August 4, 2003 by AK

Well, the France-bashing is continuing in the blogosphere and right-wing US media. It is puzzling why a brief war in some third-world domain should set one great country against another and tear apart the Western world. I would understand it if the debate were cast in terms of Babylonia, home of the most ancient civilization we know of, and over the rights of inheritance in some sense, — but it is not. Intellectually, all of us, regardless of our skin color or mother tongue, come out (non-exclusively) of Europe; millenia of shared glory and infamy are behind us; the legacy of unparalleled achievement in every realm of culture and science is ours. The Cold War is over and it’s time for the West to re-unite, — but what do we see instead? Shame on you guys.

There’s nothing particularly offensive about this cartoon, is there?

When things are getting particularly nasty (like this), I feel tempted to fly le drapeau tricolore from my window. There’s one sentence in that pathetic Fox News piece worth quoting, though.

“Anything the French do is considered artful, including inventing the guillotine (search), which turned “beheading into an art form,” as an ad for a guillotine-style cigar cutter read in a Sky Mall catalogue.”

Hehe. “Murder as a fine art” has been a recurring theme in English-language literature since the early 19th century or earlier. In particular, Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts is a production of the inimitable Thomas De Quincey’s pen. Calm down, ye frog-obsessed: the ‘De’ in the author’s name is not of Gaul. He added it to the prosaically-sounding ‘Quincey’, I suppose, for mere euphony.


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