3/22/2006

Miss Smedley, are you trying to make me vomit?

The Social Affairs Unit, Bunny Smedley division:
Most of all, though, France has allowed Americans who are that way inclined to say something intelligible about who they are, or at any rate who they wish to be. So for every American simmering with gee-whiz nativist contempt for all the things France might be seen to symbolise — which is to say, intellectualism, sensuality, frivolity and decadence, as opposed to the classic American virtues of practicality, decency, earnestness and healthy New World vigour — there's another American who wonders, with varying degrees of guilt, whether an old Chateau Latour and a volume of Collette's more feline stories might somehow have the edge on Garrison Keillor and a super-size helping of Liberty fries. Whisper it quietly, but — well, isn't there something about those cheese-eating surrender monkeys that's actually, when you come to think about it, pretty darned s├ęduisant?


The French just made Jerry Lewis a Legion Commander. The crowd was raucous. I will now look the other way while you slink off in embarrassed silence.

1 comment:

Bunny Smedley said...

Did you try reading to the end of the article?

If you didn't see that a certain species of anti-Americanism was, in fact, what I was trying to criticise ... well, try being an American who has lived, since 1988, in the United Kingdom.

Do you realise that, if you are an American in Britain, everyone who hears your American accent (and I still keep my slightly Southern one) thinks that you don't know the first thing about British history - even if, like me, you hold a PhD from a perfectly acceptable university? Do you understand to what an extent everything with the word 'American' on it is hated, by so many people, Over Here?

I think that perhaps you don't. So, let's agree that whatever hatred there is must be, to a large extent, stupid and ill-informed. And let's agree that we want to change that, and to convince people overseas that America has, here and there, people and ideas that ought to attract wider enthusiasm.

Well, I did it as best I could with that SAU post, and doubtless - because I do see that this stuff isn't easy to do - you do so with your blog.

Please, though, do someone you've never met the courtesy of reading all the way though her article before you assume she disagrees with you. And no, I wasn't trying to make you vomit. I didn't actually know you existed; now that we've fixed that, will you please try to see a degree of irony in the lines that you quoted?

Yours

(Dr, Mrs) Bunny Smedley