It’s already the year 2011, which means that we’re only 9 months away from the 10 year anniversary of the attacks on the world trade center. For a lot of us, 9-11 is our Kennedy assassination; meaning that we all remember where we were when we heard the news. I, for one, was working for the housing department at the Evergreen State College and, both coincidentally and inappropriately, listening to “You Dropped A Bomb on Me” by the Gap Band. After the shock subsided, that’s when the country began losing their goddamn minds. It’s been almost a fucking decade already and, within that time frame, the American people have transformed from a savage pack of wolves, thirsty for the blood of any brown person they could locate, into a country that is thirsty for the blood of the black man that they elected for President, because he hasn’t worked fast enough to taper down the inertia that was push-started by that, aforementioned, original thirst for blood. Oh, America. Remember that time, when we had a new collective anger that was fresh and clear? We didn’t just have to be disgruntled in our usual, personal ways, or even complain about our government anymore. Sure, we hate our families, but they’re OUR families and no outsiders were gonna tell us what’s what, or give us the what for. We were together on something… a team, if you will. All of us! Everyone! That is… except for people like myself, of course, who are clearly some sort of nondescript ethnicity that recklessly refuses to shave regularly.
Throughout the two-thousand-oughts, however, everything has slowly become muddled up, as usual, and we all hate the government again and, of course, each other. It’s pretty much just like it used to be, except that less people have jobs, privacy rights, or even their lives. We do have a lot more gadgets, though, and I have a pretty strong feeling that, if you really did some honest research, we wouldn’t choose to have it any other way. Yep, it’s pretty much the same and it’s clear as all-get-out that no single tragedy, no matter how large or catastrophic, will likely ever capsize our chosen way of life. There’s actually a beauty to that, otherwise depressing, reality–I think. Yep, it’s pretty much the same, and one thing that continues to ring true is our blind pride and baseless dislike for anyone that we get the feeling thinks that they are better than us. I’m not talking about Al Qaeda; there’s no question that whole situation is all terribly fucked. I, of course, am referring to none other than the French.
Why do we hate the French, again? Oh yeah, because it’s super easy. They’re like that girl in your office building, or your English class, or… wherever, that you don’t really have a major reason to dislike her for, but there’s just something about her. Basically, it’s just catty shit. The Real Housewives argument type shit. Bring it On cheerleader tournament and My Super Sweet 16 party feuding. It’s a safe dislike, where nobody really wants to bomb each other, but just make comments under their breath about each other’s designer knock-offs and supposed cankles. It’s the sort of bickering that the Olympics and World Cup were invented to settle. We used to be friends and then, everything went all Lauren and Heidi between us. They’re all smug with their health care, like they came to school with the same handbag that they knew we were gonna buy.
“What was that?!”
Or maybe they’re more like the friend caught in the middle of a fight that doesn’t wanna get involved. Whatever the case, the minute that they refused to charge in, blowing shit up with us the way we wanted, we began harpooning accusations of anti-freedom towards the very country that gave us the Statue of Liberty in the first place. “Patriots” stopped eating “French” Fries and began ordering “Freedom” Fries (I was still eating jalapeno poppers). Even now that the majority of Americans seem to retroactively disagree with the methods involved with the initial launch into our war in Afghanistan, it doesn’t feel like much of our lukewarm animosity towards the French has really subsided. Why would we admit to any mistakes? That’s not the American way. My hopes with this post are to finally flush out the negative feelings that many Americans have continued to harbor toward the country, once and for all. Considering the fact that France is known for yielding the most famous mime in history, I know that it will be a difficult task, but I think that I have discovered something so hardcore, powerful, and undeniably awesome that it will be difficult to refute it’s powers.
For quite some time, I have held the belief that the best way to overcome cultural differences is through the cultural differences themselves. What I mean is that, it’s really difficult to completely discount the Japanese because ninjas and samurai are so fucking amazing and, no matter how racist and bigoted towards the Mexicans someone is, it’s hard to deny the delicious power of a taco truck. As for France, they’ve gained some musical success in The States with bands like Air and Phoenix, but that only affects the fans that lean more towards indie-pop music and they probably read books and don’t really hate the French anyway. A more effective exhibition of their contributions to the world would be to bring up DAFT PUNK; however, they are, by all accounts, futuristic space robots and don’t really count anyway. My first thought would be to try and make a case through Serge Gainsbourg, first and foremost, but that’s not gonna get you very far with the real hardcore right-wing Southern boys that would just ask me if I was “some kinda faggot” for listening to “that pussy bullshit“. If anything, such artists only hurt the cause in the eyes of America, who looks at the French like a nation of snuggling art pansies who were too pussy to throw a punch or, more importantly, a grenade, in the first place.
So, what is something that everyone can understand? What’s a universal language? Booze! The Russians have vodka, the Dutch have gin, the Caribbean is credited with rum, Ireland and Scotland lay claim to whiskey. What is France known for? That’s right, sparkling wine. French food isn’t exactly something for the average Joe Stars-N’-Stripes and neither is French cinema. The Professional was great, but it didn’t exactly have the widespread appeal or audience of films like Braveheart or the Godfather trilogy and, subsequently, didn’t do as much to give the France the sort of badass persona that the Scotts and Italians garnered from their respective representations on the big screen. We are on the right track, though. I believe that Jackie Chan once said something to the effect that the reason that his work translates across borders so well is because, even if people don’t understand the language or much else about a foreign culture, everyone understands a punch to the face.
Just recently, we came across a video by a French electronic recording artist by the name of KLEMENT. The song is called “Supersize“, which is already a pretty great start if you want to win the hearts of America. Of course, for all we know, the lyrics might actually be a direct attack on our country, but I can’t tell the difference and we will generally listen to anything as a people as long as we can tap our feet to it. The track has a driving high-octane rhythm, which doesn’t let up until the end. That being said, the best part of the video really can’t be contributed to Klement alone, but to the the team that created the visuals. Château-Vacant is the name of a art/design collective comprised from the talents of Yannick Calvez, Lémuel Malicoutis & Baptiste Alchourroun, Frenchman who are now residing in Montreal (don’t worry, we still don’t have to give the Canadians a break, quite yet). Their work for the project revolves around cut-outs and the style of animation that is not reliant on overly high-tech equipment and computer imaging. Throughout the masterpiece, which is the “Supersize” video, you will experience the main character tearing through one of the most testosterone-filled animated journeys this side of a Super Jail or Metalocalypse massacre sequence. After starting his day with a classic stretch, pull-up, and jumping jack routine, our hero kicks things into hyper-drive; doing flips over brick walls, skydiving, head-butting trees in half, flying a plane through the sun, starting an avalanche with a stick of dynamite, and even bicycle kicking the head off of an elephant. If this footage of ass-kicking wonderment isn’t enough to diffuse some of the animosity towards the French and quell the idea that they know nothing about being hardcore and mannish, then I don’t know what will. All that I do know is, if this is the type of shit that is REALLY going down over there, you can officially leave me out of any further instigation against these people. Then we’ll see who’s laughing when I’m the only ones of us being freed from the belly of a giant whale via motorbike.
Find out more about KLEMENT at Myspace.com/klement666