Important Notice

Special captions are available for the humor-impaired.


Friday, December 30, 2005

Culture Wars

In which the author debates the relative value of French and Mexican cultures.

My family is French, or at least half French. We’re half French if that is possible while still remaining 100% white trash. We are zero percent Mexican, but I have spent enough time in that country to tell people, "Tengo alma Mexicano,” I have a Mexican soul. Let's suppose that I’m put in a sort of Sophie’s Choice situation where I am forced to choose between my two identities.

Everyone always talks about the French and their supposed joie de vivre and their certain je ne sais quoi which is just French for “God, you Americans are such fat, ignorant sacks of shit that you can’t even be bothered to learn two words of our language and then you come over here and yell at waiters in English and wonder why people are rude to you. Hopeless and pathetic is what you all are, so why don’t you stay home and order something at Chili’s® that sounds French and save yourself the trouble of coming over here.” Mexicans aren’t rude like that. They’re funny,

Maybe I’m too easily entertained but even Mexican food is fun. French are world famous for their cuisine (Stupid frogs calling their food “cuisine.” What nerve!), but it isn’t fun. Did you know that we don’t have a word in English for burrito. Even their food is more fun than ours; we can’t even translate their fun into English. Think about that. We have hamburgers, but they have a sandwich that is rolled up into a kind of log or something. Rolling something up is a hell of a lot cooler than just putting two pieces of bread together. Then there are tacos, which are like sandwiches, but get this, you fold them over. No kidding. Where do they think this stuff up? What do the French have to eat that is even half as much fun as nachos?
I don’t know if you have noticed this before but everything you say is funnier if you say it in Spanish. It’s true. Try it. Los serial killers, la fat chick, and el dead baby, these are horrible things in English but suddenly become hilarious once you switch over to Spanish.

Turn on French TV and you’re likely to have a couple of ultra-boring talking heads droning on about, “C'est une première dans le monde bancaire français. Au pays du chèque gratuit, les clients du CIC — filiale du Crédit mutuel — devront s'habituer à payer des chèques à partir du 1er janvier 2006. ” I’m not lying, their television is mind-numbingly dull. Watch Mexican TV and you’ll see a guy dressed up like a bumble bee or adults impersonating school kids. Either that or they have soap opera stars wearing toxic levels of mascara. Watch Mexican television for more than about ten minutes and you’re sure to see a nurse with huge cleavage wearing a short skirt. Not the French, they are too busy being “tasteful.” Where’s the fun in that?

You don’t have to tell me about French wine. I was getting blind drunk on French wine before I was even legal to buy a drink in America, so I guess you could call me somewhat of an expert. I spent an entire summer touring Bourgogne and on more than one occasion I’ve woken up face down in a puddle of expensive Bordeaux, so don’t try to lecture me on French viticulture. For all of the wine snobs out there I have one word: Tequila! I don’t remember ever getting drunk on French wine and then riding a motorcycle up a flight of stairs and parking it in my hotel room. I don’t remember doing that on tequila but a friend has a picture of it. The only thing that I barely remember about getting wasted on French wine is sitting around a café table trying to act smart. That isn’t fun for me.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you can't say something nice, say it here.