21.7.06

July 14th


Fact: Regardless of the Army parading, the French love going to the Champs Elysees and cheering for the troops.

Since the French have not been invaded again since the 1940s, and in order to satisfy the entertainment needs of the French, the government decided to put a bunch of soldiers and tanks on the Champs Elysees every July 14th. They march pretty well, even if the French Army has not won a single battle since its birth (other than in the Asterix comics). The annual parade really portraits France as a country protected by some brave and overweaponised soldiers, or at least this is what a Luxembourg friend told me, comparing the French parade to his country's.

Anyhow, now that the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany only exist in the History books, pay a visit to Paris on any July 14th and feel the thrill and buy the merchandising of those fiery French soldiers eager to show their determination and commitment to attack (or rather give a headbutt) to whoever dares to mention the mother of the French nation, or the mother's profession.

Fascists of the world, unite! (under the French flag)

12.7.06

The French Cultural Dimension


I always dreamed of correcting Einstain's relativity formula, amending Darwin or writing a prologue for a new edition of the complete works of William Shakespeare. Thanks to Germany's 2006 World Cup, the time has come.

Reading some blog postings, some news articles and listening to both fine citizens and French populace, I have found a golden opportunity to enhance Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions. Basically, Geert Hofstede analysed cultural attitudes in a number of countries and concluded that there are 4 variables (or Dimensions) that define each culture: Relative interest in politics, masculinity, individulism and uncertainty avoidance. I just found a few more dimensions that would allow us to distinguish between French-wannabe cultures and the rest, these dimensions are:

1. Smell. The more you stink, the more likely you will buy a lot of parfums de Paris and the more you will enjoy France.
2. Nagging. Countries that love nagging are prone to enjoy French behaviour and arrogance with gusto.
2. Sympathy for headbutts. Some people just love watching the big guy giving headbutt to the smaller guy.

Today I returned to France and I was quite impressed to see to what extent violence is seen by French people as acceptable. I guess this explains a lot of things: Napoleonic invasions, invention of the Guillotine (yes, the greatest French invention to date), the occupation of African nations, the Vietnam war...

They like violence especially when the big guy goes after the small boy. French are like hooligangs cheering Goliath everytime he kicks David. However, they are always on the loser's side. But they lose and then they enjoy accusing David of unfair tactics.

* * *

With a much smaller budget, one year ago, on July 6th, London won over Paris the organisation of the 2012 Olympic Games. Congratulations!

But the French always find the way to celebrate defeat. Today I saw the Air Force planes rehearsing for the July 14th military parade, that kind of pro-Fascist remain of a past that didn't exist where the President salutes an Army that has never won any war in spite of its sheer budget. Yes, it was sent many times to attack small countries and loot their wealth, but when the attacked awoke the French Army ran away. Coming back to the football subject, this is why attacking is worthless if you don't have a strong defense (translation: Italy's strategy of building up a strong defense proved supperior to France's strategy of just kicking the ball and wait, and this is why Italy won a well deserved World Cup final match).

Wait for July 14th and the patriotic fanfare. They don't have anything to celebrate this year, but it doesn't matter, taxes for 2006 have already been collected. I already paid for the show.

11.7.06

Allez les Bleus!


I am one of those who would like to see an African team winning the World Cup someday. But an African team boasting some African nation's flag.

Anyways, the Blues won, and I am happy. The Whites lost (well, yes, yes, the workers, the players, were all black, but the bosses were all white, and they dressed in white). In any case, time to celebrate for all foreigners in France.

It was one year ago, on July 6th when Paris didn't win the 2012 olympics and I said that if the French cannot behave themselves when they win, we cannot let them win. Fortunately, they are so bad for most sports, intellectual activities, arts and any other human activity that we, spectators of their tragic history, only have to sit back and enjoy watching them fail again and again.

Did you see the Italy Vs France (Africa?) match? The French got to the final dragged by a series of oversympathetic referees and some strikes of good luck. When the moment of truth came, and failure, eternal companion of French society, hit them, the French did what they can do best: Nagging and in some extreme case, turn violent (Zidane headbutting Materazzi, the Italian guy who scored the only great goal of the match).

The French explained the outcome of the match as the result of a biased referee and concluded that the result was unfair since they had proved better (can the French be better than anyone at anything!?!?!?).

Firstly, the Italians played much better. Their brave defence repelled any single French try to score. Proof: The only goal during the match was shot by the Italians. The French only scored a penalty.

Secondly, Zidane's headbutt did deserve the Red card and I would even demand the French Football Federation to be fined. We cannot afford that overpaid players take advantage of overbroadcasted events like this match to promote stupid violence.

Thirdly, it is sad that a match has to be resolved in a set of penalties, but as the Italians were superior during the match, they also proved superior firing the penalties and did not fail any.

Today the BBC website presented us a good list of newsclips about the French reaction to this new failure. Some of the takeaways:

1. About Zidane's sending off, the French coach said: "Something must have happened but I don't know what. I don't think he decided out of the blue to headbutt him, that he wanted to leave the pitch, something must have happened". What a jerk! Basically, if your neighbour is stabbed in the metro, it's his fault!. This principle is confirmed by some other jerk playing with the French: "I think Materazzi said something very bad to him for him to react like that".

2. Jacques Chirac, yes that brilliant politician and would be prison inmate, came to justify violence on a football field by saying: "I don't know what happened, why Zidane was punished. But I would like to express all the respect that I have for a man who represents at the same time all the most beautiful values of sport, the greatest human qualities one can imagine, and who has honoured French sport and, simply, France". If he "doesn't know", he could better shut up. Isn't this representative of the mental capability of the French brain?

3. The French are against using technology in football (basically, allowing referees to view video taping before punishing)... which explains why Zidane attacked the Italian idol Materazzi when the referee was looking something else.

Check out the following 3 selected BBC articles for more details:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/world_cup_2006/teams/france/5164094.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/world_cup_2006/teams/france/5152728.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/world_cup_2006/teams/france/5164616.stm


Can the French behave like normal people? Normal people, sometimes, win.

17.6.06

Jobseeker

Unemployment is never a rewarding status, but seeking jobs in France is one of the most frustrating activities one can undertake. Ask my friend Kepin:

-Did you hear anything back from that French who interviewed you last week?
-Since I didn't get any news, I called her today.
-And?
-She said that she preferred another guy over me and that this other candidate didn't call her. So, she wants to wait a couple of more days for his call and if he doesn't call, then I can call her again and she will tell me whether she hires me or not.

Can you imagine a sicker employer??? Basically, the French bastard prefers another candidate, but in order to meet the average level of arrogance of this country, instead of calling the successful candidate, they just tell him: "Call me back". If the preferred candidate doesn't call, they don't bother calling him... And meanwhile, Kepin waiting.

Another friend works as a secretary for some back office department in a French company. Now there's a vacancy with the top officer, somehow one level up the ladder, she applies. Gets an interview with the HR manager and when they meet, this French manager says: "Sorry, I have lost your CV (...) but really this job is not that great for you, more opportunities will come in the future". As my friend concluded: "They simply didn't give me the chance because this manager meets many external French customers and I am black".

I have been to her office several times and I have never seen another black person.

A third friend, Emily, was the typical French-wannabe, until she was fired by her French boss... She spent over 1 year in missery, since all her French network rejected her, until she got in touch with some English guys who helped her get a job with an English company.

Today I went to have lunch to some French corner café. In the UK, for a 50 tables restaurant, you would have 4 or 5 waiters... here you only have one. This one is so protected by the system that he can afford being slow, unfriendly, unhelpful, while some of his customers browse the job postings in the newspaper.

French job seekers, keep searching! This is your time to work hard towards one objective, the holidays will come later, once you have the job!

* * *
Finally, the daungeons of the far right are cellebrating. France has passed the most anti-immigrant law in Europe. Only non French who bow to French superiority and speak French like, say, Marechal Petain, will be allowed to stay in the country.

10.6.06

French dogs

I stopped at one of those restaurants on the side of the highway and ordered a hot meal. My friend brought the following to my attention: "Did you ever realise that all the customers of these French restaurants are white people?". I started to think about this subject but then my thoughts were interrupted by a French threesome that sat next to us: A French idiot, his idiot wife and their dog!

I felt compelled to stand up and tell the guy: "Get out of here, you and your two companions", but my friend stopped me explaining that in France restaurants allow dogs in. I gazed at the two French, the dog and then realised that the dog was probably cleaner than the two others.

* * *

During the past days, France has made the headlines with some more riots in suburbia and quite a good number of genuine news.

I already talked about the 6000 travellers' survey on worst places to travel, where France ranked first in some of the most disputed categories.

Some reader discovered for me a news item that proposes the movie "Le Corbeau" (Henri-Georges Clouzot) as a good starting point to understand the current political climate in France and their custom of stabbing their colleagues and neighbours in the back (during WWII, the Nazis received over 3 million anonymous letters from French people who had something to tell about a neighbour, a work colleague or anybody they didn't like, and amazingly, still nowadays, the French Police receive quite a good volume of anonymous).

However, the news that has impressed me the most is this one: "France fined for deporting Jews". Basically, nearly 100,000 Jews were deported to death camps during WWII and some relatives sued the logistics supplier of the nazis: SNCF, and some freethinking judge found SNCF guilty. The SNCF lawyer says they will appeal (to avoid paying 60 thousand Euros) and and that the ruling is unfair since SNCF cannot be responsible of the deportations since they only collaborated with the Germans...

One of the victims replies that the French state and SNCF did not just collaborate with the nazis, "they did rather more than what had been asked of them by the occupiers"...
Isn't this French culture at its best?

2.6.06

Helpful French


Evening AirFrance flight to Stockholm. Uranus secures a seat by the window. Other passengers find their seats, the French frowning and pushing and the foreigners politely interacting with the rest. An Indian-Swedish couple turns out and cannot contain their disappointment when they read that they have been assigned seats separated by the isle and one passenger. They try to find space for their luggage, but the overhead compartments are full. The Indian-Swedish lady asks the AirFrance flight attendant for help, in an extremely polite way: "I cannot find space for my bags...", and the attendant barks: "And what can I do????!!!!????".

Without enough space to stretch her legs, the troubled passenger girl tries to accommodate under a mountain of bags wihile her (I assume) boyfriend stands until a French 40-something idiot shows up:

-This is my seat.
-Would you mind Sir swapping seats? We would like to sit together and better distribute our bags.
-NON.

They turn to the other side of the isle and ask another passenger who could help them:

-Would you mind Sir swapping seats? We would like to sit together and better distribute our bags.
-NON.

Adding insult to injury, after the two Indian-Swedish partners have sat separated by the isle and the French idiot, the latter stands up, approaches the AirFrance hostess and asks her to find him space for his bag since the overhead compartments are full. The flight attendant takes the bag and stores in a compartment by the first row.

When I landed in Stockholm, my first look goes to a Radisson advertisement: "How would we say no to you?".

25.5.06

A victory for France!


We are not used to see the French win.

It seems like the 21st century will be a continuation of the humiliations and blows they received in the previous 100 years.

No, they didn't get the Olympics for 2012, they didn't exist during the last Football Champions League and they were slapped in the face by all other European nations in the Eurovision contest last week... but those are only minor setbacks and France continues collecting the medals that really count.

Take this week, an online survey directed by a Frenchman discovered that:

1. French are the most unfriendly nation people on the planet.

2. French are the most boring and most ungenerous people.

In addition to those findings (the result of a 6000-participants survey), one UK newspaper confirmed that the French stink.

France, if you are number 1, why try harder?