldier write letters to his fiancee explaining his condition.
    I’m just looking for ANY way that you might feel the pain of American whom you continue to “volunteer” for a foolish and fraudulent war. (Sorry, writer’s cramp doesn’t count.)
    While, given the violent wacko wingnuts that Rush and Michael Savage nurture, I’d prefer not to reveal my name, I think that the chances of you taking my offer are slim to none, anyway.

  12. Lily

    Actually, Ready, I found Brad’s “fixation” far milder than Dave’s “appreciation”. And I have to say that I’m a bit surprised at your “wink, wink, nudge, nudge”… but hey – it’s just us guys here, right?????

  13. Herb Brasher

    Lily, good on ya’. Dave needs a good chewing out for that one. He purports to be a serious Christian, and as far as I can tell, a married man as well. And if he has daughters, well–I won’t go there, at least not now.

  14. Brad Warthen

    Yeah, speaking of daughters — I can appreciate that that girl is pretty, but I’ve always been much more interested in grown women.
    Segolene is my age, and smart, and obviously someone who thinks about the world. If I could speak French, I could imagine having a conversation with her. I see that girl, and I can’t — except in the way I talk with my own kids.
    Sure, I appreciate Ms. Royal’s classic, mature beauty. But I also enjoy women as people — possibly because women (generally speaking; there are certainly exceptions among both men and women) seem to enjoy people more than men do, and perhaps their enjoyment is infectious. This makes them more interesting to talk to, more engaging.
    I guess. I don’t know. It’s hard to define. I know this: My wife can tell the gender of the person I’m speaking to on the phone. I realized this many years ago, when I was looking for a new job, and had a long conversation from home with an editor at the now-defunct afternoon paper in Charlotte. She had arranged a plane ticket for me to come interview (I was in Tennessee), and we were discussing the details, but also digressing into various other topics. My wife only knew that I was talking to some editor, but when I got off the phone, she said, “The editor’s a woman, isn’t she?” I said, “Yeah, how did you know?” She said, “You were enjoying yourself.” And she was right; I was. But I was so accustomed to enjoying talking to women that I was unaware that it was so obvious.
    On one level, an interesting psychological quirk. On another, clear notice that I’d never be able to fool my wife about such a thing.
    Anyway, I doubt I would have much enjoyed talking to the girl Dave referred us to.

  15. Ready to Hurl

    Hey, Lily, it’s pretty apparent to me over a number of posts that Brad– despite his faux high-minded post above– wouldn’t be nearly as interested in a female French leader who looked like Margaret Thatcher.
    At least Dave was straight forward about his interest in the the TV star’s beauty and sexiness. You think that Dave is vulgar because he typed “ooh la la?” It’s a wonder that they let the internets into a convent.
    Brad turns a woman who has obviously more intellect, acumen and moxy than he could ever hope for into a sex-object. Dave merely drools over a woman who is a successful professional sex-object.

  16. Dave

    Lily, go ahead and post a link to Tom Brady for all I care, I certainly wouldn’t go off the deep end and turn it into something malicious. You can even post one of Brad. I’ll let Herb do the Sunday preaching, but God created beauty and art in humans and wants us to appreciate that aspect. So lighten up a little y’all and enjoy some beauty and art. And Herb, don’t be a prude on us.

  17. Brad Warthen

    Look, take sex out of it. Pretend that Ms. Royal is not sexually appealing at all. Say you’re a woman, or gay, or whatever.
    Then look at her, and listen to her voice. In her eyes, in her voice, in her smile — and you don’t have to understand French — you can tell that this is someone you would enjoy talking and listening to. You don’t have to have the hots for her to be drawn to her. This is the thing that strikes me about this particular video.
    Margaret Thatcher could have had Segolene’s looks, but if she didn’t change her facial expressions and manner of speaking, she wouldn’t be nearly as engaging. Segolene has that “I don’t know what.” Maggie was the Iron Lady.

  18. Herb Brasher

    Dave, I’m beginning to wonder if your Bible doesn’t have some extra books in it, and I’m not talking about the apocrypha. One of your prophets seems to be Rush. And I think you’ve got the new Playboy version, complete with centerfold that’s folded up in the Song of Solomon.
    Actually, what you’re advocating has little to do with the Song of Solomon. The bride in that book is very much under the control of her family in a marriage that Solomon (or is it the local shepherd boy who gets her back from Solomon’s advances–an admittedly unattested interpretation that only goes back to the 14th century in Jewish thought, but has a lot going for it) has to arrange.
    And besides that, Brad is pointing us in the right direction. And I’ll take it maybe a step further, and call me a prude if you want. Real beauty comes from the inside and works its way out. I’ve seen it in the lives of certain women, among them my wife, who has to be the most beautiful woman I have ever known.
    As one of the wise men in ancient Israel once wrote:

    Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
    The woman to be admired and praised
    This the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
    Give her everything she deserves!
    Festoon her life with praises!

    Proverbs 31:30, The Message

  19. Dave

    Herb, I agree with Brad. Take the sex out of it. And finally I see something I can appreciate about the French and I have to hear lectures about it. It’s a sad day when a man is criticized (even on a blog) for appreciating feminine beauty. But, back to the original subject. If you watched and listened to the video, Ms. Royal can genuinely speak and genuinely smile at the same time. Compare that to Hillary, who, when smiling, is doing some poor acting at best. We need more people like here, even if she is outwardly pretty, much to Herb’s chagrin.

  20. Ready to Hurl

    Does anybody else find it at least ironic that Dave’s #1 remedy for our schools is a course teaching the Ten Commandments?
    In a recent thread he advocates indiscriminate murder (of Iraqis).
    You shall not murder.
    Here– at least in Herb’s view– he violates the last commandment.
    You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
    It looks like Dave’s course curriculum is getting shorter all the time.
    Any bets that Dave also finds Jimmy Carter’s honest admission of “lusting in my heart” to be ridiculous, also?

  21. Lily

    Herb, we may not see eye to eye on all things, but I’m sure that your wife and I would both agree that you’re a real sweetheart! Your words about your lovely wife are quite moving.
    And, to set the record straight for the rest of you, I’m not so much offended by the equivalent of a “blogging wolf-whistle” as I am by the lack couth that accompanies it. Tastelessness is always obnoxious.

  22. Dave

    Herb and Hurl remind me of the judge in the porno case who told the bailiff, box that stuff up, I have to take it home over the weekend and study it to see if it’s pornographic. My guess is the two of you clicked on the French newsbabe 3 times each to make sure. And Lily, the pro-abortion lady who is in favor of terminating a baby that is 8 plus months old is now preaching about couth. Talk about priorities.

  23. Herb Brasher

    Actually Dave, no, I didn’t. And before you go into attack mode, you might remember that you were the one who brought up the subject, and who also, on another thread, is reminding people that they will one day “meet their Maker.” In which connection you might want to read Job 31:1-8–not easy to practice in a culture like ours that worships outward appearances, but important, none the less.

  24. bud

    I’m with Lily. Dave’s Oh-La-La link was not appropritate. Brad, I think you should strike it, otherwise your policy is little more than lip service.

  25. Lily

    “And Lily, the pro-abortion lady who is in favor of terminating a baby that is 8 plus months old is now preaching about couth.”
    Dave, cite your source.
    I’m still holding on to the faint hope that our man Dave is really working undercover on a mission to paint the far right position in as negative a light as possible… he’s doing an admirable job. But a cheap, hateful statement is what it is. Sorry, Dave, I don’t want to play with you anymore.

  26. Ready to Hurl

    Nah, Dave, I didn’t look at the newsbabe 3x… just one long look– especially at the topless version.
    Was it porno? Not in my opinion. But, then, I’m not the guy who advocates inculcating every public school student with the Ten Commandments, and then posts a link to a topless newsbabe. LOL
    Was it appropriate? Probably not but, unlike Lily, it didn’t offend me as much as Brad’s elevation of Mrs. Royal’s appearance over her significance as a national leader.
    Believe it or not, I still side with you on the feminine beauty aspect. I guess that I’m just not as high-minded as Brad who claims to appreciate Mrs. Royal’s personality and “inner beauty” without understanding a word of what she’s saying. Puh-leeze.
    BTW, Dave, please let me know when you find the complete version of the Ten Commandments on the Supreme Court building. Frankly, I have my doubts that anything other than a bas relief representation of Moses and the tablets exists.

  27. Herb Brasher

    Thanks, Lilly. This summer it’ll be 35 years. I’m hoping Alzheimer’s (it’s in the family) doesn’t hit before we celebrate our 50th.
    Dave, no comments about dementia already settling in!
    Brad, as long as our wives know who they’re married to, I’m sure we’re safe!

  28. Dave

    Lily, I apologize. I thought for sure you had posted support for PBA. My fault for not checking back. C’est la vi!

    Herb – Great marriage you have, maybe as good as mine.. If I post any more beaut links, I will warn you. No peeking either!!

  29. Annee

    Dave – I doubt very seriously that a marriage in which the husband is drooling over scantily or unclothed women has any degree of health or goodness to it. I can tell you that few things cause us as women to feel as insecure, hurt and alone as when we know that our husbands are “enjoying the creation and beauty” of other women. I’m thankful for a husband who has gone out of his way to make sure I know that he works hard to keep his eyes and thoughts faithful to our marriage and I love him all the more for that.
    Herb and Brad – I hope your wives see your sweet comments! 🙂

  30. Ready to Hurl

    I can tell you that few things cause us as women to feel as insecure, hurt and alone as when we know that our husbands are “enjoying the creation and beauty” of other women.

    I respectfully suggest that such a woman has those reactions because she’s already insecure — in her self-image, as well as, her marriage.

  31. bud

    Lily, with all due respect, men do enjoy the creation and beauty of women. It’s in our hormones. That doesn’t mean we love our wives less. That doesn’t mean we will act on those impulses. It is really just a matter of how we’re wired.
    And it works the other way as well. My wife admires the rugged, handsome good looks of George Clooney and Brad Pitt. Good for her! If she didn’t have those feelings then I’d be worried.

  32. Lily

    bud – I think you may have mixed me up with Annee. I didn’t bring up the husbands and wives topic or comment on it, except to tell Herb what a sweetie he is about his wife!

  33. Dave

    Annee, I never said once I was drooling. So I am not sure how you can infer that because I posted a link. Brad posted a link a while back to Andie MacDowell. Do you think he’s a drooler too? I think that is great that you appear to have the “perfect” marriage. But I prefer that you don’t pass judgement on mine. Especially since it’s a great and long lasting one. Anyway, just trying to clear the fog on this thread.

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