Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pax Americana marches on. (Mitt Romney, please take note.)

When I was a young kid and went to Europe for the first time, France really was a foreign country. Today, not so much.

Although my knowledge of French is better than fair and Frenchmen praise my accent, I often find it difficult to speak French in Paris. The minute Parisians discover I'm an American, they want to practice their English on me. And their English, for the most part, is remarkably good.

Some years ago, I visited Paris and discovered that McDonald's had established a Parisian beachhead. Well, several beachheads, actually. The French even have their own take on the name of the hamburger chain. They call it "McDo." (Pronounce that, "Mac-Dough.")

A few years later I came back and suddenly Starbucks was planting its flags around Paris. Why anyone in Paris would want to stand in line for a paper cup full of coffee, often not as good as the ubiquitous "express" or a latte-like "cafe creme" (the real stuff, in a real cup) escapes me, especially since you can simply sit down at a table and have a waiter bring it to you for roughly the same price. But hey, Starbucks, the French think, is American-style, so the French like it.

This year, on the square facing the Sorbonne, I looked up and, lo! The Gap had just invaded, not only in the ancient Latin Quarter, but, as I discovered walking around town, in several other locations around Paris.

I bring this up largely for the sake of a simple political moral. When you're at peace with a country, there's a good chance they'll learn to like you and adopt some of your ways. There's a whole lot to like about America and most people, left to their own devices, really want to like us.

On the other hand, start using strident language, or rattling your saber, or threatening what sounds like war before you're even certain of what the situation is, and pretty soon Americans start getting killed. Especially if some idiot makes a film whose sole intent seems to be to insult Muslims for the hell of it.

So Mitt, if you shut your fat, dangerous mouth and stop saying whatever pops into your head in the hope that somehow that'll get you elected, we may sooner or later get somewhere with the Muslim world.

Or does the prospect of more innocent Americans lying dead in foreign streets not bother you, so long as you get elected President?

1 comment:

Patricia said...

Hey Crank, welcome back, had no idea they have so many American stores, etc. in France. And OMG! Romney, I can't believe he could win the election. I guess there's a chance that people would vote for him. Seriously he is a dumbass.