Saturday, September 20, 2003[posted by jaed at 9:07 PM]
Le Frog, C'est Moi
Gene Weingarten goes in search of French rudeness (among other things) in the Washington Post. And he finds it, but only by employing subterfuge and unsubtle techniques:
I began by assuring M. Gaymard that confrontation and controversy were the last things on my mind; that my role was conciliatory; that my questions were designed to elicit an open and frank exchange of views, so vital to the healing process. The minister inclined his head graciously, and I began.Heh heh heh, as Instapundit might say in a voluble mood.
"I think we can both agree that the diplomatic situation between our two nations is both regrettable and unnecessary . . . Perhaps the worst part is that it has resurrected in the United States some ugly, unfair, inaccurate and totally unsupportable stereotypes about the French. You know: that you are elitist, that you are rude, that you are cowards, that you have an insufferable air of superiority, that your fashion shows are nothing more than elaborate parades of clown costumes . . ."
The minister waited for translation.
". . . that your movies are long and boring and unbearably pretentious, that you lack personal hygiene and let your dogs poop all over the streets, and indeed, that your national pet, the poodle, is a ridiculous life form better never to have survived the evolutionary process."
The minister shifted slightly in his chair.
"I will not insult you, or dignify these preposterous, obviously untrue stereotypes by asking you to respond to them. But I was just wondering if the French have any equally preposterous and obviously untrue stereotypes about Americans that you might enumerate here for the purpose of my not dignifying them with a response."