What Do Penn State's Joe Paterno and New Republic's Marty Peretz Have In Common Other Than Clearly Being Over the Hill?

Answer: They're starting to shit themselves in public. JoePa had to sprint off the field during last saturday's game with Ohio State to avoid a colonic catastrophe equal to the shellacking the Nittany Lions were taking on the field. TNR owner and "Spine" blogger Marty Peretz is enacting the cyberspatial equivalent of Paterno's runs with posts such as this one on French jokes:

Let me assure you though that I am not a Francophobe. It is true that for a few years in recent times I have not bought French wines. But I did drink the ones I had in my cellar. In any case, there is some silliness in what follows. But there is also some wisdom, wisdom garnered from historical experience. If you are a Francophile, you may not want to read this. It's your choice. Feel free to send this to friends if you like. That's how I saw it in the first place...

"Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion." --Norman Schwartzkopf

"We can stand here like the French, or we can do something about it." --Marge Simpson

"As far as I'm concerned, war always means failure." --Jacques Chirac, President of France

"As far as France is concerned, you're right." --Rush Limbaugh

"The only time France wants us to go to war is when the German Army is sitting in Paris sipping coffee." --Regis Philbin

More here.

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  • Dan T.||

    What is up with America's inferiority complex towards France, anyway?

  • ||

    Actually, when JoePa's instestines started giving out on him, Penn State was winning 3-0.

    Go Buckeyes!

  • ||

    Henry V: "I was not angry since I came to France
    Until this instant."

  • ||

    Pretty average stuff but the Norman Schwartzkopf one's a gem.

    I laughed. The French are irritating.

  • ||

    Yeah, those French--they said "no" to invading Iraq because there wasn't enough evidence of WMDs and because it would become a quagmire. Boy, were they dumb!

  • ||

    I liked the accordion line. I also love accordions.

    Dan T,

    I always thought that the American issue with the French was just inherited baggage from Old Britain. I could be totally wrong, though.

  • ||

    Of course we hate the French. They are an arrogant, nationalistic democracy. They are too religious, and they think they invented freedom. Jerks.

  • ||

    Yeah, those French--they said "no" to invading Iraq because there wasn't enough evidence of WMDs and because it would become a quagmire. Boy, were they dumb!

    So did a number of very sensible countries with the exception of the UK. But even if they had found WMD's and a million nukes pointed at Paris with the words 'Au revoir mes petits infadels' scrawled across them, they'd have come up with a reason to not send any troops (unless they could guarantee no harm befalling any of them and a steady supply of fresh, doughy baguettes and soft, soft Robuchon chesse to the front line.)

    Anyway - I am obliged by the medium of genetics to dislike the French. I'm English. I'm sure they would return the compliment.

  • ||

    Terrell Owens attempted suicide!

  • ||

    It is true that for a few years in recent times I have not bought French wines.

    In Marty's world that bold stand is known as "supporting the troops". What an ass.

  • ||

    French Jokes, what is this 2002? Seriously, how behind is Peretz.
    "Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys"- Groundskeeper Willie

  • ||

    Actually, over a million Frenchmen died defending Paris, successfully, from the Germans during WWI.

    Spitting on soldiers just comes so easily to neoconservatives.

    Let me know when we get to the part with the wisdom gained from history.

  • ||

    As a geezer who loves the French, I'm not busting a gut... well maybe I am.

  • ||

    JoePa really, really needs to retire (like 10 years ago).

    That game was a classic Big Televen slugfest until the surprising Buckeye defense forced Penn State into several key mistakes. Laurinitis = Baltic Power!

    Go Bucks!

    O-H...!

  • ||

    Advertising your pre-Iraq War French bashing in 2006 is like driving through Silicon Valley with a "Don't Blame Me, I Voted For Dole" sticker on your car in 1999.

  • ||

    Let me know when we get to the part with the wisdom gained from history.

    Aaahhhh come on Joe. Relax. Poking fun at the french is a universal, objective fun. It's like laughing at your teenage brother while he's going through his angsty years and is desperate to express himself through his poetry.

  • ||

    They also lost over 500,000, military and civilian, defending Paris in WWII. They didn't just roll over for the Germans, they were overrun by the same powerful German army that took over most of Europe.

    We, myself included, love to bash the French and they love to bash us. We are both arrogent nations who think our systems should be models for the world. I just hope we remember occasionally we are, ultimately, on the same side. Unless the West is truely dead.

  • ||

    I think most intelligent people understand all that. But it's just too damn much fun to poke fun at the French. Trust me, they enjoy poking fun at us just as much.

    My theory is that it's like a pair of constantly-fighting siblings. Coming from basically the same place, with a lot of the same ideals. The fact that they're so close to one another is exactly why they appear to hate one another.

    It's also just as much fun to poke fun at the very earnest protestations of joe and co. every time someone dares poke fun at them.

  • ||

    France deserves some ire for a variety of reasons, but I do think the whole hurry-up-and-surrender label is mostly undeserved. Yeah, WWII was a bad deal altogether for France, and the French government and military looked awful for their substandard performance (especially given their technological and numerical superiority over the Germans--something most people don't realize); however, joe correctly points out that France fought like demons in WWI.

    I'd say the lethargy of WWII likely stemmed in some part from the price paid in lives and resources in WWI. Coincidentally, I'm about to pick up William Shirer's The Collapse of the Third Republic: An Inquiry into the Fall of France in 1940 from the library for some light reading.

    Also, to be fair, having Germany as a neighbor can make any country look bad, militarily speaking. The Franco-Prussian War, WWI, and WWII all happened within a relatively brief span of years. Poland, caught between Germany and Russia, looks even more inept.

    I consider France to be an annoying older brother who acts like a bratty younger brother. Still, if France were attacked, I'd certainly rush to its defense. France is an ally and has been for most of our history.

    On the other hand, our disdain of many things French likely stems from the infamous taunting episode noted in Arthurian legend.

  • ||

    My favorite French joke isn't a joke at all but a direct quote from one of the student rioters in the most recent round of violence:

    "They're offering us nothing but slavery," said Maud Pottier, 17, a student at Jules Verne High School in Sartrouville. "You'll get a job knowing that you've got to do every single thing they ask you to do because otherwise you may get sacked."

    Wow, a boss who can tell you what to do and maybe even fire you. That is _exactly_ like slavery.

  • ||

    "Forget France. The French Can Be Annoying. Come to Greece. We're nicer."

    Crazy People.

  • ||

    C'mon, joe, the hatred of France used to unite left and right in this country, and unite the US with the rest of the world (except maybe France). That was until 2002, when it became a political issue.

    Oh, for the days when all Americans could make fun of the French without all of the political baggage that goes along with it.

    Scorpio: Which is your least favorite country, Italy or France?
    Homer: France.
    Scorpio: Yeah, nobody ever says Italy.

    And Nick, thanks for bringing up JoePa, um, "going for two." Like I need to think about that again.

  • ||

    Spitting on soldiers just comes so easily to neoconservatives.

    Yeah, they must have been watching the lefties welcome back the troops from Vietnam.

  • ||

    "I think most intelligent people understand all that."

    Well, you've just excluded most of the voting public....

  • D.A. Ridgely||

    Q: How many generations does it take to learn ingratitude?
    A: Trois

    Okay, having gotten that out of my system, let me go on record that I have spent some time in France over the years and, even including while in Paris, the French have been, almost without a single exception, polite, helpful and hospitable every time.

    On the other hand, I could say the same thing about Canadians, and so,

    Q: What do sick Canadians and Americans have in common?
    A: Equal access to the world's highest quality health care, in both cases to be paid for in U.S. dollars.

  • ||

    To paraphrase General Patton'"I rather have two SS Divisions on my front than to have one French Division in my rear."
    During WW2 some Free French forces in North Afica fough with distinction being mostly people of color and members of the French Foreign Leagon. But with the exception of some of the efforts of the French Resistance the avarage Free French Divisions sucked. They were made up of avarage Frenchmen and were a terrible drain on the war effort and also managed to commit a disproportionant amount of the war crimes committed by the western allies.
    The French helped the US during our revolution and we should be greatful for that help. But during the 19th and 20th centuries the French Military forces have had nothing but failure after failure.
    And despite haveing the technicial and scientific means to build a formentable military they seem to have some sort of people problems. Maybe its all that wine they drink.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    They also lost over 500,000, military and civilian, defending Paris in WWII. They didn't just roll over for the Germans, they were overrun by the same powerful German army that took over most of Europe.

    The 1940 debacle is a classic example of why losing is the best preparation for the next war. De Gaulle and his cronies argued for a mechanized army throughout the thirties but couldn't get anywhere because of the literally and figuratively entrenched military establishment. The Germans were starting from scratch and got to build everything to spec. In his memoirs, which are worth checking out, de Gaulle emphasizes the few victories France scored in the disastrous six weeks as examples of what they could have done with better organization, and says he argued for continuing the war even if it meant moving out to the colonies. He couldn't get anywhere with the government or his superiors, all of whom were either in a panic or as he puts it "playing their own game." It doesn't take anything away from the sacrifice of the half-million French dead to say that there was a total failure of leadership.

    The problem with jokes about France isn't political or personal. It's that they're not funny. Nobody thinks or knows enough about France to give a shit, and the result is comedy that's too vague, too square, or both; it reminds me of when Bruno Kirby takes over the radio show in Good Morning, Vietnam, and his A-1 material is "Hey, it's our old pal Frenchie!"

  • ||

    Maybe its all that wine they drink.

    Are you kidding? Winemaking is one of their redeeming qualities.

  • ||

    Any nation that thinks Jerry Lewis is funny can't be............(fill in the blank).........

  • ||

    Yeah, they must have been watching the lefties welcome back the troops from Vietnam.

    That's an urban legend.

  • ||

    Ok. The following story is true. I've already posted it on here so apologies to anyone that read it before.

    About two months ago, it was my three year anniversary with my better half so I surprised her with a trip to Paris. In the evening, we decided to revisit a small restaurant off the the Rue de Rivolis as we had eaten there when we first got together.

    So, we were in there and everything was going to plan. I enjoyed my French Onion soup and was looking forward to my moules frites. To our left there was a pleasant, middle aged American couple who, despite cliches to the contrary, were nothing but polite and considerate. The waiter on the other hand, a genuine parisian in too tight trousers, was a complete tool. Although moderately polite to my goodself he was horrible to the Yanks. They did their best to order in French, laughing nervously, and he shot them down, tutting, barking at them in French and rolling his eyes. It was really embarrassing.

    So, our food came, we ate it and the Americans were still waiting on their order. They asked politely twice and euro-weenie brushed them aside. On the third occasion, by which time they must have been waiting for nearly an hour, the American gentleman asked 'Excuse me, but where is our food?'

    The frenchie sneered down his nose 'I have already told you. It iz coming.'

    The American looked at the waiter, looked at his wife, looked at me and then back at the waiter. He then said:

    'So's Christmas you asshole. Now go cook my steak'

    In the words of Mastercard...priceless. My girlfriend almost spat out her red wine.

    As i said at the time - America 1 France 0. Still, the waiter probably peed in his bernaise sauce.

  • Scott Lemieux||

    "But even if they had found WMD's and a million nukes pointed at Paris with the words 'Au revoir mes petits infadels' scrawled across them, they'd have come up with a reason to not send any troops (unless they could guarantee no harm befalling any of them and a steady supply of fresh, doughy baguettes and soft, soft Robuchon chesse to the front line.)"

    If they hadn't sent troops to Afghanistan, this might be something other than jaw-droppingly idiotic (and funny only to people who guffaw over chain emails passed on by Marty Peretz, which I suspect has a high correlation with people who think Tim Allen is the world's greatest comedian.)

    The delusiuon of these people really is amazing; I'm reminded of nothing so much as Glenn Reynolds saying that a post in which he mocked people for saying we'd end up in a quagmire "holds up well." Oh, yeah.

  • ||

    French people are asses. By that I mean that a lot of really cute girls live there and wear thongs really well.

  • ||

    More poo jokes Nick! You're making Peretz's blog seem interesting.

  • ||

    Actually, over a million Frenchmen died defending Paris, successfully, from the Germans during WWI.

    They were also among the first to shoot at us during the invasion of Africa 24 years later. Vive la Vichy France!

  • ||

    Come on, who here hasn't wanted to sing along to "La Marseillaise" in Casablanca? Heck, I was ready to liberate Paris myself.

  • ||

    So all the solid anti-French data we get out of this thread is a quote from a lazy high school student, an anecdote about a nasty waiter, and the observation that the untrained civilians in the Free French units were poor soldiers.

    Bashing the French used to be bipartisan fun. I remember back in 1982 the Village Voice ran a full page of jokes called "100 Reasons to Hate the French," or something like that. As commenters here noted, this changed w/ the runup to Iraq. French bashing became the flipside to the hawks' claim that invasion was necessary and would be easy. The country found out pretty fast that the hawks were wrong on both counts. Now French-bashing lingers on as the only part of the war case that cannot be refuted by facts -- the reason being that it depends solely on prejudice.

    When the hawks bring up the French, they are indulging one more round of their little game of make-believe in which somehow they get to be right even though they have been proven wrong. So, yeah, I am pretty sick of anti-French humor.

    I still like the accordion joke. Then again, Schwarzkopf was against invading.

  • ||

    If they hadn't sent troops to Afghanistan, this might be something other than jaw-droppingly idiotic

    You got me scott. I was just being a knob. Don't really believe it.

    OK people, no more jokes about French people. And while we're at it, no more gags about British dentisty, German efficiency, American weight issues, Irish drinking habits, Scottish kilts, Dutch people saying 'sure', Australian men's obsession with khaki shorts, anything insulting to the sub continent and definitley no gags about Italian tanks only driving in reverse.

    Also, no more slapstick. Simply not sophisticated enough. We're looking for elaborate and intelligent humour worked around literary allusions, textual symbolism and highly ironic, achingly post-modern commentary.

  • ||

    Mark VIII,

    "Poking fun at the french is a universal, objective fun." I agree. The Simpsons have some great French bashing.

    What I object to is people spoiling the fun by trying to cram in politics and making serious claims.

  • ||

    We're looking for elaborate and intelligent humour worked around literary allusions, textual symbolism and highly ironic, achingly post-modern commentary.

    Whadya call a boomerang that doesn't come back?

    Wait for it....

    A stick.

  • ||

    "OK people, no more jokes about French people."

    No, no, jokes about French people are great.

    Just don't try to bootstrap them into serious commentary about global issues.

  • ||

    What's brown and sticky?


    ... Wait For It ...


    A stick.

  • ||

    What I object to is people spoiling the fun by trying to cram in politics and making serious claims.

    Totally true. I guess I cot carried away.

  • ||

    I think the French bashing arises out of jealousy. They have the best food & wine, and they have a beautiful city that runs at a gloriously relaxed pace.
    My experience with the people there was great. They are more stand-offish than Americans and most other Europeans. Some people may interpret that as rude. It is not rudeness. They are actually quite polite. They are perfectionists with language, so, although most of them do speak English, they are reluctant to do so. We found that once they realized that we would mangle their language far worse than they would mangle ours, they would speak relatively good English with us. The only person we met in Paris that would not speak English was a waiter who obviously understood English perfectly, but relished his role as a very demonstrative French waiter. He was one of the friendliest people we met there.
    All the examples of rude "Frenchies" I'll bet could be attributed to the odd rude person that one can find in any city or countryside in any country, or could be attributed to a misunderstanding.
    Their idea of how an economy should be run is c-a-t dumb, but that's their problem, not mine. I just want to visit, I don't want to work or invest there.

  • ||

    The problem with Marty's stupid jokes is that they make the person telling (or laughing at them) look naive and ignorant. Anyone who knows anything about France knows that the French are not cowards. (It is the Italians who don't like to fight). The problem with the French is that they are devious and unreliable, but these jokes all miss that point. The French love a good war if they see a direct benefit to themselves. Who's been stirring up the most trouble in Africa? The French. Who fought longer and harder than any other European power to hold on to their overseas colonies? The French. Who has more active troops under arms than Great Britain? The French. I'm all for ragging on the French - but we should be making fun of them for their arrogance and deviousness, not cowardice. Let's keep our stereotypes straight people.

  • ||

    I think the French bashing arises out of jealousy.

    Of course it does. And it's exactly the same as their yank bashing. Infact, most euro yank bashing is sheer, unadulterated big brother syndrome. You basically think your big brother's a shit but somehow, no matter how hard you fight it, end up copying him and seeking his approval.

    They are perfectionists with language

    Slight generalisation?

    They have the best food & wine

    That's one cliche they just llllooovvvveeee. And it's not true. Give me Spain or Italy any day other French food. And Thailand. Agreed on the wine though.

  • ||

    Anyone see the WWII era pamphlet that they issued to GI's that was intended to dispute french sterotypes? I think I saw it at the WWII museum in New Orleans. It said things like "the French smell" and then excused it as "they have been occupied for 4 years and they don't have soap" or "the French are lazy" answered with "they are lazy because they are malnourished"

  • ||

    Oh, yeah, Italian is much better. And Spanish, too, for that matter.

    Look, it's all just quibbling among friends and allies. I've got no problem with the French other than their strange ideas of foreign policy and economics. Frankly, in those areas, they make us look good. Just imagine how France would act with our kind of power.

  • ||

    Slight generalisation?

    Yes. When speaking of national character, aren't we always going to be generalising (sic)?
    e.g. Americans are more religious than the rest of the world.
    (Damn limeys can't tell when you're supposed to use a "z" or an "s"!)
    Maybe not the best food, but it is waaaaayyyyy better than British food.

  • ||

    "It is the Italians who don't like to fight" like Julius Ceasar.

    French wine? I like it, I'll still take Italian anyday. Best food? Not even close. I'll take Indian. Now, best composers? Now we're talkin'!

    Anyway, it's all good fun. I think some people could use a little of that french wine around here, relax a little. No one likes a stick in the mud.

  • ||

    Eh. Give me West Coast, Australian, New Zealand, Argentinian or Chilean wine over French.

    Unless you're getting into the $80 range, it's just not very distinguished.

  • ||

    French food: good, but wildly overrated.
    English food: mostly either crap or Indian (good!), but still underrated.

    Can we go back to talking about how JoePa should retire and how the Buckeyes are kicking ass?

  • ||

    Maybe not the best food, but it is waaaaayyyyy better than British food.

    You don't like chicken tikka masala?

  • ||

    You don't like chicken tikka masala?

    The only good meals I have ever had in London were at ethnic restaurants.

  • ||

    Thanks to the Buckeye who acknowledged that Penn State was ahead 3 - 0 when JoePA had his little episode. Just goes to show that people (like Nick Gillespie) shouldn't be giving eyewitness accounts of things they haven't seen.

    And to the Buckeyes who smugly pat themselves on the back for beating Penn State at home, the game is in Happy Valley next year, and you know who always folds up like an accordion there.

  • ||

    Ah, but CTM is actually English, disguised as Indian.

  • ||

    I guess that's what you mean by "French food." Do you mean haute cuisine? Or do you mean the sort of food you can find at a traditional bistro? If the latter, then it is some of the best food in the world.

    As to French performances in war, I think negative claims regarding illustrate the ignorance of a lot of people because they appear to be making that judgment based on the a very narrow prism that includes essentially WWII. Even at that they are probably unaware that the French (as a "multi-racial force") were the best led and best fighting soldiers in Italy until they were pulled out for the August 1944 landings in southern France.

    Anyway, like any "nation" with such a historical pedigree France has had its ups and downs in war; as such, this should undermine any thought that WWII can be used as a proxy for determining the effectiveness of French arms.

  • ||

    "Just imagine how France would act with our kind of power."

    March all the way to Moscow ? Invade Egypt ?

  • ||

    NI,

    Exactly.

    Mighty Joe P.L.,

    I was worried when you didn't show up to this all French discussion :)

    The biggest problem with France is all of the rich sauces.

  • ||

    Pro Libertate,

    I love all the wonderful ways they use duck fat. :)

  • ||

    BTW, a French movie about the experience of North Africans, etc. in WWII was released this year in France. I believe it has had some limited showings in the U.S. as well. Originally titled Indig�nes, the American title is something like "The Road to Freedom" or "The Road To Glory" or some such.

  • ||

    Phileleutherus Lipsiensis,

    Truffles, too. Mustn't forget the truffles. And, really, the best American cuisine is New Orleans' style, which is a derivative of French cuisine. Must grant that. Oh, let's remember, they did sell us half of what's now our country for a song. That was nice.

  • ||

    Pro Libertate,

    Napoleon supposedly stated (after the sale) that it would promote a future where the U.S. would come to "humble" the Royal Navy.

  • ||

    Crepes from the northwest of France (Bretagne) are simply wonderful.

    Indian, Thai, and Italian food are still better.

  • ||

    Pro Libertate,

    Like Bush, we should all be reading Camus. :)

  • ||

    I seem to recall something about Napoleon predicting that the U.S. would reach great power status fairly quickly. Guess he didn't figure on us becoming buddies with the U.K., though. I bet he'd be even more shocked at how chummy France is with the U.K.!

    I almost forgot another good French thing: Sabine Herold, the French libertarian.

  • ||

    Timon19,

    It is subjective.

    Pro Libertate,

    Like Bush, we should all be reading Camus. :)

  • ||

    Pro,

    Don't forget Alizee!

  • ||

    Ah, but CTM is actually English, disguised as Indian.

    Isn't that like saying that chop suey places serve American? Immigrants came to their new home and created dishes that were hybrids to suit the ingredients and cooking methods available to them, or natives took the immigrants' food and tweaked it to appeal more to the native tastes.

    I guess that's what you mean by "French food." Do you mean haute cuisine? Or do you mean the sort of food you can find at a traditional bistro? If the latter, then it is some of the best food in the world.

    When I'm talking about French food, I'm talking about our French hosts serving us homemade pate with homemade fig jam. I'm talking about a cheese course with dinner every night. I'm talking about their favorite restaurant offering a pate made from a calf's head - the whole head. I'm talking about sauces, glorious, rich sauces. I'm talking about eating lots of duck and always remembering to save the fat for frying.

  • ||

    Better yet, Voltaire, Montaigne, Hugo, and Dumas. And Montesquieu.

  • ||

    I liked the accordion line. I also love accordions.

    Q: What's the difference between an onion and an accordion?

    A: Nobody cries when you chop up an accordion.

  • ||

    I think JoePa can keep on coaching. The system they have going can sitll work as long as they get decent recruiting classes, which they have over the past few years. JoePa deserves to coach til he is well physically unable to, not like he calls the plays anymore. But anyway give the Lions another year or two to grow up. It is an awfully young team as last years was fairly senior ladden. Also Pos is not the same as he was last year but Connors and Lee still make PSU linebackers look good.

  • ||

    Pro,

    Don't forget Alizee!

  • ||

    I just don't really want to see an old man die on national TV. It wasn't all that long ago when a lot of Penn Staters were wishing he had hung up the tinted Coke bottles.

  • ||

    Hey, I resent that joke, Pig Mannix. I like the accordian! I'm not talking Weird Al (or Frankie, for that matter) Yankovic. I'm talking Astor Piazzola. I'm talking tango music.

  • ||

    smacky's into punk polka. Not the new progressive stuff, but the old gritty material. No one can play the polka like those old, Slavic polkamen from the Polish bayou. With their acoustic accordions.

  • ||

    Smacky, ProL,

    If you love the accordion, and speaking of French, how 'bout that there zydeco??

    You should see the movie "Schultz gets the Blues", best German movie I've ever seen.

    Yeah Astor Piazzola is great. I like the Slavic stuff myself. Smacky, you should seriously check out Mostar Sevdah Reunion.

  • ||

    Pro Libertate,

    Descartes, Balzac, Fourier, Hugo, Moli�re, Rabelais, Montaigne, Foucault, Condorcet, Rodin, etc.

  • ||

    oooooh, Rodin! Don't forget Delacroix and Gericault!

  • ||

    Balzac. heh heh!

  • ||

    Phileleutherus Lipsiensis,

    I like my list better, and it had Hugo and Montaigne on it already, anyhow. I suppose I should throw in Verne, who launched his moon rocket from "Tampa Town", and Tocqueville, who belongs in any America-France discussion.

    Oh, heck, who was the playwright who wrote Cyrano de Bergerac? Rostand? Him, too.

  • ||

    kohlrabi,

    I have never heard of Mostar Sevdah Reunion. I will have to check them out. Thanks for the recommendation. I have heard of "Schultz Gets The Blues". If I remember correctly, it had good reviews, but I've never seen it myself.

    I am not a big fan of zydeco, but some of it is good.


    Pro L,

    I really don't like punk all that much, actually. :)

    You joke, but punk and polka are actually much more closely related musically than you would think. There is a dj in Cleveland I know of (a libertarian, actually) whose specialty is polka music and punk rock.

  • ||

    I'd like to nominate Coco Chanel and Madelaine Vionnet to the list of cool French people. Vionnet invented the bias cut dress, was the first to lift hemlines above the ankle, and more or less eliminated the corset. Chanel was, well, Chanel. Thanks to those two, women got clothing that allowed freedom of movement, which was an essential precursor to political emancipation.

  • ||

    Cleveburg?

    I'm in Northern West Virginia, a.k.a. Akron.

  • ||

    All this talk of accordions and no mention of Flaco Jimenez?

  • ||

    Pro Libertate,

    Edmund Rostand.

    Of course there is also Rabelais, Beaumarchais, Diderot, Flaubert, de Laclos, Racine, etc.

  • ||

    Pro Libertate,

    Edmund Rostand.

    Of course there is also Rabelais, Beaumarchais, Diderot, Flaubert, de Laclos, Racine, etc.

  • ||

    Timon19,

    You have my sympathies.

  • ||

    I have seen a punk-polka band. They were quite fun.
    Apparently they have a movie with Li'l Wally, the World's Polka King.

  • ||

    Got room for one more French joke?

    Tough...here it comes...

    ...it's the one about the new French Army tank; it comes with ten reverse gears. And one forward gear...just in case the enemy attacks from behind...

    (cue rimshot) Goodnight, Seattle...

  • ||

    But all pales before the awesome fusion of Scottish folk and Cuban salsa: Salsa Celtica.

  • ||

    smacky,

    To tell you the truth, it's not that bad. Just using the standard Cleveland joke about Akron.

  • ||

    The French are one of the few people who understand how to use their bureaucracies in trade fights with Japan.

    Example, some time back: Trade fight over agricultural access to Japan. (Usual set of excuses trotted out on Japanese side.)

    French response: Ok, we'll put up with this. However, we do insist that all DVD players you import into this country go through inspection.

    ...and then proceeded to shunt all the equipment shipped through a tiny office in Rouen, staffed with 3 people.

    Result: instant blocade, totally "legal".

    The Japanese quickly caved in.

  • ||

    Punks with squeezeboxes? Brave Combo!

    I'm also partial to Joe Burke and Sharon Shannon.

    One source of the love-hate relationship between the sister republics is the competition to be the cultural leader of the movement away from absolute monarchy to representative government. The USA was marred for decades by slavery, and later by the second-class status imposed on non-whites. The French always thought us hypocrites for that. They, OTOH, backslid into monarchy and Empire, trading their republican virtue for the idea of a "civilizing mission" that has always been more welcoming of centralizing and, to use a froggism, dirigiste ideas.

    Meanwhile the Westminster model was at least as influential at promoting representative government as the American or French examples.

    I do like Edith Piaf, though.

    Kevin

  • ||

    Just using the standard Cleveland joke about Akron.

    I would never.

    No, I am really scared of Akron. The only things I ever hear from Akron are murders, rapes, drug busts and that sort of thing. No water-skiiing squirrels or loveable pets there for the news to report on, I guess.

  • ||

    Funny, that's all I ever hear about from Cleveland.

  • ||

    Heaven:

    All the chefs are french, all the engineers are german, all the police are english, all the lovers are italian and it's all organized by the swiss.

    Hell:
    All the chefs are english, all the engineers are french, all the police are german, all the lovers are swiss and it's all organized by the italians.

  • ||

    It's ok with me if you make fun of Cleveland, Timon19. I can't help the fact that I was hatched here. -_-

  • ||

    Akron gave us the Waitresses, Tin Huey, Rachel Sweet and, of course, Devo so it can't be all bad!

    Kevin

  • ||

    I've been informed by someone who should know that all of the real trouble comes from Youngstown.

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