Miquelon.org The Fighting French

South Park Bashes The French

04.24.2009 · Posted in Cartoons, Editorials, News, Pop Culture

pissed

South Park’s French Bashing Explored.

The world of cartoons is a powerful way to get out any message you could never achieve with traditional actors or more conventional means. Much like Aesop’s fables, the use of animated characters often serves as a vehicle for political and social satire that avoids serious scrutiny. After all, it’s just a cartoon right?

The Simpsons, Family Guy, King of the Hill and South Park have all achieved success through poking fun at our collective hypocrisies or our contradictions. Unfortunately, when empowered with such a potent vehicle, the creative teams behind these cartoons sometimes let their own prejudices show through.

The Simpsons famously entered the fray of Anti-French prejudice with several barbs, most notably the “Cheese eating surrender monkey” epithet spoken by Groundskeeper Willie in an episode aired on April 30, 1995. In another episode, the character Lenny is also used as a vehicle for Anti-French stereotypes: “I’m shaking like a French soldier!”. Anti-French prejudice from the Simpsons is also evident in licensed games such as “Medal of Homer” (See note 1).

Matt Groening disputed his association with that now famous Anti-French slur: “That was not the original context. It was all about Willie yelling at students in a French class. People took that expression out of context (…) Besides I adore France, to be associated with this was insulting” (See note 2). Given the Simpsons long record of Anti-French attitudes, Matt Groening’s comments can only be considered as pure hypocrisy. But enough with this antiquated series that overstayed its welcome 6 years ago.

southparkfrenchLast Wednesday, South Park aired an episode ripped from the headlines that deals with Somali pirates. At one point a French crew surrenders to children wielding toys. In another scene, another characters exclaims: “they were French so of course they surrendered immediately”.

South Park’s late foray into the world of French Bashing is not only regrettable, it proves once more that anti-French prejudice is so entwined in American pop-culture that it will take monumental efforts on our behalf to undo the harm done by years of laissez-faire.

In the meanwhile, little can be done with our limited means. We can however let the creators of South Park know how we feel with it comes to mocking the most tragic event of our recent history or we can also share our opinions with the myriad of bloggers, writers, columnists out there who are applauding this new Anti-French jab like circus seals.

(1) Miquelon.org article on Medal of Homer
(2) Source: Interview with Erwan Cario, July 25th 2007

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159 Responses to “South Park Bashes The French”

  1. Can we imagine a French cartoon that would mock any of the following subjects pertaining to American history?

    (a) 9 /11  (b) American political and military failures in (1) Vietnam (2) Lebanon (3) Somalia (4) Iraq (5) Afghanistan (6) Tehran …

    Some might mention the Guignol, but their parody of American Foreign Policy is not a mockery of the Americans as a people and a culture?

  2. Oh Please!!!
    South Park makes fun of everyone and everything! In fact the only way you should feel offended is if they haven’t made fun of you. If you think South Park has singled out the French…, you are an idiot! Try watching more than one episode before you pass judgement on an entire series. And in the meantime…, quit your whimpy, whimpy whining!

  3. And by the way…, South Park has made fun of  a) 9 /11  (b) American political and military failures in (1) Vietnam (2) Lebanon (3) Somalia (4) Iraq (5) Afghanistan (6) Tehran …  and hell of a lot of other things.

  4. Fred Orth says:

    Miquelon, I concur with your concern. I know young children, as well as adults, watch this junk. Their attack on French courage was unnecessary to their story and was obviously deliberate.

  5. Wayne, there’s a difference between treating a subject and mocking it. They deal with 9/11 truthers, but never mock the event of 9/11. They deal with Vietnam but never mock the soldiers who died there etc etc. See the difference here?

    South Park made fun of the truthers. They never made fun of the men and women who died that day, where as in making fun of the “French surrender” they are in fact making fun of an event that lead to over 217,600 military casualties and 267,000 civilian deaths.

    And calling people idiots is not going to help any dialogue. I have watched every season of SP since the series started airing.

  6. Two quotes for you Wayne

    (a) “Cheese-eating surrender monkeys” is much in vogue in neo- conservative circles. This amusing jape will seem especially risible to those who remember the 1.4 million French soldiers who died defending their nation in World War I.” Jon Carroll

    (b) “No other national or ethnic group appears to get the same continually negative treatment in print media reserved for France and the French, with the possible exception of Arabs or Palestinians, and even there, the treatment is not so much cultural as political, linked to a specific context or event.If one were to substitute, for example, “Mexican” or “Japanese” or “Indian” for “French”, what would reader reaction be?”. Edward C.Knox, May 2002

  7. Wayne, have you been reading recent headlines?  There have been 4 (thats FOUR) succesful French commando raids against the pirates, rescuing all but one hostage alive, killing several pirates, liberation captured boats and taking over 50 pirates captive, as opposed to only 1 (ONE) succesful SEAL rescue after lengthy indecision.   The South Park episode was not only a slam against France, but a complete and twisted distortion of what REALLY happened.

    When South Park disses the SEALS and dismisses their accomplishments in the same manner, then you may have a valid arguement to whine about, but not now. 

  8. Barney hasn't left the building says:

    What’s particularly unfair this time is the fact that the surrender ‘jokes’ came about in the context of the Somali Pirates.
    A context in which the French military has very recently proven that it was very capable and certainly not afraid to fight
    And it was all over the news in the US too.

    I know that sometimes Trey Parker and Matt Stone write an episode only a few days before it airs so I cannot believe they were unaware of the French involvement with the Somalian Pirates. And yet they just go ahead and do this???!
    It’s really a case of  ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’.

    A lot of Americans just plain and simple refuse to give any credit whatsoever to the French.

    And seriously, aren’t even they getting tired of those jokes ?
    It’s been done a million fucking times already.

  9. More exchanges between myself and “Wayne” over at reddit. They buried the submission.

  10. Barney, it doesn’t matter. Short of a French soldier blowing a gaping hole in the face of an American comedy writer, nothing will change the situation.

    Years of do-nothing or do-little French officials (MAE, Ambassade) have led us to a pop culture acceptance of this stereotype. The French government thought the best way to deal with French bashing was to ignore it hoping it would go away. Save a few letters and a few comments by the Ambassador (to the governor of Colorado for instance), their general attitude has made things worse. I guess communication studies are not in vogue at l’ENA.

    Sure, we couldn’t expect the Ambassador of France to write to Jay Leno or Howard Stern, that would have been ridiculous, but there were so many other avenues that could have been explored. It’s much too late now and it’s left to us to pick up the pieces.

    “Official” French Bashing is now over, and those who still abide by it are too busy teabagging and accusing Obama of socialism. But today, we are left with deep anti-French sentiments and prejudice in the general population, no matter what.

  11. Fred Orth says:

    Miquelon (10), VERY well said. Now we need to fight to minimize the damage.

  12. André Wernesson says:

    I think of it this way; the medias and government have blown a hole into our hull, and now the water is gushing in. It’s time to plug the gap.

  13. Fred Orth says:

    As a positive, have you noticed that Chris Mathews has been making  purposely positive comments lately on France and the French. These types of people, being consistant,  can go a long way to plug the hole.

  14. Barney hasn't left the building says:

    ^^^^
    You’re right, André, but how ?
    I think there needs to be some male French role models on US TV shows and in Hollywood movies. A Frenchman kicking ass and taking names so to speak.
    I guess there was Jean Reno recently in the Pink Panther movies. But then again he was only playing the sidekick of a clumsy, arrogant Clouseau.
    As far as US Tv shows and movies are concerned, I can think of plenty of traitors, cowards, arrogant, pompous French characters but other than that I can’t think of a single instance where a Frenchman was portrayed somewhat positively or god forbid acted heroically in the last 20 years on an American Tv show or in a Hollywood movie.

    I’m really a huge consumer of American Tv shows and Hollywood movies and it’s come to the point where I cringe whenever the French are mentioned, and believe me it happens quite often, because I know exactly what’s coming. It really pisses me off.

    The people whose sole exposure to the French is television and movies have almost no choice but to hate us. I can hardly blame them since they have literally never seen a nice and brave Frenchman in their lives. 
    It’s a real problem.

  15. Fred Orth says:

    Barney (14), Good point, well written. Now  e-mail your thought to the Writers Guild and let’s get some pressure applied.

  16. You’re right, Barney. Jean Reno in Godzilla was the closest to a french hero I’ve ever seen in a recently produced american movie. But until some forty years ago, there were plenty of heroic french supporting characters in american movies (the cop in French Connection II) or TV (LeBeau in Hogan’s Heroes, even if he was a caricature). My best guess is that it stopped after the Vietnam War. Having lost and being humiliated like they never had been before, some americans needed a scapegoat, and we were a convenient target (as they said in the british show Ultimate Force: “Blame the French. It always works.”)

  17. André Wernesson says:

    Barney,

    #14 is an excellent post, perhaps the best someone has come up with on this blog.

    They’ve never seen a brave Frenchman. They can’t. They really have to dig for it, dig up their copy of The Longest Day or — God forbid! — get a French movie.

    I mean, heck, even in the (atrocious, let all be said) Napoléon miniseries with — gasp — Christian Clavier, did you ever see the English dubbing? They all spoke with horrible, stereotypical French accents. So, even when brave, the French get the dumbass accent.

    What I find hard to believe is that, if an age where there was no internet, minority groups like German-Americans and Italian-Americans managed to make such great advances (to the point where a toy Elmo with a pizza was considered a “racist stereotypical Italian chef”), can’t we gain support and protection from the state?

    I mean, we’re being bashed, actively and ruthlessly. Will the US government — now free from President Bu**sh** — let down thousands of its citizens?

  18. Hey everyone, it’s your favorite American. I’m  back. It took a little while with the time difference and everything.
    I see you talked about things a little bit since I’ve last been here.
    Miquelon suggested you see can more of our conversation over on reddit.com. If you had any problems finding it, here’s a link.
    http://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/8f181/south_parks_french_bashing_explored/

    The conversation got more civil and Miquelon even joked with me towards the end. I don’t want you to think I have any less respect for the French just because of the words I wrote. Believe me…, I have harsher remarks for some of the stupid ass people here in America.
    But the whole thing I was trying to get you all to understand is South Park takes a entirely different approach to humor that a lot of people don’t get. They think the things they say are really offensive and they sure as hell are. But more times than not, they are bagging on the people that are bagging on other people. So some of the characters are very bigoted but they use put them in situations where they show just how stupid and ignorant their bigotry is.
        I’m going to say only one thing bad about you guys, and that is you take things a little too personal. I think nothing bad about the French. I just love a good joke and a good debate. Us Americans love to hear some good American jokes but no one here is smart enough to come up with one.
    You see…, I’m only joking and I’m doing it about myself. 
    Please send me some good American jokes…, I loved to hear some.
    Send them to [email protected]. I love to hear from you all.
    In the meantime…, Be happy, be well and keep laughing

  19. Wayne I know you want absolve you favorite show, I would too if I wasn’t French. Fact is, the “surrender meme” has outlived its welcome, especially in the French expatriate community. If you would please read through the other sections of this website, you would discover that the “surrender meme” was used and abused in so many circlees it has now become a perfect example of manufacture prejudice. Unfortunately, South Park fell in lock and step with this current.

    1. The Simpsons
    2. Jay Leno (with over 41 referenced anti-French jokes, mostly about surrendering etc.)
    3. Howard Stern
    4. Dennis Miller
    5. Jennifer Fermino
    6. Yahoo Questions (50 words for surrender)
    7. Paul Doyle’s soccer column
    8. Ken Scrudato (restaurant review!)
    9. Sean Michaels (Eurovision)
    10. More Surrender Jokes: Jon Stewart
    11. Don Martin and France in Afghanistan
    12. Craig Ferguson
    13. Steve Dunleavy : « I know some veterans who would say that if the French are in training, they are training to throw up their arms in surrender. »
    14. JED BABBIN, Former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense : ” Though what’s left of Saddam’s government may surrender at any time, there’s no assurance that the remaining Republican Guard divisions will perform the French Salute.”
    15. BILL OWENS, GOVERNOR OF COLORADO “You know why they planted those big trees along the boulevard in Paris? So the invading armies could march in the shade.” – June 2004
  20. Wayne, there are consequences to this type of constant attacking of one specific people and culture: discrimination at your workplace, harassment on the job, verbal abuse, children from exchange programs being refused because of nationality, graffiti, attacks on property …

    I am not joking here, each one of these occurrences happened during the height of Anti-French propaganda between 2003 and 2007 and some of these still occur today.

  21. Back to South Park. There have been Anti-French barbs in the past, but they usually come out of Cartman’s mouth (“French people piss me off” – in response to Pip Pirrup, a British character). The purpose of this type of joke was to ridicule the anti-French attitudes of people like Cartman who view all foreigners as identical.

    But episode 7 of season 13, the joke is radically different in nature and purpose. The French are portrayed as cowards, readily surrendering to children. This is a very different type of joke as it paints an entire people and culture with a despicable character trait. This is what we are focused on, and we will not accept this from South Park any more than we would from anybody else. This was a lazy, pathetic and cheap shot, pure and simple.

  22. Barney hasn't left the building says:

    ” Us Americans love to hear some good American jokes but no one here is smart enough to come up with one.
    You see…, I’m only joking and I’m doing it about myself. 
    Please send me some good American jokes…, I loved to hear some.
    Send them to [email protected]. I love to hear from you all.
    In the meantime…”

    I’m French and I don’t know any American jokes. Never heard any, really.

    What would be the American joke equivalent of  “How many Frenchmen does it take to defend Paris ? Don’t know . Never been tried”

    The actual answer to that question would be about 1.6 million Frenchmen. That’s the number of Frenchmen who died defending Paris last century.

    So tell me, “Wayne”, how many dead Americans would I have to spit on to make a good American joke ?

    A few months ago, I saw thousands of Americans getting violently outraged at a simple French poll, published in France in a French newspaper, about which Presidential candidate the French people would rather see in the White House so I can only imagine what would happen if the French suddenly came up with American ‘jokes’ distorting American history to make Americans look like an eternal bunch of cowards.

    Of course, I’m sure you’d all take it with good humor. Your sense of humor is much more developed than ours after all.

  23. Maybe we should make a South Park parody of animated GI soldiers running away from Vietnam, Somalia, Beirut … But the idea of mocking any dead soldiers of any army is simply too disgusting for me to bear.

  24. It would behoove French-bashers to create self depreciating jokes about the painful aspects of their past, only to prove that they do understand the full meaning of making fun of everyone, thus offending no one, if we’re to believe them.  It’s not at all a question of whether or not the French can come up with demeaning American jokes sine this is really a cop-out for the French-bashers.

    The onus is on you Wayne, not that you are a French-basher per se, because I don’t think that you are.  However, if as you maintian, the South Park episode in question is supposed to demonstrate all-encompassing and depreciative humor, which I would add, completely distorted what really happened, then can you yourself give us a demonstration of a depreciative joke about Americans, perhaps a Pearl Harbor joke, or a 9/11 joke?     Are the Americans who died on the Bataan Death March also fair game in such case? 

  25. Barney hasn't left the building says:

    Actually, it’s not the first time South Park has made French surrender jokes.

    In episode 1008 – Make Love, Not Warcraft.
    Cartman: “if you had the chance to go back in time right now and stop Hitler, wouldn’t you do it ?[…]When Hitler rose to power, there were a lot of people who just stopped playing. You know who those people were ? The French. Are you French, Clyde ?”

    In episode 805 – You got F in the A.
    Stan: “Otherwise you might as well move to France with all the other pussies”.

  26. Thanks Barney, I was not aware of these comments.

  27. Fred Orth says:

    Face it, the only way South Park  can overcome this transgression is to make an episode where the French are heros. Maybe Yorktown or WWI or the Free French on the right flank of Patton. They could simply make a charactor that is French and the hero in an episode. The don’t need to make Americans look foolish, just stop insulting the French. Since the writers are very creative, they should have no problem making up for this display of very poor taste.

  28. André Wernesson says:

    Miquelon — I could animate that. I’m pretty busy at the moment, but as soon as I have time, we’ll have’em running out of Vietnam like rats.

  29. To be fair, they were two french characters who were portrayed as heroes (one even gave up his life) in the South Park movie.

  30. Gérard, that was in 1999, ten years ago ! Besides, giving the French a positive role model is not a license to trash us ten years later.

  31. On that point, you are right. But it’s still better than what the Simpsons have given us.

  32. True – I get physically ill when I hear the Simpsons intro music. Can’t believe I used to watch it years ago.

  33. Hey guys…, it’s the antagonist American back to say hi. Before I say anything that might piss you off I just wanted to say how fun it is to debate you guys. We obviously disagree on some things but we can do it on a civil level.
    Over here in America it’s hard to have a rational back-and-forth on the internet. People get viscous. I think since they can say anything they want without any chance of reprecussions, they let it all out. See…, Americans are the real pussies.
       I must say after reading yesterday’s comments, I was a little dissapointed in you guys. I thought I was getting through to you about some stuff. If I could get one thing through to you is that you take this stereo-type you think exist of you over here, much too seriously. I remember a couple of years ago someone made one of the first French jokes I had ever heard and I didn’t get it. This notion that everytime we hear something French over here we think of surrender is proposterous. When I hear French I think of wine, Captain Picard on Star Trek TNG,  fries and kissing. Not an accurate view of the French, but not a negative one either.
         You know I will defend South Park to the death. It’s a very clever show and just because many don’t get the message it sends, doesn’t mean it’s bad. This show has done more to make bigotry look foolish than any other show I’ve seen.
        Anyway…, I want to thank you for allowing me to debate you guys. I love getting different views; especially from somewhere other than some of the redneck cultures that exists here. Please continue to write  and feel free to direct your comments and questions my way. If you want to know anything about some of the misconceptions about life over here, I’d be happy to share them with you.
          Your American friend,
                                   Wayne

  34. Well, reading this mademe feel kinda guilty for laughing along in that south park “Fatbeard” episode…

    But still, South Park HAS dissed on a lot of others at well…and on a more personal level. Take for example the episode of “D-Yikes”. In it, Mexicans were stero-typed to be poor and a bunch of unemployed migrants willing to do anything for cash…and this didn’t came out from the mouth of cartman, they actually showed it as if it were the norm. That wouldn’t be the last time too…in and another episode, Mexico was depicted to be a poor, backwards nation and described to be as “hell” by kenny…

    I could also name you a couple of other episodes where countries were insulted on the level that France was based. Example, Japan (the “chinpokomon” if i remeber correctly)

    But laughing at France or mexico doesn’t make me stereotype them. France has always been a wonderful place rich in culture to me and the little jokes South Park crack doesn’t make me think of the french as a bunch of “cheese-eating surrender monkeys”. The main point is making sure people still know the difference between jokes and reality…

    I don’t know about Jay Leno or the other sources you pointed out but South Park has never struck me as a stereo-typist programme or a show which “bashes” the French…

  35. Barney hasn't left the building says:

    “The main point is making sure people still know the difference between jokes and reality…”

    That is our main concern as well, I believe…
    And unfortunately, it would seem that the French being cowards has become reality for many and it is in part due to those ‘jokes’. You people must think we are deaf and blind…

    “I must say after reading yesterday’s comments, I was a little disappointed in you guys. I thought I was getting through to you about some stuff.”

    It never occurred to you that our points may be valid as well ?

  36. Hey guys…,
        Interesting points have been made in response to my last comment. But before I get into that I wanted to give kudos to Miquelon for the drawing of the South Park Vietnam Character. That’s supposed to be an American, right? I loved your rendition. Do you draw those yourself? If so…, you should consider getting a job with the show.
       On to other things…, I start by addressing Gabster’s comments:
    “BRAVO”  Gabster!
       I see you understand what I’ve been talkin about. If anyone thinks South Park has been rough on the French, I can only conclude they haven’t seen many of the other episodes or they don’t get the style of humor. The whole basis of the show is to show idiot and ignorant behavior (such as bigotry) and then expose it for what it really is; all in an entertaining and hilarious way. They have been merciless to Canadians; even making a full-length motion picture about them. That movie, by-the-way has to hold the record for most cuss words ever in a single motion picture. 
       They also have, like you say poked fun at Germans, Iranians, Iraqis, Mexicans, and every aspect of the American culture. They have tore apart many of the current and pat fads that come in go in this country. On almost every episode they burn rednecks, Catholics, Christians, gays, straights,  and of course jews. True they have people saying riduculous untruths and prejudicial statements about  almost everyone. No one is safe! But they do so to show just how ridiculous those views are. Some people don’t get that and of course are offended.
       And Barney, of course I consider your points valid. I wouldn’t be writing back and forth to you this much if I didn’t. In fact, this debate with you guys had been some of the most intellectual and entertaining I’ve had with people on the internet.  It seems you Frenchmen are open-minded and actually take the time to consider what the other person says. American conversation is much more pig-headed and much of the time seems a waste of time to me.

    Now on a different subject (kind of), I wanted to recommend a movie I think all you would enjoy profusely. It’s made by the same guys who do South Park.  It’s Called:
    “Team America: World Police.”
    Now this is one of those cases I was telling you about where they make fun of everyone. But no one more than America itself. Well they do pretty heavy satire on Kim Jong Ill too. If you haven’t seen this movie, please go out of way to see it. It appears on Comedy Central every few months or so or you can rent it.

    THIS  IS  THE  FUNNIEST  MOVIE  I  HAVE  EVER  SEEN!!!

    It’s all done with marionettes and quite well I must add. The opening seen is in France. Please see this one. You will love it.
    Well I’ve rambled on too long, but thank  you again for the pleasure of being able to debate with some wonderful people.
    You’ve got a great site here Miquelon.

  37. Wayne,

    I’ve never watched the show nor even know what it is all about so could only rely on what’s been written here.

    I believe you are trying to describe the show’s format as satire. Problem with satire is the thin line that separates it from the crass and the vulgar.

    And as Miquelon said above, “… the idea of mocking any dead soldiers of any army is simply too disgusting ..”

  38. Heheh! I like the Miquelon’s version of GI Joe in Vietnam — how extraordinarily real!

  39. Miquelon says:

    Airplanes fly over Manhattan, scares the crap out of people, hundreds come running out of buildings…  

    Can you imagine the pant-wetting hilarity in the US media if this happened in Paris ?

  40. André Wernesson says:

    Looks like Manhattan has surrendered to the Grand Duchy of American Airlines, effectively becoming a vassal state, the People’s Republic of Manhattan, and proclaiming its secession from the United States. The Electorate-Archbishopric of Andrewernessonia has withdrawn its ambassador from the newly constituted state as a consequence.

    The U.S. Government has opened relations with the PRM, with President Obama paying a casual visit a few hours after the surrender.

  41. The Hotdog-Eating Panicky (and Excitable) American!

    Now, you understand why the first casualties among the coalition of the willing forces in Iraq were victims of American panic fire…

  42. André Wernesson says:

    Hillblogger – I LOL’d at that.

    How about garbage-eating fear junkies? Strategic retreat at its finest — as the knights of the Holy Grail once said, “Run away!!!”

    How many Americans does it take to defend a skyscraper? No idea, it’s never been tried!

    OK, OK, now, before everybody starts jumping on me, it’s just an illustration. The above are simply inverted French-bashing jokes. But I bet more than one American found them distasteful, right? Same the other way round.

  43. “How many Americans does it take to defend a skyscraper? No idea, it’s never been tried!”

    Lol! I bet Americans will go amok if that sort of ‘joke’ is circulated in cyberspace.

  44. André Wernesson says:

    Let’s get offensive! It’s easy when you laugh at yourself — but can you take it when others laugh at you?

    I think of it as someone pinching himself. He’ll never, ever hurt himself as much as if he’s pinching someone else.

    So let’s start…

    Here’s a painting by Rubens; we can call it “An American in Iraq”, with the alternate title of “the American-hunt”.

    http://cgfa.sunsite.dk/rubens/rubens8.jpg

    Nostradamus also predicted the arrival of the United States, and their fancy for air combat:

    De nuict soleil penseront avoir veu,
    Quand le pourceau demi-homme on verra:
    Bruict, chant, bataille, au ciel battre aperceu:
    Es bestes brutes á parler lon orra.

    Need I say more…? Oh yes, a parting shot. How many Americans does it take to bomb a wedding? Three: one to crash his Apache into some high-voltage lines, one to get shot down by random AK-47 shots in the air, and one to be so stoned off his ass as to think it’s a concentration of militiamen.

  45.        Hey guys…, I would have written sooner but I was too busy running from low flying airplanes. Well I see you have regained your sense of humor. But it seems that airplanes aren’t the worst problem around here. You should hear this news media created panic being caused by pigs. You’d think the black plaque had returned. 
           Now the airplane thing to me is funny because that was caused by actual people panicking over something they saw. But the swine flu thing is all media! Like 40 people get a cold and they are ready to start burning corspes. Slow news days are the most dangerous times around here because the irresponsible media has to create something to report on. If you are ever looking for something to laugh at the Americans about, just look at our news. It’s something I’m truly ashamed of. In order to get an accurate account of anything around here, I have to watch about five news programs daily and attempt decipher one truth from all of them. Never in all my years has 40 people getting a cold been considered a pandemic. Hey but leave it to the U.S. media.  One reporter on CNN just said…,

                       “…the one CRUCIAL thing we DON’T want to  DO is PANIC!” 

    AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! We’re All Going To Die!!!!!!!!!
        Anyday now they should start pig burnings and people will start looting and hording food.  Well at least the pharmacutical stocks should go up.
       Well it’s good to see you guys laughing. You see there are some Americans who can take a joke.  My take on the life  basically goes like this:
         There are two kinds of people:
                     1. Those that can take a joke
                     2. Those that are a joke

    Keep smiling and watch out for pigs and planes!
       Wayne

  46. By the way, the how many Americans does it take to defend the a skyscraper joke was great. I told it to a few people here and it cracked them up. But Andre, I’m not sure I get your joke. Believe me I’m trying. Your poem was in French so I’m not sure what you were saying and have no idea what the Rueben’s painting had to do with anything. Explain a little further for me, will ya. You know around here sophistication is on the level of somewhere around Dancing with the Stars. Or maybe you gotta work on your delivery a little more.  🙂 Anyway…, keep the jokes coming but watch out…, I have some doozies.  I just don’t want to piss any of you off too much…, yet 🙂

  47. Re: “But Andre, I’m not sure I get your joke. Believe me I’m trying.”

    Dontcha worry! Maybe if André tells you the joke after 10x you might get it!

  48. OK, don’t think I believe you’re dumb Wayne but heck, we hear a lot of the dumb American story…

    Here’s a sample: the story of John an American and his business partner Pablito from Mexico story about…

    John and Pablito were walking through Central Park discussing and ‘strategising’ about  the next day’s meeting with some big shots.

    John, your typical American, was visibly animated and could hardly control his excitement while Pablo calmly listened who tried to put in a word from time to time  but John would have none of it as he went on and on excitedly about how he’d beat the hell out of those big shot businessmen.

    They’d been walking for a while when all of a sudden John just stopped; turned around livid with rage, cussing and cursing as he stomped repeatedly on a snail,  it caught Pablo off-guard.

    Pablo finally found his words and asked, “What did you do that for? It’s done nothing wrong to you!”

    John screeched, “You gotta be fxxxing kidding! Didn’t you see that it’s been following us for the last half hour? It could’ve been carrying a frigging microphone for all you know!”

  49. Dang! Lemme get these 2 lines slightly less skewed…

    OK, don’t think I believe you’re dumb Wayne but heck, we hear a lot of stories about the  “dumb and loud American” in the UK, so it’s sometimes difficult not to wonder if there’s truth to the stories…
    Here’s a sample: the story of John an American and his business partner Pablito from Mexico…

  50.        Mr. Hillblogger, 
          There is no need to be condescending. I think I have been a good sport here and have done my best to have an open-minded conversation. I believe it has been fun and enlightening for all.
          But what started this whole conversation, was a few of you thought someone from America was wrongly making a joke at your expense. I invited you to share some American jokes and a couple were quite funny.
    But this joke just isn’t funny: 

    How many Americans does it take to bomb a wedding? Three: one to crash his Apache into some high-voltage lines, one to get shot down by random AK-47 shots in the air, and one to be so stoned off his ass as to think it’s a concentration of militiamen.

      I realize you are saying Ameicans, especially our military, are stupid. But bomb a wedding? What’s that about?

         I’m not in the least bit offended, but I don’t see any coherent humor in it either. You could tell it to me twenty times and it still is not going to make me laugh.
        Regardless…, even if the joke is totally obvious and I didn’t get it…, is no reason to be a condescending asshole about it. That is one stereo-type that exist about the French. I don’t buy into it, but you are not helping .
    Please.., in the future, say anything you want. But be civil and respectful.
        Wayne

  51. See? Turn the joke at them and they cry foul!

    (“Big” words too…)

    Hahahah! I tell ya, these folks from over the pond are truly sumpthin!

  52. André Wernesson says:

     realize you are saying Ameicans, especially our military, are stupid. But bomb a wedding? What’s that about?

    It’s about several notorious incidents in which traditional Iraqi weddings, which involve people shooting in the air in celebration, were bombed by the U.S. Air Force thinking it was a concentration of militiamen.

    Here ya go: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3730423.stm

    Enjoy!

  53. Wayne, let’s not start talking about “backsides”, OK?  Not remotely very polite or respectful, if you see what I mean…

    But my good Sir, if you care to re-visit your post, you will notice that it was you who went the extra length explaining why you weren’t <i>”getting it”</i>… I did make light of your own predicament but that’s in keeping with the spirit of your own post, to wit:

    “You know around here sophistication is on the level of somewhere around Dancing with the Stars. “

  54. Barney hasn't left the building says:

    Wayne, I think there is a slight misunderstanding here. The French can laugh at themselves, no problem.

    What we have a problem with here is the perpetuation of a very offensive and unfair stereotype; i. e that the French are cowards.
    The French being cowards has become an undisputed and widely accepted fact by many.
    About a month ago I returned home from a 3 month French teaching assistantship program at a public high school in California and I was appalled at the replies I got from those kids when I asked them what they knew about French history. I’ll spare you the details but let’s just say that the word surrender came up a lot.
    And it was no joke to those kids I assure you.
    So I’m sorry if we come up as humorless twats when we get offended by those surrender jokes but with 1.6 million French soldiers buried in France from last century’s wars, we still gonna take offense and take the time to challenge that ugly stereotype thank you very much.
    If it comes down to a choice between being called a humorless prick and a coward I know what I’m gonna choose.

    And please don’t pretend that the lame (sorry guys) “American jokes” we have come up with here even come close to being as offensive as the French surrender jokes whose abuse by right wingers to ridicule the French during the run up to the Iraq War is certainly no coincidence. Those guys wanted to hurt the French.
    Do not insult our intelligence.

  55. Fred Orth says:

    Barney, your point is elegantly presented. Thank you. I might add that it is outrageous to insult survivors of Rwanda, Cambodia, Armenia, etc.  Any time mankind suffers loss and harm,  in the cause of being free, is not humor,  it is disaster.

  56. ““How many Americans does it take to defend a skyscraper? No idea, it’s never been tried!”
    Lol! I bet Americans will go amok if that sort of ‘joke’ is circulated in cyberspace.”

    You’re all a bunch of horrible people, and you Hillblogger are one of the worst.  You cry and cry about a stupid joke on South Park yet you circulate these offensive jokes and “Lol!” This is nothing new, I have seen you do it plenty of times before. Of course your innocent because you don’t agree with it your only “passing it along to see how it makes us feel”  but your aim is to make us feel bad. You paint Americans with a large brush, you blame us all for South Park’s silly jokes (add the french to the long line of blacks, gays, jews, arabs, canadians, americans, etc. to be made fun of). You are overly sensitive and apparently only think the French matter. You are a hypocrite who does not deserve their goal. For if you are a participant in America bashing , do you in all sincerity think you’re in a position to cry about French bashing?

  57. Jane, I find those “jokes” in very bad taste, and so do their authors. You must not take those posts – as we say in French – “au premier degré”. These so-called jokes were made to prove a point : things are different when the tables are turned.

    I do not approve of these jokes, and as clearly stated above the comment section, all coments are the responsbility of their respective authors, but I fully understand the point that is being made here. Take any so-called joke that was told about the French or France by State Governors, Columnists, Congressmen, Senators, Journalists, Comedians, Writers and change it around to an Anti-American joke, and will immediately see things differently.

    You can at least agree with that.

  58.        You know after reading comments after my last entry I considered argueing back. But then I thought to myself, the reason I do this in the first place are many. Talking to other people around the world can provide you with many prospectives you’ve never considered. It can enrich my understanding of the world and hopefully provide an opportunity to make some friends along the way. But the main reason (and I’ll be honest) is it’s fun. Sometimes you will encounter some negative discussions but I try to avoid them for the most part. I accept from the beginning that I’m not going to change the world and the best I can hope for is to shed some light on something a person has never seen before, learn something myself, and hopefully laugh and make someone laugh at the same time. I will be the first to point out my own shortcomings and will not hesitate to make light of other people’s.
       There is a joke I tell when someone get a little sensitive about something I’ve said:

         “I’m not predjudice…, I hate everyone equally.”

        It’s just a joke but it does communicate that anything I make light of, has nothing to do with race, color, sex, sexual orientation or anything else of that nature. It doesn’t mean I won’t make a joke about any one of them. It just means I don’t single out a certain group and imply that I am better than them like Mr. Hillblogger has done to me. I invite a good joke whether it’s at my expense or someone’s else’s.
       But as you can see there is one thing I will not tolerate during this process is condescension on anyone’s part. If you think you are better than me because you told a lousy joke about an obscure news event that most Americans have never even heard about (at least I didn’t and I follow the news closely), and then proceed to think you are better because you had to explain it to the the ignorant American what the joke was about, obviously you shouldn’t be wasting your time with a peon like me.  Even after your explanation, in fact especially after your explanation, I still thought it barely qualified as humor. Actually I don’t think it even did that.
        There are stereotypes associated with every group and it is easy to see if the context is hateful or humorous. In all my comments I have tried to point that out. I think a few of you have seen that and have been quite enjoyable to talk with ever since. But Mr. Hillblogger and on occasion others on this blog don’t seem to know the difference. I’ll point out one thing to make my point:
         Everytime you try poke fun or make a joke, you add the comment that this would have the Americans would be reeling if we said this or see how they like this. You definately add an obvious hateful aura with your supposed humor.

       Jane hit the nail on the head when she said:

    ….your only “passing it along to see how it makes us feel”  but your aim is to make us feel bad. 

       Please go back and read all my previous comments. I have not told a single joke about you. I have tried to be nice and offered some humor at my own expense. The comments with the negatively charged aura have all come from you.
         If I wanted to make you feel bad…, oh boy! I got some jokes that’ll piss you off. But that’s not why I’m writing on this blog. If I tell a joke it’s to make someone laugh. Obviously Mr. Hillblogger, this is why your jokes aren’t really funny to anyone but yourself.

         As for your reputations of being cowards that Barney spoke about, up until now I had never heard much about it.  I think you believe it more than anyone else does. You are so insecure about it, you think everyone is thinking it about you, when nobody is. Sure someone might make a joke or even believe it to be true. So be mad at them. Not at people like me who was just trying to be friendly with you.
        Though there is one negative stereotype I have heard about French. People say they are condescending. Up until now I didn’t believe that either. But I’m not going to punish the whole French population for what just one of you said (Mr. Hillblogger).  
          But as I said in the beginning…., I do this because it’s fun. And when it ceases to be, so do I. I wasn’t going to write back even this time, but seeing that at least one person who sees I am am being friendly. I will continue to write. (Thank You for that Miquelon and Jane).

        But if it continues to be a witless battle, I’ll find some other people who want to laugh and share a different view of the world. And being this a website supposedly dedicated to improving the image of the French people, I would have to conclude it is failing miserably.
         So let’s talk nice and laugh, or I’ll bid you farewell. 
       Regardless,…, Good tidings, long life, and happiness to all!
                                      Wayne

           

  59. Hey Miquelon…, I just posted another comment and I saw you had too. I wanted to respond to the last thing you siad:

    “Take any so-called joke that was told about the French or France by State Governors, Columnists, Congressmen, Senators, Journalists, Comedians, Writers and change it around to an Anti-American joke, and will immediately see things differently. ”

    Don’t you realize that’s what comedians do? They change their jokes to match the audience they are performing for.  When they are in the west they say those people from the east are so dumb that…., and when they are in the east they say the opposite.

    Anyway, I hope these conversations turn more pleasant. If they don’t I’ll thank you now for taking the time to talk with me. But I do hope they can continue.
       Wayne

  60. André Wernesson says:

    Jane, Wayne — Of course they’re in bad taste. They’re terrible jokes. I’d never post this garbage anywhere else than here.

    But I made my point. You found them distasteful. It’s logical, as they are indeed distasteful jokes.

    As Barney points out, the problem we have is that these jokes, if told sufficiently, could pervade popular culture and become common knowledge.

    Barney points out that even young children associate “surrender” with France. In fact, in word association, I bet when you hear “surrender,” you think “France”. At least, most people would.

    The same kind of mediatic bashing could go the other way around. Take my completely stupid (it’s really meant to be a stupid, bothersome joke) skyscraper joke. So, everytime someone passes a skyscraper, should he hum “it’s raining men,” to the hilarity of those around him? Should kids in school draw Americans jumping off the World Trade Center? Would you find this tolerable?

    Just think of it this way. Word association. Surrender? French. Most columnists and pundits have certainly got that point, and are applying it to great effect.

  61. Jane,

    Whoa! You are going truly bonkers!

    If you had checked the posts in here before you threw a fit, you would’ve found that I had hardly commented on your south park show! Don’t even know what it is save that based on Wayne’s description of the show’s format, I thought it was satire… Heh!

    Btw, any pillock will tell you “sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander!”

    So, tell your fellow Americans to stop villifying the French through their arid jokes and I bet you  your sensitivities will be spared greatly and your dignity will be intact.

    Now, I suggest take it easy before you start getting epileptic again.

    As to Wayne’s “Obviously Mr. Hillblogger, this is why your jokes aren’t really funny to anyone but yourself.”

    Heck, but that was the idea… to rile you and to see how American jokes against the French are crap… 

    (Geez, does one really have to spell things out all the time??!)

  62. Barney hasn't left the building says:

    Well looks like Jane and Wayne can dish it but they sure as hell can’t take it.
    Thank you both for illustrating our point so perfectly.
    How does it feel to be in our shoes ? You didn’t seem to enjoy it. Now imagine feeling what you felt last night every single day for the past 6 years.

    As if Americans thought for a minute that the French would not be offended at being called cowards. What ethnicity wouldn’t ? The Italian, the Poles ? You think they enjoyed being called cowards when the joke was on them ?

    As I said, if the resurgence of those French surrender jokes coincided with the French refusal to participate in the Iraq War, it is certainly no coincidence. The aim of those jokes left the mere field of humor a long time ago and if even South Park innocently joked about the French being cowards this time, it helps perpetuate an ugly stereotype that is detrimental to the French people and South Park or no South Park we will still protest against that process.

  63. Re Wayne’s request: “Please send me some good American jokes…, I loved to hear some.”

    Here’s one…

    What does and American do to check if his matchbox is not empty?

    Answer: He puts the matchbox against his ear and then shakes his head.

  64. Hillblogger, I read every single post before my own and judging from your reaction to the skyscraper joke it isn’t just to “prove a point.” You thought it was actually funny. Jokes that are anti-french or anti-American or any other anti-nationality fall in the same bucket as racist jokes, homophobic jokes, and others. They are wrong and shouldn’t be circulated in the first place. They are incredibly offensive.

  65. Well, Ms Goody Jane… So? You pretend now that you can read my thoughts? Whoa! What next?

    Are you suggesting that I should stifle my thoughts to spare your sensitivities? Has it occurred to you that my reaction was nothing, it was so tame compared to the shit of bricks that’s been thrown our way these last 5 years?

    Well, here’s what St Jane,  I suggest  you lecture to your fellow Americans first and when they stop being foolish, we will  stop riling you.

    Relax! You’re getting on your high horse is not getting you anywhere. Remember, we didn’t start the crappy exercise — your fellow countrymen did! And if you think we will take the shit lying down, you got another thing coming.

    Take your campaign to America where it’s needed most.

  66. Fred Orth says:

    Where is the referee?

  67. Carton Jaune – On se calme !
    Please let’s remain civil and tone down the exchanges.
    Thank you !

  68. Fred Orth says:

    Once again, Miquelon wins the “Good Guy of the Week” award.

  69. assumptions make an ass out of you and me, in this case mostly you Hillblogger. I applaud people for sticking up for their country and place of origin. You however are a hypocrite.

    “Are you suggesting that I should stifle my thoughts to spare your sensitivities? Has it occurred to you that my reaction was nothing, it was so tame compared to the shit of bricks that’s been thrown our way these last 5 years?”  

    Lets get this straight, y0u are attempting to justify your Laughing out Loud reaction to a skyscraper joke by saying it pales in comparison to American french bashing? How do two wrongs make a right? I never condoned french bashing, I am not a french basher, and do not appreciate being labeled by you semi-camoflauged insults. Your generalizations are filled with ignorance, I’m sure you would react equally as aggressive if they were done in the reverse.

    “Well, here’s what St Jane,  I suggest  you lecture to your fellow Americans first and when they stop being foolish, we will  stop riling you.”

    Keep digging that hole of bigotry. Lets reverse this statement “Well here’s what St. Hillblogger, I suggest you lecture to your fellow Frenchmen first and when they stop being foolish, we will stop riling you.” You are a HYPOCRITE of the highest degree. You understand anti-french sentiment in America very little for spouting such nonsense. Most Americans have an indifference towards France, as with most countries, neither having a negative or positive view. Over 70% of Americans have a favorable view of France, can the same be said of the French concerning America? nope. The people who do have unfavorable opinions are the idiot republicans that mainstream Americans feel are out of touch with the rest of us. these are the people who have unfavorable views of Democrats, San Francisco, New York, etc. It angers me greatly when you throw me into the same category as these people. It offends me even more that you use the word American to describe us all, I am an American, and there are millions of other Americans, the majority, who do not feel that way.

    “Relax! You’re getting on your high horse is not getting you anywhere. Remember, we didn’t start the crappy exercise — your fellow countrymen did! And if you think we will take the shit lying down, you got another thing coming.”

    You’re only going to escalate matters your way Hillblogger. There are many effective anti-French bashing techniques. You possess none of them, you fuel the fires. You remind me of a republican who blabs about how America is perfect and can do no wrong, only adding fuel to the fire of Anti-Americanism. Again you widely overestimate French bashing, like I said most Americans are indifferent towards France..of course you’d never believe that.

    “Take your campaign to America where it’s needed most.”

    If you only knew how many republicans I have attacked with actual aggressiveness who are the cause for all this ignorance on your behalf, who give people such as you justification in your stereotypes.

  70. Please – let’s stop this escalating feud. NOW.

  71. Good heavens! The woman’s going truly, truly bonkers…. (I could picture her literally frothing at the mouth.)

    OK Miquelon, I’m done “arguing” with the mad hatter because I don’t believe your site deserves such display of wanton hatred.

  72.       Hello! It’s Wayne again…, your favorite American. I stayed out of the conversation for a couple days to let it calm down some. I am still laughing at the picture of the yellow card Miquelon submitted. That was clever!
       To be honest, I was again planning to make this my last entry and was not going to be too nice about it.  But some comendable diplomacy supplied by Miquelon has once again changed my mind.
       It does seem there is some misinterpretation and I find that my the message of my original post has long been lost. If you go way back up to the top and re-read some of my comments, you will see I was trying to communicate to you all that inspite of a joke you obviously took personally, the world as I know it does not think bad of the french. In fact…, I have great respect for them. I saw Christine Lagarde  (your Finance Minister) today on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and thought she was a delightful women. She and Jon joked about Goerge Bush’s creepy rub of her shoulders at that meeting a year or so ago. She is a smart woman and has a great sense of humor. She and and Jon joked about something stupid an American did and no one was offended. In fact it was pretty damn funny.
      Anyway, back to why I started writing on this blog to begin with. I did so at first because I felt you were being  to sensitive.  After hearing rebuttal I found out this is a touchy subject f0r you. So there was good back-and-forth that seem to be creating some comrodary between representatives of out individual countries.
        I did try at every turn to always include some compliments and some recognition of your feelings. But again I must be honest, a day ago I was ready to throw in the towel and start believing maybe French people aren’t as reasonable I thought. That would have been a mistake on my part. I now realize it was just one French person that was being over represented on this site.
        I ask you to go back and read every comment I’ve made and you will see I have not told one French joke. I even laughed at the one good American joke (the skyscraper one). Some found it a little distasteful but I thought it was funny and said so. The one joke I said sucked was just a shitty joke. I wasn’t offended in the least. The joke was poorly told,  poorly constructed and relied on an obsure news event I had never heard of.  But I do want to counter the point that I can dish it out but can’t take it. I neither dished any jokes out or became upset about accepting any.
         Any joke is going to offend somebody. “But if you can’t laugh at yourself, you have no right to laugh at others.”  You can quote me on that one.    🙂 LOL
       But I do want to offer an example of  how not to let it end up a way bigger deal than it is. Which is the whole purpose of why I started this whole discussion in the first place.

         In his reply to comments I previously made, Hillblogger made a reference that I went all epileptic. Well.., it just so happens I am epileptic. It is an insensitive comment, especially to someone like me, but I know by the context of his comment it wasn’t meant to be a put down of epileptics. It was meant as a put down of me personally. So there is no real reason for me to get all upset  just because I happen to be epileptic. I could be upset for other reasons but why bother.
       My point is Hillblogger did not purposely insult epileptics. But an insensitive remark might produce a reaction as if he did. It’s the same for a lot of the humor out there. When we hear humor in the proper context (meaning it wasn’t meant to attack or hurt someone) it’s just a joke. 
         To sum it up, I’m saying don’t let words determine the true message someone is attempting to get across. Context and tone of voice are much more of an accurate criteria to determine if someone’s true message is truely attacking you or just some playful banter.  When you can’t tell the difference between the two you are going to not only get upset alot, but your going to miss out on a lot of laughter and opportunities to gain closer friendships.
         Okay, believe it or not,  now that I’ve had my say,  I’m actually going to challenge you to make some light of the past few days events. The events happened in America but we can laugh about them without upsetting anyway if we do it for fun…, not to demean or hurt anyone.
        Two things that happened yesterday that were funny as hell and deserve to be made fun of. I challenge you to come up with a joke without being mean about it.
           The first one is a low flying plane in New York which caused people to panic like we were be invade by aliens.  Now I can see why it scared them but you have to admit afterwards it was kind of funny.
       The second one is the media coverage about the swine flu.  I’m still laughing about some of the ridiculous behavior of some of the reporters. They made it sound like the black plague had arrived but at the end of the report practically shouted: “BUT THERE’S NO NEED TO PANIC!!!!”
    It was ridiculous.
       Now see if between us we can make some funny jokes about this without being mean, demeaning, or hurtful. I think it would be a good exercise to help us communicate and laugh with each other in a way the brings Americans and the French closer…, not further apart.
       Viva La France!
            Wayne

  73. One thing I just noticed at the top of the page is the Frech Bashing levels of certain people and programs. I saw that Fox News level was at orange (elevated). Could I please ask you…, no beg you not use Fox news as a gage for how you judge America. They are the channel of the most right-wing extremist and have no scruples or regard for the truth. I am truely ashamed to have them be an example of anything that comes from America. Please don’t take anything they say personally or use them as a barometer of American News media. They offend me more than they ever could offend you. To call them American news…, actually to call them news at all is an insult to intelligence world-wide.

  74. André Wernesson says:

    Wayne,

    I understand and agree in a certain measure with what you say about Fox news; it’s like associating France with Le Pen. Sadly, though, Le Pen does exist, as does Fox News, and they both must be taken into account.

    So, if we had a “antisemitism in France barometer”, I think Le Pen would be one of the levels, even though he only represents the most disgusting extreme right wing in France.

  75. Oh brother!

    Wayne, please read the sequence of comments, that comment was  not meant for you!!!!

    And right you are! It was not meant to put down epileptics and actually after I wrote it I knew it was in poor taste. It also so happens that a cousin is epileptic.

  76. Barney hasn't left the building says:

    Once again Wayne fails to acknowledge, obviously purposefully, that is only with a certain stereotype we have a problem with. The coward one. The one that spits on our dead and makes use of the worst tragedy in our history to make a point.

    Other than that you can make fun of anything you want about the French, although the “smell bad” stereotype is also quite offensive if you ask me.

  77. Came across this from a UK news on line outlet while scouring the web for news mocking the French for having the longest holiday that’s being discussed over at SuperFrenchie’s.
    French surrender makes Scotland’s absence harder to bear
    […] Come to think of it, were it not for the French, the rain (there’s an odd Swiss man with a beard building an ark in Berne city centre) and the over-officious stewards then there would be nothing left to complain about. […]
    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/comment/columnists/sport-columnists/keith-jackson/2008/06/19/french-surrender-makes-scotland-s-absence-harder-to-bear-86908-20612976/
    What a piece of shitty title…  Another media bonehead  propagating what is clearly a historical lie!

  78. With you on that Barney! Nothing coward in the French.

    We fought in more wars and had more deaths than Americans would ever experience.

    That France was divided during WWII is not and cannot reflect on or question French courage.

  79. André Wernesson says:

    I wholeheartedly recommend reading “comme des lions”. It’s really a great read! It shows how the defeat of the French in 1940 was not due to cowardice but to poor leadership by showing some of the truly heroic (if unsuccessful) moments of the Battle of France.

  80. André,

    Will order a copy now not only for myself but  I also want my teen-aged children to read/know more about that sorry phase of our history.  French bashing has encouraged them to know more about France’s history and how it has roused the patriot in them.

  81. André Wernesson says:

    Oh, and a word of advice: stay away from books on military history written by Anglo-Saxons.

    The other day I went to the bookstore, and I saw a (translated) book called something like “the 70 greatest battles in history”… written by a Briton.

    So, lo and behold! 75% of the “greatest battles in history” were in fact British battles. Preferably British victories. That led to some pretty absurd choices…

    For instance, the author chooses three napoleonic battles. Would the brilliant Austerlitz be there? The tactically astounding Iéna-Auerstadt, perhaps? Or maybe Marengo, Napoleon’s favourite victory?

    No… Trafalgar, Leipzig and Waterloo. Three French defeats, not ONE of Napoléon’s victories. How stupid is that?!?

    Then again, two battles which MUST appear in any self-respecting Anglo-Saxon book: Crécy and Agincourt.

    Once again, the choice is stupid: what lessons can you draw from two ESSENTIALLY IDENTICAL battles?!? Would it not be wiser to introduce, for instance, Agincourt and Formigny, which are opposite versions? (in Agincourt, the defensive longbow scheme worked; in Formigny, it failed utterly). But no — no French victories.

    Likewise, no Fontenoys, no Denains, no Almansas… Only Rossbach, a terrible French defeat.

    And then, they try to place the insignificant, minor battle of Bannockburn (Scots vs. Brits) at the same level as GAUGAMELA! Ridiculous!!!

    So, the golden rule is: no military history written by Anglo-Saxons.

  82. Fred Orth says:

    Andre (81), How absolutly correct you are. A lot of these “books” are nothing more that propaganda. There are, however, some honest efforts by some British academics to be more evaluative. Those efforts should be encouraged.

  83. Allez faire un tour sur les fan site de south park style southpark-tv.com ben c’est edifiant l’ignorance et la franche flagelation des fan francais (que je suis) .Les precedentes allusions a la france ne me genaient pas , mais la je suis un peu colere …

  84. Here is an issue I think that disturbs me and I think will disturb you more. I think it is something you probably have not seen and definately needs to be brought to your attention.
    The very website which made me aware of your concerns in the first place is called reddit.com. It is open to anyone to post political arguements, usually backed with a link to an article which prompted their comment in the first place. Then reddit.com members can comment and other members can reply and give thumbs up or thumbs down.
       There are certain people on there that are totally pigheaded and say things that are so one-sided that only a partisan extremist can even begin to think might be true. For the most part, it does open up some spirited debate.
          But there is one person that constantly submits post that labels Obama as some sort of anti-christ. He uses slurs and lies and has become an extreme annoyance. Every single posting about Obama he starts off with calling Obama several negative labels as part of Obama’s name. Most of them which don’t make much sense.  An example of this is;
    “Teleprompter, Acorn, Soros,  Obama says …,” 
         I don’t know if you are familar with what these labels are supposed to mean but I’ll tell you briefly in case you don’t:
    Teleprompter:    Because he uses a teleprompter in his speeches (big deal)
    Acorn:    A voter registration organization that was under scrutiny during
                      the campaign.
    Soros:    A famous socialist

    Now I get to the part that’s going to piss you off. He has now added Manchurian to that label. Correct me if I am wrong, but manchurian means french like; correct?

    If was anyone else had put this label on Obama I might not even think it was meant as an insult. But no matter what this guy says I can guarentee it is meant as such. For the life of me, I don’t know why he considers being french-like is an insult. I have no idea what he is implying.
      Now there are many other reasons I’d like to see this guy booted because his comments are so hate-filled and ignorant. Regardless of what my comments are will not be taken serious because all I am to him is an Obama supporter…, the lowest creature on earth in his mind. But I thought it was time that he heard from some people that have no ties to my political system and could care less what Obama does. He needs to hear from people that the labels he is putting on someone he hates are very demeaning to others. In this case you. It’s like calling someone a nigger. This would be an insult to black people even if the guy being called that wasn’t black.
        This is what this guy is doing using the term for a frenchman as an insult. A heavy-duty insult at that.

       I thought it was something you should be aware of. Here is the link to one of his childish comments:
    http://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/8gmng/manchurian_president_benito_acorn/

     This will get you to just this one comment. In order to leave a comment you will have to do a very simple registration. You know…, just your user name, email address, and password.
    The guy’s user name is “redditman” 
    The address to the home page of this site is:
    reddit.com

    The comment I have left a link to is just one of about ten he leaves everyday. Every single one begins with the manchurian label using it like it is a gross insult. I think you guys should check it out and leave comments of your own. You may also want to check out this site in general. You can post your concerns and comment on others as well.
    If you have any questions about it…, please feel free to ask me.

    As an American…, I can say this guy is responsible for the most blatent French bashing that goes on in my country. Please tell me what you think and how I can assist with getting the word out that this is not acceptable. Until next time…,
     Wayne

  85. Hey someone tell me what Benjamin said. I don’t parley vous francais. I probably don’t spell it very well either.

  86. benjamin, merci du lien. En effet, les compatriotes en métropole ne comprennent nullement les conséquences de ces attaques anti-françaises. C’est comme si les Français expatriés n’étaient pas compris par leurs compatriotes dans ce domaine.

  87. Wayne, Manchurian comes from Manchuria (Mǎnzhōu) a region of China and Russia. The Manchurian candidate is a reference to a novel and movie about a communist plot to overthrow the US government.
  88. Wayne, I won’t worry or waste my time with reddit-man. The user has no credibility on reddit with comment karma in the negative 700s. The guy is a joke on reddit. 

  89. Okay…, My bad!  I looked it up on an online dictionary and it said it meant french-like. Oh well. Thanks for clarifying. Is there anyway you can delete that whole comment then?
    As for asking what Benjamin said, I meant what did he say in English.

  90. You know the site well Miquelon. He is a joke and no one takes him serious. It just bothered me when I thought I thought he was using a racial slur in the context of an insult. You see it does bother me when someone says something racial in the context of hate, regardles of which race he is insulting. I basically ignored the guy until I thought he was making a hurtful, hateful bigoted statement.

  91. Seriously Miquelon.., can you delete comment number 84? It kind of makes me look stupid

    Regardless…, thanks for setting me straight on that. I might of gone on and on and made myself look more stupid.

  92. Wayne/Miquelon,

    Allow me to offer a translation of what Benjamin said:

    Check out the fan site of South Park something like southpark-tv.com, quite extraordinary the ignorance and the self-flagelation of the French fans (of which I’m one). The previous ‘references’ to the French didn’t bother me, but this one makes me a bit angry.

  93. André Wernesson says:

    Hillblogger, Miquelon, Benjamin,

    j’ai trouvé les commentaires du forum tout à fait navrants. Certes, il y en a qui nous défendent, mais d’autres acceptent avec joie d’être perçus comme des couards. Et eux, en tout cas, en acceptant de se faire moquer d’une telle façon, sont bel et bien des lâches.

    C’est de la confirmation comportementale, quoi, comme on dit en psychologie sociale…

    By the way, I also inserted “surrender” and “fatbeard” in Google… guess what, French-bashing got a nice big vitality boost. Everyone loved the “surrendering French”, and everyone was happy.

    Except for me. I need a cuppa joe… and a Merkava… with Basher-seeking missiles.

  94. André,

    C’est un comportement franchement  exécrable !

    Are we sure the commenters are French?

    I’m embarassed vis-à-vis my teen age son…

    My teen age son who is half French half English, at the beginning said he would like to join the British Army but now says  he would like to join the French Army; when I asked him “tartly” what he would do if there ever was war between France and England, whose side would he be on?
    And sadly, I know why he chose the French Army and not the British Army (where long line of members of the English side of the family had served for generations beginning with the Napoleonic wars) — it is because of the blatant lie being spread around particularly during his growing up years about the French Army. But he wouldn’t answer — it was a difficult question (and I know an unfair question) for a teen ager who is half French half English but nobody can brand him a coward for not being able to answer.

  95. Miquelon,

    Allow me to re-post here my thoughts on the “cowardice, surrender” accusations levelled against the French (that I’d posted in SuperFrenchie’s in response to a commenter there) in the hope they will help similar American or non-French accusers reading this blog understand that nothing is ever just black or white.

    To the question: “Where was the French military? it was the responsibility of the French army to defend France.”
    Just to get things in perspective:
    The fact is the French military was “divided”, into virtually two factions following their conscience, one under Marshal Philippe Pétain, i.e., military loyalty to their commander in chief who was Pétain, and the other whose members believed that they did not want to accept the truce with the Germans (a good example: Colonel Charles de Gaulle) and would prefer to go AWOL even if sentenced to a military firing squad in asbentia.
    Those members of the military (that included many in the French Foreign Legion whose members were, to a large extent, foreign recruits) who followed and obeyed Marshal Petain’s command to recognize the truce did so out of military discipline, and for many, it was with a heavy heart. But they did it to follow the chain of command and the fact that they followed the chain of command couldn’t then and cannot be today construed as cowardice.
    It is important to note that the members of the French military who adhered to and followed the command (under the chain of command tenet) were by no means acting differently from any proper military organisation; that they were duped or perhaps ‘lulled’ into believing that a truce with the Germans was the right way forward for the country was in no way a reflection on their courage. They could be rightly accused of naiveté but naiveté is by no means a measure of cowardice. They were following orders under the chain of command military doctrine and that’s that.
    The situation, if you like, is almost synonimous to what happened to the US Forces in Vietnam. America, despite its overwhelming superiority were overrun by the “tag-tag” North Vietnamese armies. And believe me, there were many officers and men in the US Armed Forces who were resolutely against any form of retreat and wanted to fight back and couldn’t accept defeat. But the US military chain of command had issued orders: ABANDON!!! RETREAT!!! SURRENDER, eg., US Embassy and US holdings in South Vietnam!!!
    The fact that members of the US forces (and there were many of them, generals too, and I know because my father worked with the Americans in South Vietnam at the time) obeyed orders TO STOP FIGHTING AND TO RETREAT, is in no way a reflection on the courage of the US fighting forces in Vietnam and yet they did retreat, they abandoned and they surrendered their holdings.
    So, with regard to “it was the responsibility of the French army to defend France.”, it was (as it is today) also the DUTY of the French Army to obey orders and to follow the French military chain of command.
    It  is insulting, derogatory, a lie, an absolute show of bad faith if not outright ignorance to claim that because they obeyed the orders of Marshal Pétain, they were cowards.
    That said, it is true that there were members of the French military who finally collaborated with the Germans. The ‘collaboration’ could have been easily motivated by two factors: (1) cowardice: the reality that some of them were indeed cowards (as in any nation, let’s not fool ourselves, there are people in the military who, when it comes to the crunch, become cowards (2) misguided principles: the fact that there were some in the French Army then who, out of misguided principles, began to believe in Hitler’s New World Order but to be fair, I don’t believe that these people who were misguided into believing Hitler’s New World Order were cowards either. The proof is many of them fought against the Allies and died fighting. So, where is cowardice in that?
    More importantly, let’s not forget that there were many, many of those who, despite their loyalty to the French military command and their respect for Pétain, decided to go AWOL and fight back. Where is cowardice in that?
    In fine, to the question and assertion, “Where was the French military? it was the responsibility of the French army to defend France.”, the French military was factionned… but many had gone to join the underground forces, others went to England to re-organise and to re-deploy in order to uphold their solemn duty to defend France.
    So, to say that the French military during WWII (even under Pétain) were cowards as if it is Biblical truth is clearly a blatant piece of shit!
    Nothing is ever black or white!

  96. Barney hasn't left the building says:

    Hillblogger and André, you’re right. It is a despicable behavior. As long as the revisionists and bashers think it’s ok to call the French cowards they will carry on indefinitely. That’s why people need to speak up.

    I can’t for the life of me think of a single French personality who ever spoke up against French-bashing. There have been French actors invited on late night shows on David Letterman or Jay Leno. They could have said something even in passing.

    I guess the French ambassador spoke up against it a few times but it remained widely unnoticed.

  97. André Wernesson says:

    BRAVO!

  98. FrancisK says:

    “So, the golden rule is: no military history written by Anglo-Saxons”.
    André – On the other hand you could check out Sir Edward Creasy’s well-known essay, “Fifteen Most Decisive Battles”  in which he lists 5 as “French” (technically 4 as the Normans were a mix of cultures). Not a bad record, I’d say.
    “they did retreat, they abandoned and they surrendered their holdings”.

    Yet I’ve seen countless jokes about Dien Bien Phu where the French, vastly outnumbered, didn’t have the luxury to bail their way out. For the story, my father (by no means an America-basher) recalls having a drink with an American adviser in Saigon (before the US involvement) who told him “give our military 3 months and we’ll take care of it”. 

  99. Fred Orth says:

    FrancisK (98), It always looks easier on the outside, looking in.

  100. “Nothing is ever black or white!”

    It’s funny how your own beliefs are quickly thrown aside when dealing with topics NOT dealing with France.

  101. André Wernesson says:

    Wernesson attaque:

    http://www.la-garconniere.com/index.php?showtopic=2764&st=100&gopid=197274&#entry197274

    L’orthographe et l’âge n’ont rien à voir. C’est tout de même dégoutant que, depuis quelques années, on puisse voir dans des journaux de tous les pays, non seulement étatsuniens, la logique “surrender monkey” à notre égard.

    Si vous tenez absolument à être un surrender monkey, allez-y, soyez le bouffon des Etats-Unis & cie. Un beau bonnet avec des grelots vous sierait à merveille, ainsi qu’une banane et un drapeau blanc. Moi, je préfère ne pas cracher sur nos aïeux et combattre ceux qui voudraient nous faire voir comme des pouilleux lâches et sans dignité.
     
    Y’a du futur dans le costume surrender monkey, on pourrait le faire mettre aux collabos!

  102. benjamin says:

    J’ai apprécié ta reponse toute en retenu et dignité André mais bon le niveau des fora francais est toujours aussi pitoyable surtout ceux reunissant les jeunes  : ignorance crasse , relativisme petochard etc etc …
    bref passons , cet episode ne me fera pas ne plus aimer South Park mais c’est un peu rageant quoi

  103. You know what? I thought that this episode was hilarious! And I don’t even live in the United States!
    I think that this has been taken way out of proportion, and anyone that gets offended at comments like were made on the show, is feeble and juvenile (to put it nicely). God, South Park has made fun of Canadians so often, I can’t even remember, but guess what? It’s funny! Hell, they’ve even made fun of other Americans!

    So seriously: chill out, take a joke, and remember: c’est une blague. Ce n’est pas comme ça dit: «Ouais! Tous les français et les françaises sont faibles, et vous ne deviendrez jamais quelques choses, grosses t******s.»

    [Translation: It’s a joke. It’s not like they said, “Yup! All French people are weak, and you’ll never amount to anything, you big p*****s.”]

    If they went that far, then that’s uncalled for. But until somebody does, relax, take it easy, and remember: it’s a joke.

  104. Barney hasn't left the building says:

    That joke is getting old, Cody…

    The French are sick and tired of being labeled cowards and pussies by the American media.
    2 million Frenchmen died on battlefields all over the world this past century.
    There’s so many things to make fun of the French, why does it always have to be this surrender shit ?
    I’m sure the humiliating defeat of the French in 1940 is hilarious to many Americans but it is not to the French.
    Being constantly reminded of that sad chapter in our history in 2009 can only be explained by some deep resentment  and a willingness to hurt the French people.
    They think they have valid reasons to hate the French (it’s their problem) but let’s not delude ourselves that this is just humor. And don’t give us any crap about our sense of humor. Because seriously, what other ethnicity or nationality would not take offense at being constantly labeled a coward ?

    [Translation: It’s a joke. It’s not like they said, “Yup! All French people are weak, and you’ll never amount to anything, you big p*****s.”]

    Are you kidding ? Of course that’s what those jokes imply.

    Stan said as much in episode 805 – You got F in the A.
    Stan: “Otherwise you might as well move to France with all the other pussies”.

  105. Fred Orth says:

    Barney (98), Here, you have laid out a well developed argument. I see this blog and SuperFrenchie as concrete efforts to confront and refute labels. I would suggest that your arguments are best used to inspire insightful reflections on what we all say and not met to be any tit for tat. I do agree that the attempted “humor” about 1940 is truely discusting. I am amazed at how many people, confronted by logical retort, are stunned, and often appoligetic. The normal response is that they “didn’t know, didn’t think” and that they were only reciting  “talking points” they have heard “over and over”. These prople are not bad, they simply do not have the breath of knowledge and received minimal history in school.

  106. “These prople are not bad, they simply do not have the breath of knowledge and received minimal history in school”

    That is very patronizing. No, we do not have in depth French history in the US. From various years I can think of several occasions when  the French would pop up. Studying the American Revolution, WW1, WW2, and other off hand things such as the French Revolution, and wars with Britain in the Midde Ages and the Renaissance era.

    Just because we don’t learn much French history doesn’t mean we know minimal history .

  107.       Thanks Cody. People who do not like South Park do not understand how it works.
          Remember the show “All in the Family”?  Carol O’Connor played a bigoted man. They did this to show how ridculous bigotry is. This is exactly what South Park does. The person on the show being bigoted is usually made out to be a fool in the end. Regardless, the show is hilarious. And if anyone thinks they pick on the French, they should start counting how many times they fun of other people. They have made literally thousands of jokes at the expense of every aspect of American culture, and all the other cultures too. They have made fun of movie stars that sooooo deserve it.
       Anyway…, I don’t want to start another back and forth with people who will never see this point so let’s just leave it at that. If you think South Park is so terrible, don’t watch it. As for me and Cody…., will be laughing our asses off.

  108. André Wernesson says:

    Wayne — I understand your point, but I also understand it’s horribly convenient. From Leno the archbasher to the lowest French-bashing pundit, we all get the we make fun of everybody response. No good. Here’s Mr. Chamberlain talking to Hitler:

    A.H: “Nein! Ve do nicht only kill ze Jews! Ve also kill ze gypsies, und ze disabled, und ze homosexuals… Ve ist ein equal-oportunity genocider.”

    N.C: “Oh, I see! That’s much better. Do pardon my intrusiveness.”

    The added difference here is that, whereas in another episode, the bigot is one of the characters (Cartman) in this episode, the bigot is the narrator, the demiurg who created the stereotypical French and made them conform to the surrender trope.

    There’s an essential difference.

    Jane — I agree that, on paper, history as taught in the U.S. isn’t that bad, or at least it has much greater potential than it would seem nowadays. Nevertheless, it must be pointed out that stereotypes and tropes even pervade with cultured people. I had this American friend, an extremely cultured fellow and a delightful conversationist. He was extremely well-read, particularly in history, and yet he, at one point, gave in to the surrender trope — which is completely unfounded, as you surely know (1940 wasn’t even a surrender, it was an armistice!). Which comes to prove that even intelligent people get affected by propaganda.

  109. Barney hasn't left the building says:

    I’ve watched every single ep of SP at least once. So I’m aware of how South Park works. It’s not with SP per se that we are mad at but we’re just disappointed that SP gave in and participated in the “French are surrender-monkeys” bash fest the US media seems so fond of.
    Wayne, once again make fun of the French all you want. But lay off the coward meme. It is particularly offensive and unfair since 2 million Frenchmen died on battlefields all over the world this pas century.
    An entire generation of American people is now growing up associating the French people as a whole with cowardice. It does hurt otherwise pro-American French people. That shit needs to stop now.

    Will you at least acknowledge that or am I talking to a wall here ?

  110. Fred Orth says:

    Jane (100),  Obviously, there are Americans who took the time to learn, but, I have to tell you  that, in discussions, I again and again find that my buddies know of Egypt, Greece, Rome (and of course Israel), straight to England and on to Manafest Destiny. I also know that schools are a lot better in Iowa than they are in Texas, better in Oregon than in Alabama. Additionally, I think that American schools do a rather poor job in teaching students how to learn once they leave the system. A lot of this is due to an environment where tired workers come home and do nothing but watch the TV.

  111. You raise some good points and I agree with you, but if the student pays attention in school, or reads the history books, they will have a decent general knowledge of history. But it isn’t just the American education system that has problems. Canadians, and Americans have scored on average the same standardized tests scores. And the average IQ of both countries is almost identical.

  112. Fred Orth says:

    Jane (105) Yes, the student needs to read on his own. That’s what I ended up doing. Also, standardized tests gear more to reading and math (at least in the South) and are not signs of the activity of researching outside of the school environment.  My mother made me memorize Shakspeare and read fifty books per year. My daughters did the same (plus Voltaire and Plato), but, I don’t think that that is common practice in American homes.

  113. Well, students who have a particular fondness towards Literature classes and History classes will absorb more of what is taught, such as Shakespeare, and other things. It is not common practice in American homes to memorize Voltaire, Shakespeare and Plato, but is it in France? Or other countries?

    The reading of 50 books a year, I just enjoy reading, but don’t like to be told to read. In school we had to read at least an hour a night and get it checked off by our parents, I did miserably in this because I hated being told how long I had to read, even though I read many books.
    There are more standardized tests that deal with Math and Reading, they are the two subjects that get the most funding by the State. But their are also standardized tests in science, and history. But keep in mind education differs from state to state, emphasis on certain subjects in one state may not be the case in other states.

    The two main standardized tests to get into college in the US are the SATs, which focus on reading, writing, and math and the ACTs, which focus on all subjects. I have noticed that the popularity of the ACTs has grown.

  114. Fred Orth says:

    Jane, I really didn’t mind the reading. Mom made me go to the library every two weeks and get three books.  It was lousey to walk a mile each way in ice or 100 plus degreeweather. I also preferred to get our and play football (American). From what I see now days, and what my teacher wife tells me,  kids today are taught to the test and, in reality, receive minimal rounded education. I believe that this is more of a problem in the South that it is in the North or West. Heavens, in the US we only have to learn one language and we have real problems mastering one! I do like to see that Spanish is now making inroads in the South.

  115. I agree with you with well-rounded education, most of school is preparations for tests, and more tests, whether it be standardized or other.

    I think that Spanish should be taught in schools alongside English, it will broaden people’s horizons and make them think outside the box. Of course the Republicans are against this. They must keep their sheep as sheltered to the outside world as possible.

  116. Fred Orth says:

    Jane (109), that, unfortunately, is an excellent point. Well stated.

  117. Barney you keep making repliess to my comments like:
    “Wayne, once again make fun of the French all you want. But lay off the coward meme. ”

    I’d like you to go back and look at my comments and see once I have used the coward meme. Or where I have made fun of the french for anything except taking all this crap a little too serious.

    You say…, “This shit has got to stop!” What shit? This is a case of you judging me for someone else has done.

  118. Barney hasn't left the building says:

    Wayne, you keep criticizing us for taking this too seriously. I think we have explained our reasons enough. We’re not getting through to you, obviously.
    And I’ve never accused you of using the coward meme yourself.

    When I say “this shit has got stop!”, I’m talking about the US media’s obsession with associating the French people with cowardice. When such a popular show as SP does it so blatantly and when you not only laugh along but chastize the French for being offended then you’re not really helping with that, are you ?

  119. OBSESSION?  I must live in a different USA than the one you are talking about. In all my many years, this is the first reference I’ve heard in the media about this. I’m sure there were others, but none than I remember hearing.

  120. I did see something about the French on the news today. It’s nothing bad or nothing good. I just thought you find it interesting.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090504/lf_nm_life/us_france_sleep

  121. Barney hasn't left the building says:

    OBSESSION? I must live in a different USA than the one you are talking about. In all my many years, this is the first reference I’ve heard in the media about this”

    You don’t seriously expect us to believe that, do you ?

  122. Miquelon says:

    More garbage on reddit despite a great video link, I think I lost my cool…

  123. André Wernesson says:

    I loved it. After all, why reason with French-Bashers, who have the IQ of a soggy water biscuit? They don’t reason with us, so I don’t see why we should reason with them. Hit ’em hard, Marc!

  124. Barney hasn't left the building says:

    #117

    You were completely right.
    Being nice and polite with those people do not accomplish much if anything at all.

    Sense of humor my ass. The least bit of criticism of America from French people sends them into a rage. Just look at the degenerate racists of no pasaran or the no less degenerates on bremner’s blog, let alone ffrance.com.
    These bashers are the worst kind of hypocrites. If the roles were reversed, if they were constantly the butt of jokes trivializing the sacrifices and deaths of their soldiers not only would they not be laughing along but they would send us death threats and would do anything in their power to stop us.

    Talking about obsession. Go to any blog or forum on the Internet, start a thread involving the French ( a news story for instance) and I guarantee that 90% of the time, some asshole will make a surrender joke even if the story is totally unrelated to military matters.
    Like clockwork…

  125. André Wernesson says:

    Barney — I second the forum thing. In fact, my girlfriend told me, the other day, that there were even jokes on French hygiene in a MAKEUP forum! Astounding, looks like their young ladies are no less bloodthirsty than their men…

  126. Deux mots en français pour vous dire que je serai occupé par d’autres projets dans les prochaines semaines, notamment les élections à l’Assemblée des Français de l’Étranger (AvenirFranceMondiale.org), circonscription de Toronto – Ottawa – Vancouver.

    Je continuerai de jeter un coup d’oeil sur le site et les discussions qui s’y mènent mais je ne pourrai – sauf cas de force majeure – écrire de nouveau billets avant le début juin.

  127. Average Jean-Michel says:

    I think it’s the same on both sides of the Atlantic… I mean in France we have a whole bunch of clichés about Americans…
    The average french thinks that Americans are fat, sweaty, ignorant, that they wear noisy flip flops over their socks everyday and can’t help having ridiculously strange face expressions whatever they do or say.
    WORST: A lot of French people sincerely think Americans kinda diserved what happened to them on 9-11, considering it as “a big slap in the face of a noisy spoiled kid”.

    So before blaming on americans, let’s solve our family matters…

    And anyway, any educated  French or American know that there is as much difference between 2 random americans than between 2 random French, that bitter and sweet can be met in anyone, anywhere.
    That’s why clichés are just funny and cannot in any case define an entire group of people.

  128. Barney hasn't left the building says:

    “I mean in France we have a whole bunch of clichés about Americans…
    The average French thinks that Americans are fat, sweaty, ignorant, that they wear noisy flip flops over their socks everyday and can’t help having ridiculously strange face expressions whatever they do or say.
    WORST: A lot of French people sincerely think Americans kinda deserved what happened to them on 9-11, considering it as “a big slap in the face of a noisy spoiled kid”.”

    Links ?

  129. Average Jean-Michel says:

    REAL LIFE

  130. Barney hasn't left the building says:

    NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

    My real life tells me different things.

    French-bashing apologists always use the “it’s ok, the French do the same” defense.
    Miquelon.org being a well document site, provide links to support your assertions, some of them being pretty serious.
    Second of all I will argue that fat and stupid are nowhere near as offensive as the mocking of our dead and the complete revision of history that those surrender jokes imply.

  131. Average Jean-Michel says:

    I’m sorry I’m not motivated enough to look for French anti-americanism sites on the net…

    Ma parole ne suffit pas, je le conçois, mais je peux pas croire que si vous étiez en France en Septembre 2001 vous n’ayez pas entendu des “quelquepart ça leur fait du bien” ou des “joli coup”, moi j’ai plus d’un ami qui ont eu cette réaction, des amis de mes parents aussi, ça n’a pas l’air générationel…

    I’m ok on the fact that trashing a people’s memory is going further than trashing a people’s appearance.

    But there were deads on the 9-11 too right??

    And do we really have to compare the offensiveness of our respective dissing??  I’d feel like I’m doing a yo momma battle with a 15 yo kid seriously.

    I’m not in the USA and I frankly hope you’re just overreacting, I feel like we’re really discriminated in the US when reading this site…

    Can’t we expect friendly behaviour from the locals if we work in the US?

    I mean when I meet an american in France, I’m really happy to share because I love American culture, and I don’t have any préjugé that would reffrain me from trying to start a discussion and why not a friendship. Even if I have some clichés about them, because of my foreign eye, even if I disagree with their politics towards social problems, with their war against ghost weapons in Iraq or  with their support to Israel colonialism, I have a brain that know I’m in front of a human being who’s as unique as me, which means I have as much to learn from him as He has to learn from me.

    Americans have brains too, so there’s no reason to fear relations with them, am I wrong??

  132. Fred Orth says:

    Average J-M (125),  French-bashing is prevelant in the Southwest and parts of the S0uth (Red States).  I have seen absolutely rude situations where a few Americans will be confrontational. The problem is that only a few fellow southerners will confront this rude ignorance. I must tell you, though, I have seen especially southerners rude to all non-English world persons, regardless of nationality. Over time, with a lot of education, hopefully this will improve.

  133. ” I have seen especially southerners rude to all non-English world persons, regardless of nationality. Over time, with a lot of education, hopefully this will improve”

    Very true. Very sad.

  134. News alert : White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs says 9/11 not joking matter! Re : Wanta Sykes

  135. Fred Orth says:

    Funny how 9/11 isn’t funny but disasters suffered by others is fair game.

  136. Hey guys and gals,
    I haven’t written in awhile because  the arguement seems to be getting a little repetitive but I saw something today that I thought you might want to check out.

    There is a new movie coming out called “In the loop.” I saw the trailer to it and right at the end is something I know you are not going to like. I’ve provided the link. It’s on Youtube in case the link doesn’t work.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQrqMkCuHqA&feature=player_embedded

  137. This sounds like a British movie but I can see many of the scenes are in the U.S. But I’m pretty sure it was made by the Brits. If so, I want to tell you a story about the Brits in and earlier American History you will not believe. Let me check more into this first. In the mean time, watch this trailer and tell me if you can who made it.

  138. Miquelon says:

    Actually, that line makes sense because it is in character. Gandolfini is play an arrogant bullish american officer, so the line about France makes sense within that frame.

    Seems like a mildly interesting movie. Am too busy right now, but I want to blog about a French history show that was on the radio a couple of days ago. It’s about the fall of France and the courageous acts of the French army before it was betrayed by its leadership.

  139. I don’t get you guys. That line is truely a major putdown and it doesn’t bother you. Yet you have 14 pages complaining about a couple of jokes from a show that makes jokes to show how stupid and bigoted  the people making the jokes are. I give up.

  140. Miquelon says:

    Context. The clip you showed portrays a hard ass US military officer. His put down of France is typical of the mind set he represents. His comment is about WHO he is, now WHAT he says.

    Southpark’s foray into France’s history is another matter as it is a caricature of an event that is turned into a character trait for the nation as a whole. Southpark reinforces the meme. Southpark is about WHAT they said through a non-descript character, not about WHOM.

  141. André Wernesson says:

    Very well put, Marc.

    Wayne, it’s like this. You can have a show with Hitler saying Jews are greedy, or you can have a show with a greedy Jewish character.

    See what I mean? The Hitler show isn’t offensive (well, sorta) because it’s expected that Hitler will say that sort of thing.

    However, the second is, as it would merely be perpetrating the “greedy Jew” meme.

  142. In America, the disdane for our ex vice-president (Dick Cheney) is probably something even you guys are aware of. I saw this opinion poll the other day and noticed something I thought that might interest you. It rated his popularity against those of several countries. You will be pleased to find out that France rated highest in this poll. Twice as many Americains look at France in a positive light than Dick Cheney. I know it’s not anything to get and cheer about, but I just thought you might enjoy the results. One thing you should realize is about 21% of our poulations hates everything (we call ’em republicans). So don’t be offended by the amount of negative votes. They would have something bad to say anything and anybody.

  143. André Wernesson says:

    Twice as many Americains look at France in a positive light than Dick Cheney.

    I nearly fell off my chair laughing. Well, it’s a start, I guess!

  144. For every anti-French caricature there is in the US there are literally thousands of anti-American caricatures in france. In fact, the anti-french sentiment in the US is a reaction to european (french) anti-Americanism. You better get used to more of it! Personally I’m glad to see Americans finally realizing that europe is no friend.

  145. Marc @ Miquelon.org says:

    Mario

    Name ONE French TV personality who has an evening show who made at least 40 anti-American jokes.
    Name ONE French journalist from a MAJOR FRENCH newspaper who made 9/11 jokes
    Name ONE French politician who made a 9/11 joke

    Do your homework, and then we’ll talk. In any case this isn’t about tit for tat, this is about reprehensible attitudes in the US media that actually say more about the people who do it that the people they target – us the French. Because when is all said and done, what these people said about the French is what they dare not say about others…

  146. Barney hasn't left the building says:

    “”For every anti-French caricature there is in the US there are literally thousands of anti-American caricatures in france.””

    Links ?
    Back  up your claim please or shut up.

  147. Good post and nice design, is this a regular template?.

  148. Well, it’s not southpark that makes fun of the french, it’s everyone. The French are so damn arrogant and live in their own little world, that they just don’t realize that all their neighbours for example, have similar views and jokes about them: the Brits, the Germans, the Spaniards… It’s the only country that’s “hated” by its neighbours.
    So tell me, is it any different when the french call the Greeks for example, gay? I mean, it is quite ironic (and please be honest to yourselves and accept it) cos the french are the most effeminate men in Europe. And you know it. So yeah, having mentioned all the above reasons + adding a lil humor, we can say that southpark is not only funny, but awesome!

  149. ^^^
    Nice troll, bro.

    Why don’t you try and back up with facts and statistics every single one of your retarded sweeping generalizations ?
    Just because you’re a  French hater doesn’t mean everybody is. Go back to ffrance.com.

    Where are you from ?  Let’s have some fun.

  150. Well, that is certainly decent, however what about the other choices we have here? Would you mind writing a further post about them also? Regards!

  151. Fear of the other –not “us”; therefore, to the primal mind, threatening and inimical to our interests (Rome versus Carthage) is seen as being “addressed” by  our fellow watch-dogs of the crowd (nation, tribe, religious group, party, social group, etc.)  in a sustained chorus of bashing directed at the “enemy’.  And so this scene in America, most ludicrous, remains laughable —were it not so pathetic.  I would admit these fools are not suffered “gladly” and that I, an American, do spit into their eye.
    What kind of friend is it that:  Acting alone in direct contradiction to formal agreement would conclude a separate peace treaty with the mutual enemy; this, after bankrupting his friend thru loans and direct military assistance ?  Try the Jay Treaty.
    My reply in answer to the first paragraph re bashing is:  What do you expect ?

  152. You forget him but it is thanks to French if the étas-close  of America exist, then stop  your bullshit that you read in  American press.

  153. #14 was a fking terrible post, pardon my French..

    lol. Why can’t you create your own TV shows and movies instead of wanting the USA to make a pro French show? I’m currently watching IRIS,  a Korean show, made in Korea, only language is Korea, and subtitles are available from volunteers only. Or The Man From Nowhere, great action flick, better than Bourne in my opinion. Both of those have Korean actors, neither of them are made in the USA. I very much doubt that most USA’ians would even know they existed. Stick up for yourselves.

    Which leaves me to the second point, stop whining. I know, I know, it’s annoying when people say bad things. But why do you care? Why does the opinion of France by people who can’t locate France on a map  matter to you?

    Some people like France, some don’t. I’m one of those that do, and a tip on finding people who like French culture is go down to your local Alliance Francaise. French language classes, cultural notes, French cinema for those who are interested and promotion of all things French. Parisian jazz is more my interest which isn’t really their thing (in my local one), but they can usually point you in the direction of a website, jazz club or even traveling performer over from France. You should care more about our opinion than those of people who are generally racist towards all.

  154. #14 was a fking terrible post, pardon my French..

    This post ?

    “”Barney hasn’t left the building Says: April 24th, 2009 at 7:43 pm ^^^^ You’re right, André, but how ? I think there needs to be some male French role models on US TV shows and in Hollywood movies. A Frenchman kicking ass and taking names so to speak. I guess there was Jean Reno recently in the Pink Panther movies. But then again he was only playing the sidekick of a clumsy, arrogant Clouseau. As far as US Tv shows and movies are concerned, I can think of plenty of traitors, cowards, arrogant, pompous French characters but other than that I can’t think of a single instance where a Frenchman was portrayed somewhat positively or god forbid acted heroically in the last 20 years on an American Tv show or in a Hollywood movie. I’m really a huge consumer of American Tv shows and Hollywood movies and it’s come to the point where I cringe whenever the French are mentioned, and believe me it happens quite often, because I know exactly what’s coming. It really pisses me off. The people whose sole exposure to the French is television and movies have almost no choice but to hate us. I can hardly blame them since they have literally never seen a nice and brave Frenchman in their lives. It’s a real problem.””

    lol. Why can’t you create your own TV shows and movies


    lol indeed.


    Some people like France, some don’t. I’m one of those that do


    Of course you are…

  155. Lol, I am French, but the jokes make me laugh on us. But what hurts me is that you think all French arearrogant and slutty. I understand you just because you think all French are parisians.. You know there are big differences between the southern French and Parisian. I come from a small country of France(Ardèche) and when I go to Paris, I found people really disrespectful to me (not all, thankfully), it shockedme was how Paris is different from the rest of France, they are like in their little world and they feelsuperior.
    And stop saying we do not like people from other countries, where I am really we accept people of allcountries and cultures (it is for her that France is a land of reggae). It is in the south of France has the largest immigrant because there is more acceptance of different cultures. When we meet people on the street we say hello, whether foreign or not.
    You know, we can also say that Americans are idiots who eats burgers while watching TV, but we knowthat this is a “legend” and fortunately they are not all like her =). But if you tried to hatred of the French, it is because you watch too much TV and the media.
    I am French, I love my country and my culture, but I love all other countries, meet people from around the world is a great thing =), without you we would be nothing, Our differences are our strengths.

    Sorry for my very bad english x) (but it’s true that we are really bad at speaking other languages ​​^ ^ ‘)

    Peace =)

  156. peaceful girl says:

    I love the way American people insist so much about us  ! (french people) Actually it shows how much we are important to you , and how much (and i’m sorry about that) we broke your heart. You are a sensitive country and we disapointed you , as a best friend who’s been unfaithful. I can understand this hatred …. love

  157. Including 80 audio and video demonstration teaching ㄉ course, the following is part of the common ㄉ software. please press left ctrl, right-hand point of mouse health, click on your favorite software, wait a while to display the download page, and then according to their own computer ㄉ Level. from shallow depth gradually progressive point of video files from the unit, you can open the file. Oh, remember to open speaker

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