For the European press, it all takes place in an imaginary world, full of excitement and potential—even for the French, who, as Le Figaro reports, are pressing for that multinational U.N. force that no doubt one day will step into the crossfire. This is something both Bush and Blair are already working on, of course. The exciting part would be if France provided the soldiers. That’s also the imaginary part.
Outsourcing abuse: Who said the Germans aren’t on our side? At a sidewalk café in Paris earlier this week, I sat close to a table filled with tourists having a great time and talking very loudly over each other in English. Next to me, a big, drunk German who grew darker and darker and finally could stand it no more. He leapt to his feet, turned and shouted, “Will you shut your bloody mouths?! You can drop your bombs on Baghdad but you can’t shut up in a café?!” A moment of silence as he gulped the rest of his beer and, amid applause, made an obscene gesture toward the stunned table of tourists and staggered off into the night. “Jeez, eh?” said one of the shell-shocked tourists. “We’re not Americans. We’re Canadian.”
Estrogen, stat! The testicularity of Floyd Landis’s capture of the Tour de France was evident to anyone who saw the thing on television — French TV was a nearly non-stop, two-wheeled affair for the duration — but now, as it’s claimed in Le Monde, there’s scientific evidence of its literalness. Landis had elevated levels of testosterone in one of the tests given him. The French understandably hate seeing Americans win this thing — imagine the Parisian Poofs winning the Superbowl — but the European press, in the spirit of the race, already has rushed to judgment. The IHT has the story here.
Ditty litter: The bloggers at Eursoc provide gloss for an item from the Telegraph revealing an evil plot by the EU’s bureaucrats to use the Eurovision Song Contest, the television equivalent of, uh, really mindless television to sell the EU’s really mindless political mission. Thus are great minds moldered.
— Denis Boyles is author of Vile France: Fear, Duplicity, Cowardice and Cheese.