So… a Frenchman walks into a bar. No, wait… how many Frenchmen does it take to… wait, no. Have you heard the one about the French guy who -
Seriously… shut the fuck up.
It’s no secret that I’ve got a lot of pet peeves. People are constantly grating on my nerves. I simply do not have a lot of patience where people are concerned. Usually, the stupid things they say & do are mildly irritating, easily ignored. Some may piss me off… then there are the other acts of stupidity & running off at the mouth that I absolutely cannot abide.
Racist & sexist jokes are a good example.
I’m not talking about politically incorrect humor. I’m not referring to friendly jabs & charicatures. I’m talking about cruel & malicious jokes that are not even intended to be funny. Ignorant & historically inaccurate babble designed to be rude & bigoted without even trace amounts of humor.
What’s worse is to tell these asinine “jokes” to the exact group of people that its bashing.
I’ve had idiots tell me jokes bashing women, in spite of the obvious fact that I am one. I’ve received countless emails with horrible Arab-bashing jokes, in spite of the obvious fact that my last name is Arabic. I’ve opened my inbox to find Mexican jokes, even though I had told people not to send me that disgusting shit.
What I’m getting at is, people are not only rude, but fucking stupid, too.
In the past few years that I’ve been living in France & have been married to a French person, I’ve heard insults from various misinformed & narrow-minded friends & family members.
So, it shouldn’t have surprised me the other day when I logged into Facebook. Like any other morning, I scrolled through my news feed, catching up on who was eating what, who was sick, the newest photos of my friends’ pets & children when the latest bit of stupidity showed up:
— A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a Naval conference that included admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a group of half dozen or so officers that included personnel from most of the countries.
Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English. He then asked: “Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?”
Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied: “Maybe it’s because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn’t have to speak German.”
Suddenly the group became very quiet. —
I’m guessing that the group suddenly became very quite due to the American Admiral being a social retard.
So… instead of a very informative status update about the weather, or consuming an entire box of pizza rolls, there was this moronic French “joke”. Regardless of the fact that most of my friendships on Facebook can be measured in decades. Regardless of the fact that everyone knows I live in France & am married to a Frenchman, there are still “friends” out there who think it’s clever – patriotic, even – to post another tired & ignorant “joke” about how America (almost single-handedly & out of the goodness of their hearts) prevented all of France from speaking German.
After reading this, knowing that this person is aware that I won’t appreciate French bashing, I naturally deleted them to spare myself any further exposure to their ignorance. I’ve had similar bullshit occur elsewhere on the Internet. This is really nothing new. But, people are annoying enough as it is without having to deal with their deliberate rudeness & passive insults.
The thing about these “jokes”, though… they serve absolutely no purpose whatsoever outside of one thing: exposing the ignorance of the teller & of anyone who guffaws & says, “Good one!”.
Telling a “joke” like this one is evidence that the person has – at best – a tenuous grasp of history & is evidently unaware that many Canadians also speak French.
Judging by this “joke”, it seems that many people do not understand that the Allies of WWII were not only from English-speaking countries. “The Brits, Canadians, Aussies & Americans”? Um… I think they’re forgetting something…
It seems, too, that they’ve never heard of something called “The French Resistance“.
Oh, yeah… that’s hilarious. Almost as side-splitting as a joke about 9/11.
Occasionally, when I’m talking to European friends about Americans like this who are either bigoted, or simply don’t know any better, it’s sort of like apologizing for that obnoxious relative who acts inappropriately at your wedding, eating all of the food, telling crass, offensive stories while handling his junk & double-dipping the chips.
These are the people that are relentlessly anti-French, though they have never met a French person & likely haven’t been out of the U.S. at all, except maybe a quick jaunt to Mexico, where they went on a “Booze Cruise” & stayed at a resort with a several other Americans. They often don’t even know why they harbor so much disdain for the French, aside from the fact that France dared to disagree with Bush. They’ll piss & moan about how ungrateful France is, that all French citizens should be kissing our star-spangled asses since we “saved” them from speaking German.
The absurdity is, if they would shut their mouths long enough to have a civil conversation with a French person, they would learn that French people do have a great deal of appreciation. There are streets & métro stations named after Franklin Roosevelt. There are American cemeteries & memorials all over the place & I’ve never met a French person that had a problem with it, or had anything negative to say about any Americans pertaining to WWII.
But… where is the reciprocation? The appreciation for the French? I did hear some French bashing over the recent 4th of July weekend. Funny, since it was with the help of France that we were able to win the Revolution & our freedom. I’m sure a lot of these Americans who think themselves to be comedians have no clue that they owe a great deal to the French & the badassery of Marquis de Lafayette for the fact that we get to have cookouts & fireworks every July rather than sitting arse over tit at the bloody pub, getting pissed & thinking about that revolution that went wrong.
I’m really not sure why people tell these retarded “jokes”. They’re not funny. They are not clever & they aren’t even true. What really baffles me is the fact that many French bashers don’t comprehend that they’re only spewing bigotry & racism. Why do they think it’s acceptable if the target of their comments is French, as opposed to any other nationality? As if it’s okay to insult one nationality, but not another.
What I do know is, those people who tell tacky French jokes publicly are usually also well-known for being all-around douchebags, anyway.
What I also know is that the more open-minded sort, the dirty traitors that dare to consort with French people & live in their horrible socialist country seem to be more affable & well-liked.
That’s not to say that there aren’t any misinformed French people who have skewed perceptions about Americans, but that’s another post for another time. What I will say, however, is that I’ve encountered a lot more rude comments & behavior from those closest to me, that I have known for several years, from my own country, than I have from those of my adopted country.
I love the U.S. just as much as any American, though my people often disappoint me. After having the opportunity to experience both countries first-hand, it often feels as though France is the older, more educated & experienced sibling, rolling her eyes & ignoring the immature chiding of a spoiled & gluttonous little sister.
I’m certain that for as long as I’m living in France, I’ll periodically catch that obnoxious American relative double dipping the chips & scratching their ass crack at the buffet table. That seems much more likely than people actually getting their shit together & pulling their heads out of their asses.
“I am in France. You remember France, it’s the country that financed the American Revolution…OK, it was in their self-interest, but still, they made it happen. Let’s face it: without the French there would be no America…in other words, without them, there is no us. Sorry, but c’est la vie…” -Richard Belzer