How do you say 'schadenfreude' - in French?
0 comment Tuesday, July 8, 2014 |
From the (officially biased) BBC, there is this news story of the recent violence in France:
Woman burned in France bus attack
A woman has been seriously burned and three others are suffering from smoke inhalation after youths set fire to a bus in the French city of Marseille.
A group of teenagers reportedly forced open the doors of the vehicle and threw flammable liquid inside before fleeing.
There have been several attacks on buses over the past week, coinciding with the one year anniversary of riots in poor suburbs across the country.
[...]During the violence last year - between youths of mainly North African origin and police - more than 10,000 cars were set ablaze and 300 buildings firebombed.
By now, it's trite to mention that most of the news stories from the MSM pointedly omit the fact that it's Moslem 'youths' committing this violence. The closest they come to this is mentioning 'North African origin' as in this BBC piece.
This story, however, is one of the first I am aware of which reports injury to French citizens. Of course police and firefighters have been the target of attacks, but injuries to civilians have been blessedly few -- so far. But the relative fewness of casualties could not last, and if the mayhem continues and escalates, as it looks like doing, there will be more people hurt.
I sincerely hope the young woman will recover.
And what will it take to bring firm and decisive action against the rioters? Or is France so far down the path to dhimmitude and Politically Correct masochism that they will continue to do little to defend themselves?
Having said this, though, I have another bone to pick: I'm getting really tired of all the smug schadenfreude which is the stock reaction from the Neocon peanut gallery here in America whenever there is news of trouble in France. For some reason, it has become trendy and cool to ridicule and vilify the French. There are a few neoconnish writers and commentators who trash France on a regular basis: Ralph Peters, for one, who snidely said he would grab some popcorn and watch while France was burned by the Moslems; and of course Mark Steyn always has some gratuitous putdown of the French. Then we have the frat-boy-style insult, 'cheese-eating surrender monkeys', a line which was first used by the cartoon character Homer Simpson, and parroted by many others.
Yes, I know the French refused to support us on Iraq, and many people are bitterly angry about that. But the whole idea of sovereign countries is that they have a right to decide on their own foreign policy; they can choose their own course, regardless of our views.
And by the way, Mexico refused to support us in the Iraq deal. Did anybody suggest boycotting Mexican products, as they did with French wines, etc.? Mexico, in my opinion, is more of an enemy to us than just about any nation, at this point; we are in an undeclared war with Mexico, and like the Moslems, they will not confront us in open warfare, but do so by demographic means and small-scale, irregular warfare, as at the border. Yet nobody is nearly as vitriolic towards the Mexicans as at the French. Why is that?
It's our misfortune that it isn't France that is invading us; if we had hordes of illegal Frenchmen sneaking into our country, we would have no problem driving them off. Hating the French is politically safe, and nobody will call you a 'racist' or a Francophobe if you hate 'frogs'. But that still does not explain the special contempt expressed by some Americans towards the French.
Do Americans have some kind of inferiority complex towards the French? I have often heard my fellow Americans say that the French are 'snobs' and elitists, and clearly we Americans don't care for snobbery and pretentiousness or highfalutin 'culture' for the most part. And France has long been synonymous in our country with high culture, haute cuisine, and everything aristocratic. However that's just one aspect of France; that culture represents Paris and not France as a whole.
I often remind people that here in America we have quite a few people with French ancestry: many of us with early roots in this country are descended partly from the Huguenots, who came here in the 1600s and 1700s from the Netherlands, England, and elsewhere, where they had gone after being driven from France.
Col. James Tompkins Watson, in 1908, said of the Huguenots
The best blood of France is blended with ours and we are proud of the result as it is today. The great loss of France is our gain. There is no better blood than the American in this year of 1908.''
Lowell Ponte, in an article called The French Disease, said
One scholar later estimated that 10 percent of all those who played important roles in American history were descendants of Huguenot French Protestants. One was Paul Revere (whose father´┐Żs French name was Apollos Rivoire).
Other revolutionary American Huguenot descendants were Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, two of the three authors of the Federalist Papers.''
Our early history and the contribution of the French is of course now neglected and forgotten.
And there other infusions of French blood in America via the Cajuns.
Granted, the Cajuns have other ancestry besides French, and they are a quintessentially American, patriotic group of people now. They are also among the most likeable, down-to-earth, and friendly of Americans; the very antithesis of the snooty Parisian Frenchman of the stereotype.
To me, it's juvenile to trash French people because they did not back us in Iraq, or because we don't like their leftist politics. After all, our cousins the British are as pathetically leftist as the French, perhaps even further gone in their servile dhimmi-like behavior towards the Moslems, but they are not hated as much as the French.
But even the British, who are with us in Iraq, get their share of cheap shots from many 'conservatives', who make fun of their supposed 'bad teeth' and effete culture. There is a strong undercurrent of anti-European sentiment in America. In a perverse way, most Americans can find more good things to say about the aggressors from Mexico than about our cousins across the Pond, who are after all our blood kin.
I admit to being appalled at times by what I see and hear about conditions in Europe, and about their seeming fecklessness, but I feel more commonality with Europeans than with other more distant peoples, ethnically. We and the Europeans come from a common cultural matrix. I've known people from around the world, and done considerable traveling in my time, but I feel more kinship with those closely related peoples in Europe than with, say, Asians or Latin Americans. I happen to admire Japanese culture greatly, and I find the people amiable. However their culture, though I may admire it, is very foreign to me.
The Moslem culture is not at all accessible to me; I find it very distant and foreign. Does that make me a xenophobe or an Islamophobe? Maybe; so what? I can live with that. I just know that their culture and mine are like oil and water - or maybe like oil and fire.
It seems to me that in a world increasingly under threat from chaos via mass migration and cultural/demographic aggression, as well as terrorism, it just does not serve us in the West to be divided among ourselves. We come from common origins, we in the West, and especially we in the Anglosphere. None of us should be cheering when our cousins in France are in danger of falling under Islamic tyranny.
A world in which only America and possibly Australia/New Zealand remain of the First World is a very ominous prospect. We ought to do all we can to reach out to our brethren in Europe (including France) and to help them resist the Islamic onslaught. This is not a time for juvenile, petty schadenfreude.

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