Politics & Policy

Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys From Hell


I’ve learned a few things writing a daily column from home. Someday I plan on putting all of them in a little red book just like Mao. That’s right, I will be a cult hero to people who are willing to sacrifice prestige for rising-crust pizza. Wherever I go in the world, when I walk down the stairs from my plane, shut-ins, misanthropes, and no Trekkers will shake my book at me and cheer. That is if there’s nothing good on TV.

So while I can’t share with you the full extent of my Yoda-like wisdom — someone I’m looking more like every day — I can share a few pearls of wisdom. For example, you can’t get an even tan by running the microwave with the door open. The expiration date on milk is just for show. Old TV shows seem like new ones if you watch them in Spanish.

When it comes to writing a column on the web, I’ve learned some important lessons as well. First, never over-promise, never over-extend. Another, which I’ve only learned recently, you never know who might be reading your column.

For example, almost two weeks ago I said some mean things about the “Goths.” Not the guys who brought down Rome, mind you (please no corrections on how Rome fell, that’s not the point and I’m on a roll) but the face-painting, dress-in-black crowd.

Now, I once wrote that when Geraldo had fat from his butt injected into his forehead, “it took.” I said that if Alan Dershowitz took Viagra, he’d just get taller. When John Glenn was appointed a “payload specialist,” I said the old man was more like a “special payload.” The things I’ve said about James Carville and Sid Blumenthal would assuredly get me a seat in hell if they weren’t true. Including that Carville looks like he should be exploding out of the stomach of a crewman on a spaceship and that Sid Blumenthal would only spurt black ooze if you snapped him in two like a peapod. I’ve called feminism a fraud and Louis Farrakhan a fruitcake. I’ve insulted, indicted, inveighed against, and impugned the integrity of scores of people, causes, places, and things. I apologize for none of it, at least not right now.

But not even when I smeared a dozen breeds of dog was the response close to the Gothic reaction. I’ve gotten more e-mail on issues (Kosovo for example), but not on insults. These people have very thin skins — it must come from all the makeup. Whoops, there I go again. But they have corrected me on a number of points — which I have acknowledged. Yet they don’t seem to care.

But the point is I had no idea I had any Goth readers at all, which was quite liberating when I decided to disparage them.

So, now I have a dilemma. Yesterday, I promised the “Top Ten Reasons to Hate the French.” But now I’m afraid the French might be reading my column (Lord knows, with structural unemployment of 12%, there are enough of them with time on their hands). I for one do not want to be beaten up and inundated with correspondence from snooty Frenchmen, like an Algerian applying for asylum.

So I have an idea. In the seminal Howard Stern film Private Parts, the character “Pig Vomit” explains that Don Imus’s genius lies in not offending people directly. “He uses characters, you see.” And they say the truly offensive stuff. So I figured, why not give it a try?

My floppy chair likes to think of himself as a Fauteuil Général. So herewith some items about the French joie de guerre.

  1. They surrendered Paris to the Germans without firing a shot. Then, to the tune of the U.S. Third Army’s tank treads, they marched back in and “liberated” it. Then they had the l’chutzpah to insist on being one of the Big Four victors after the War.
  2. During Operation Torch, the would-be “victorious” French fired on U.S. forces trying to land in North Africa. (In Casablanca, the French battleship Jean Bart duked it out with the USS Massachusetts. The chowder-heads whupped the cheese-eaters). While they did fire on our forces, they didn’t do it for long, being French. After the War, the generals responsible claimed they weren’t trying very hard because they liked the Allies — but, still, they had to keep up appearances. Even victors can’t be too careful.
  3. When the U.S. needed to bomb Libya in retaliation for a terrorist attack on American soldiers, the French refused to let us fly through their airspace. Perhaps they get confused when they hear planes overhead and don’t have any German generals to escort to a shelter.
  4. Sticking us with Vietnam.
  5. There are more French people who think they fought in the resistance than there are babyboomers who claim they were at Woodstock.
  6. The spy in NATO headquarters is rumored to be French (my chair misses nothing).
  7. And speaking of NATO, for most of the Cold War they wanted nothing to do with it. Somehow they thought it was French resolve holding back the Warsaw Pact.
  8. And speaking of the Cold War, François Mitterand tried to keep East Germany a separate socialist country.
  9. You can’t swing a baguette without hitting a French intellectual who thinks America is imperialistic, and yet I don’t think it was the Peace Corps teaching kids in Djibouti to say “Our forefathers, the Gauls.” And I don’t seem to remember Vietnam being in “American Indochina.”
  10. They distract us from the real threat of Belgian hegemony.

I have got to go. So, Coming Next Week: Corrections, and my couch’s top ten (cultural) reasons to hate the French.

“A Frenchman must be always talking, whether he knows anything of the matter or not; an Englishman is content to say nothing, when he has nothing to say.” –Samuel Johnson

Bon Weekend!


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