A foul fowl: Or, why the french stink

Published 15 years ago -  - 15y ago 8


Is there any doubt why Chuck Jones made Pepe le Pew (the animated skunk who stunk) French? To paraphrase Gertrude Stein, in France, one must adapt oneself to the fragrance of a urinal, which isn’t surprising given the fact that in much of Europe one must pay for the privilege of using a urinal, and since the French are so cheap, they must be pissing on themselves. Mark Twain once wrote, “The French were the connecting link between man and monkey.” He forgot to mention the fact that the monkey didn’t smell as bad as the Frenchman. My first experience with the French was as a 15-year-old traveling overseas. While rinsing off at the public shower at a Mediterranean beach, a French woman took the spigot next to me. The first thing I noticed was that she was topless. Then I took note of her massive breasts. “WOW,” I thought. “Europe is the place for me.” As I stood there ogling her breasts, I began to dream about what life in such a society must be like. Then something awful happened. She raised her arms and ran her hands through her hair. EGAD! The woman was hiding the Black Forest under there. And what’s worse, she stank! It is a smell I will always associate with the French. I know what you’re thinking. You’re saying to yourself, “Hey, Nate. Ever been to a Lilith Fair concert?” I understand your point. In the states, there are pockets of society where women embrace body-hair/body-odor chic. But the only women in America who do not shave their armpits are those who want to be men and those who want to act French. The French stink. Why should we take seriously the opinions of people who have such little regard for personal hygiene?

But as foul as the French smell, it pales in comparison to their stinking attitude toward America and American interests. Jerome Godefroy of RTL French Radio summed up the French view of America when he said, “…There is this feeling not only with the French government, but the French public, the people of France, that many things are imposed by the United States. Not only this shield [SDI] but also, you know, your genetically [altered] food, the pollution. You only represent 5 percent of the population of this planet and suddenly you want to impose to the rest of world many things.”

But it seems to me that it is the French who are always imposing on us. Imposing their socialist, humanist worldview by refusing to assist in our war against terrorism unless we play by their rules. Case in point, Zacarias Moussaoui. The Justice Department has finally announced that it will seek the death penalty for Moussaoui, the French citizen who has been charged with taking part in the September 11th conspiracy, even though he was in a Minnesota jail that day for immigration violations. France has reiterated its intent to oppose the death penalty if he is convicted, and announced that it will offer him diplomatic support while he’s on trial. “We do not accept the death penalty,” French Justice Minister Marylise Lebranchu said. That’s cool I don’t either. I oppose the death penalty because I am pro-life—I trust God to determine when life should end, not the Justice Department, a suicide doctor, or a capricious mother-to-be. I can respect and understand the French voicing their opposition to it, despite the fact that many legal experts believe it makes sense to seek the death penalty if only to build in a potential compromise. But of course the French don’t stop there. Moussaoui is receiving French consular protection, which includes diplomatic visits to the inmate, support for his family in France, and assuring a “fair trial according to French standards.” Don’t you just love the French? One of their citizens gets caught in our country conspiring to kill thousands of Americans and they want us to try him according to French standards, whatever those may be.

The French interference in this case goes even deeper. France has also indicated that because the US is seeking the death penalty they might fail to cooperate in sharing evidence, of which they have plenty. Moussaoui, you see, was also under investigation by France. The difference being, if they were to convict him he could try suing for wrongful life, and if we convict him he might face a rightful death. Defenders of the French position point to our treaties with France that talk about not cooperating in an investigation where the death penalty is sought. But here’s the point, while the US cannot force France to ignore the terms of a treaty, they don’t have to obstruct the prosecution by insisting on them. It’s their call. They can help out an ally when it needs them most or hold onto some smug, false air of superiority over the death penalty. It’s not like we’re asking them to support the death penalty, we’re asking them to support our prosecution, which may or may not result in a death penalty. Moussaoui may walk free without their assistance, is it asking too much of the French to bend a little just this once? After all, they owe us.

The French started the Panama Canal, and the US finished it. The French rolled over in WWI, the US came in (a bit late) to free them. The French rolled over in WWII, and the US freed them. The French started the Viet Nam War, and the US lost 50,000 men trying to finish it. And what have the French done in return? They adopted Jerry Lewis as their favorite American. Hardly a fair trade.

To hear the French tell it, they will obstruct our prosecution of Mousaoui in order to preserve the high moral standards of the French judicial system, which values life. This is the same French judicial system that last fall issued a verdict in which it declared a right not to be born, leading one reasonable Frenchman to declare, “Certain judges still believe that it is better to be dead than to be handicapped.” That is unless one is a convicted terrorist facing the American death penalty. In that case it is much better to be alive. This is the same country whose National Ethics Committee has embraced human euthanasia and a right to die. In short, this is France; a country that believes in a right not be born, a right to die after being born, a right to live after killing thousands, but no right to life for those most vulnerable among us. I stand in awe of French enlightenment.

The national bird of France is a Rooster. How appropriate that the national symbol of French pride is a cock.

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