A couple of recent posts has shown how French-bashing can be interpreted alternatively as a collection of tropes and stereotypes meant to be funny with no intention to harm or, my understanding of the phenomenon, as the continuation of an old tradition of racist ideology and colonial mentality. Both being closely intertwined of course.
Is there any need to recall how language and culture define the very identity of any human group on earth? And that liberty is the ultimate achievement a human being can aspire to by mean of the language it has inherited from its native society?
Do you "remember" how French colonialists in Africa and everywhere round the globe for some 130 odd years insisted that the real language of civilisation was theirs, that is French. And how barbaric and unsophisticated the languages the indigenous spoke were as compared to the innate beauty of the French language? Its practical usage, its grasp with reality etc.
And also, we know how colonialists relentlessly wanted to persuade the natives that real valuable works of art were all located in European museums (mainly in France) and that their own cultural productions were mere crap worth the bonfires.
There was only one true world of culture and it was European. And it had been so for centuries. With a slight preference when it was made by French artists...
Now, consider how often the Anglo-Saxon media make fun of this inept French idea of voting laws whose sole purpose it is to protect the French language against the flood of English words. Laws to protect the language! Ah ah ah (giggle). They're doomed! Don't they know that in America there are no such anti-freedom laws?
How preposterous! How ludicrous! How arrogant (and anti-American in the end!). French as a language is on the wane, everyone knows that. English is so much more used and practical in terms of technics and communication. All these journalists don't even hide their impatience to see the day when French will have nearly disappeared from the surface of the globe.
In the mean time, Anglo-American media never misses an opportunity to underline how irrelevant and ridiculous those French are with their petty and useless efforts to protect their beloved language. A language now reduced to being spoken by no more than tribes.
And also, have you noticed this really permanent obsession to deride France because her culture is dying, dead, finished, no longer what it used to be, the laughing stock of the world etc. Even the Chinese are ahead of French art auction sales.
Hardly a week passes by without this constant theme being hammered again and again in the American newspapers: French culture is being over passed by so many other national productions now. You can feel the Schadenfreude. You can hear the gloating.
These French are so arrogant with their history, culture, architecture, etc. Who do they think they are? Do they actually believe they're superior to us? That will bring them down a peg or two, they need a damn good whacking.
Been there before?
I don't hesitate to state that the modern attitude the Anglo-Saxon world has regarding French language and French culture is very, very similar to the one French colonialists of old used to have when they were occupying and pillaging African and Asian colonies.
Same arrogance, same desire and will to subdue the indigenous and to impose the French norms upon them. Same colonialist mentality with the same economic goal: domination through one language only and one culture alone. Those of the dominant towards the dominated.
Behind the jokes and stereotypes mask, you can see the supremacist notion of superiority one group so much believes in. White superiority towards non-whites and all other groups who resist against the forced fed notion that they are "inferior".
Same ideas, same words, same tools, with same goal...
(The painting is "l'Homme à la guitare" by Georges Braque)