So, I’m currently living in France and coming here seemed like the greatest idea at the time. Let’s just say that my expectations have been royally squashed. It’s like someone stormed “la bastille” and said nah bra… this sh*t is not going down.
I must admit that I expected to come to a stereotypical France of its “glory years” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5hrUGFhsXo). This France boasted, among other qualities, incredible art, cuisine, the French exception and French sophisticated culture in general. In their defense, the French are quite philosophical and sophisticated in their way of thinking. That is something to be admired, especially with the growing interest in the American political debate (Rick Santorum?, Mitt Romney? seriously???).
My idea of a perfect France came to a stunning halt within days of my arrival. Being a french speaking Canadian living in Denmark I was able to quickly observe important fallacies in the French myth. These fallacies can be quickly summarized in a list of my activities upon my arrival: I drank Leffe (Belgian beer) at a pub, I went to eat a kebab (Persian/Turkish) afterwards, I woke up to go buy some shi**y furniture from Ikea (Swedish owned - god knows where it was made), while riding the tram (Italian trains) and stopping on the way back home to McDonalds (America! F*ck yeah). Did you know that the second most profitable market for McDonalds (after the USA of course) is France? Ouate de phoque!! Mondialisation “mozzère fâquères”. I then though of how art in its contemporary form is not at all associated to France (for example, the leader in design today as danish/scandinavian design). France! What happened bro???
Additionally, I clearly expected to land in the France of DeGaule, which rejected the UK as a member of the ECC, twice, on the premise that the UK would provide access for the USA to infiltrated european polity. “those were the days my friend” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDVhB0jGP7I&feature=fvst).
I soon found out that the French (at least in my conglomerate) have a strong fetish for all that is American (MadMen, Dexter, MLB, NFL, Levis, Gaga, Katy Perry, etc). This once power house countering American style and culture has seemed to grow fond of the US of A (although the French still can’t speak english for sh*t).
These globalization trends are remarkable. France is not what it is sold to be. No matter how you look at it, it is plain and simply a core state of western consumerism and of western civilization (à la S.P Huntington).
I remain generally “unimpressed” of France, even though it seems to remain praised so adamantly by many as if it was the France of 1968. I hope to find this France, and I will keep on looking for it. My expeditions to find this elusive France will be the purpose of my blog posts.
Until then…. un Royal with cheese s’il vous plait.