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.