July 01, 2003

See, This is Why I Took Spanish.

A couple of weekends ago, hublet and I took a tour of Mt. Vernon, George Washington's home. In the entryway, mounted in a small glass case on the wall by the staircase, was a large iron key. The tour guide informed us that it was the key to the Bastille prison in France, sent to Washington by Lafayette to symbolize the power and hope of revolution.

I remember remarking to hublet that Lafayette would have been better served to have sent HIMSELF to Washington, as he fell victim to the revolution shortly after sending his gift to Mt. Vernon.

I also remember wondering again WHY the French cannot seem to get anything right that doesn't have to do with hollandaise sauce, and then moving on. Then today I came across this little item and was moved from bemusement at those silly frenchpeople to extreme levels of disgust and pissed-offitude.

See, during this whole "France throws a hissy fit, tries to stand on moral ground while appeasing dictators, covers its own ass, attempts some weird tri-lateral UN coup, fails, then tries to pretend that they don't REALLY hate Americans and wish us all dead so we should visit them and give them our money because Woody Allen says so" fiasco of this past spring, I always thought it was unfair to berate them solely on the basis of what we did in WWII. Sure, it was accurate, but it seemed kind of petty, and besides, there was so much RECENT stuff to berate them for that WWII didn't even need to come into play.

But I'm over that. I'm totally and completely over the notion that somehow WE need to be the bigger person, that WE need to just laugh it off and move on, that WE shouldn't believe that the entirety of the French nation loathes, despises, and wishes us ill. Because when you desecrate historical memorials, you aren't caught up in the passions of the moment. You are trying to erase past realities for the sole purpose of elevating yourself at the expense of others. You're also showing your true colors by throwing a petty little hissy fit.

And you know what, France? Your true colors suck. What's french for "bite me, you scum-sucking morons?" Or maybe I'll just shoot them a virtual bird. No words necessary, and the minimalism should appeal to the artistic sensibilities of those gallic geniuses across the pond.

UPDATE: A reader informs me that it wasn't Lafayette who was executed during the Revolution. I remember reading something deliciously ironic along those lines, though. Perhaps I have confused the famous person? Anyone here able to help me out? I'll try to locate my original material later, but I think the book is in my attic. Sigh. Anyhoo, thanks for the correction.

UPDATE, PART THE SECOND: Much ado about nothing, apparently. See here and here for full details. Sigh. Some days it doesn't pay to get out of bed in the morning. Now I have to go and find other reasons to get pissy about France. Fortunately, I probably won't have to look too hard.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at July 1, 2003 10:27 AM

You know Lafayette survived the Revolution, kept his estate, and made several trips around the US of A after 1815 where he was feted and celebrated like a great hero.

He was the longest lived of all the Revolutionary War Heroes, and this troubles at home came mainly in that he fell out of grace with the Bourbon restoration.

Posted by: V. Valberg at July 2, 2003 07:08 AM

Rachel Lucas says this is overblown, but there are other reasons to have learned Spanish.

Posted by: Wince and Nod at July 2, 2003 04:43 PM