Friday, October 08, 2004
Cultural Hegemony
This has me pissed enough to respond to M. Chirac's whining in the following letter.

Dear M. Chirac, French Elitist Jackass In Chief:

In your recent visit to Hanoi, Vietnam, you spoke about what a "catastrophe" it would be if the United States' cultural hegemony went unchallenged. You said that France was right to stand up for cultural and linguistic diversity. You warned that the cultures of the world were being "choked" by US values, and that the world's preoccupation with the English language would cause a "real ecological catastrophe." You made mention of Hollywood's domination of the world film industry as an example and indicated that filmmakers in other countries could only do their work with the aid of government assistance. And you said all of this to a country that used to be a French colony because few of them speak French anymore and more and more speak English as their second language.

I wish to respond.

First of all, perhaps you don't understand the United States. We are the great melting pot. We'll take anybody with pure intentions as a citizen. Once here, they are free to do as they please so long as they do no harm. They can worship their cats, belly-button lint, or even the almighty dollar and no one will care. We have Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and people representing lots of other religions. We have French-speaking citizens, Spanish speakers, Portugese, Dutch, German, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, etc. The list goes on and on and on.

We do not pass laws forbidding certain garb, traditional to some cultures, from our schools. This would be a prohibition of freedom of expression, and we don't do that here. Of course, France does. You won't let little girls cover their hair in schools because it is an overt expression of Islamic faith. Who is trodding all over culture now, M. Chirac?

By saying the cultures of the world are being "choked" by US values, I assume you are defending the nations who are enslaving people, commiting genocide against their own people, denigrating and abusing women, etc. Bravo, sir, you really are championing the good guys. Sir, you are a jackass to suggest that cultures can make no room for personal freedoms.

I'm not sure how the English language could lead to an "ecological" disaster. I have never seen a tree fall down because of someone speaking in public. I've never seen ground waters become contaminated because someone said something. I've never seen wetlands drained or forests cleared or mountains crumble because someone spoke in English. However, I could see how the French whining and braying about their increasingly marginalized importance in the world sphere could add to greenhouse gas emissions. I've always held the theory that the French military was as useful as a fart in the wind. That would get us to methane emissions as well.

Your last two contentions, those about Hollywood and the prediliction for English in Global business...perhaps you could use a few lessons. Hollywood is about making money. They do it well by appealing to what their audience wants to see and actually entertaining. Perhaps the filmmakers in other nations should start making movies people actually want to see. You think? Consider where the largest population of movie-goers are. Then, appeal to that market. Anybody who has ever sat in an Econ 101 class could have told you this. As to English as the dominant language in business, this only makes sense. The world's largest economy is in the United States. English is the language spoken by a majority of Americans, though a large majority of us also speak a second language. This is so we can work with other trading nations. Again, this is just good business. Perhaps if you concentrated more on being better in business and less on participating in the raping of the environmental resources of the Iraqi people and propping up evil dictators you could get more people to speak French. Just a thought.

One more thing...culture is like voting. You get to choose what you want. Apparently people like the more inclusive nature of American culture better than your stuffy, government-knows-best, NO RELIGION FOR YOU, have some more cigarettes, wine, and cheese culture. No matter what, it is still a personal choice.

Monsieur Chirac, vous êtes un porc xénophobique desuccion d'élitiste! Vous êtes complicit dans les horreurs visitées sur l'Irakien par le bandit Saddam Hussein, du burineur en bois, pour violer, au vol. Là vous l'avez, un acte d'accusation et l'insulte dans le votre possèdent très la langue d'une jeune femme américaine. Cadeau enveloppé pour votre plaisir. Maintenant, obtenez bourré !

posted by Phoenix | 11:32 AM


At 3:34 PM, Blogger jon said...

We are trying to find good best comedy movie to take the kids this weekend. Good best comedy movie reviews are hard to find

I just stumbled onto your blog while looking. Seems to happen to me a lot since I am a knowledge mooch LOL



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