Thursday, November 05, 2009

Halloween Part 2

I wrote a response to Charlotte's really good comment yesterday, but it got so damn long that I had to turn it into a post. Lucky you!

Anyway, Charlotte suggested that I was being a bit hard on the French. And she's right. I am a bit hard on the French. (But I like to think that I am equally ruthless with everyone I skewer on this blog.)

And in some ways I agree with her, but let’s not over-look the fact that in France it is also “cool” to be glibly anti-American for non-specific reasons that have vaguely something to do with capitalism, McDonalds, or religion. Nevermind the fact that in general the French LOVE to shop, when pushed will admit to having eaten McDonalds quite recently, and relish all the free days off they get for the Public and School holidays, of which a good part are Catholic holidays.

And while much of Halloween in the US is focused around companies getting people to buy crap they don’t need, I for one have never bought or paid for a Halloween costume. Never, not once. I will admit to buying obscene amounts of sweet treats, but who are we kidding---I do that even in France. If I could blame my candy consumption on the unseen forces of rabid consumerism….I would. But truth be told. I loves the candies. Give me some credit for personal responsibility...erh accountbility...erh whatever.

What this Halloween rant is really all about is that it just seems like in France there is only one way to be "French". Multiculturalism does not exist in any real way here. Either something is French or it has nothing to do with France. There is absolutely very little room for expansion, advancement or change in the definition of "French" in spite of the fact that France is changing----at the speed of f*ckin' light right before my very eyes. Inspite of this absolute fact, the idea of “Frenchness” remains very very rigid and set in it’s ways, and might I add, has a habit of cutting off it’s nose to spite it’s puckered face. It’s all so…..well, for lack of a better word…French.

By the by--Americans imitate the French alllll the damn time (art, cinema, fashion, cuisine)sometimes without even knowing it. And unless taken to extremes, few people would think of it as “pathetic”.
I mean is it pathetic that I desperately want these Chanel shoes?


I think not.


Cynthia said...

I love those shoes. I'm not a big label whore...but Chanel gets to me every time!

Rachel said...

no, no it is not. because they are fab. wondering--did your month sejour in paris help your french?

American Black Chick in Europe said...

This isn't related to your post, but I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for a blogger award :-D.

Rachael said...

Ouf, hate those shoes! My toes are sad just looking at them.

I totally agree with you about the one way, French way thing. More about that another time. You know the "Nos ancestres, les Gauls" story, right?

Up in Le Nord, there are a billion local fetes for gourds of all types, including pumpkins. We went to this one: and it was great fun. Who knew the Inquistion could be fun?

Halloween is a Celtic holiday originally, and I'm surprised the Bretons aren't on board with it.

m said...

related discussion.

KLS said...

Great post.
Also, you seem a bit shoe-obsessed.

Charlotte said...

Thanks for the post... lol :)

Madame K said...

Cynthia --- Yes, Chanel makes me swoon.

Rachel- Hmmm, too soon to tell. I think so. More later.

ABCinE- Haa! Thanks! I love how blog awards always come with Homework!

Rachael-- Oh yeaaah---we discussed "Nos ancestres, les Gauls" at length in my class at the Sorbonne actually.

M- Thanks for the link.

KLS- I SEEM shoe obsessed?

Charlotte- What can I say? I'm long-winded.

Evolutionary Revolutionary said...

GAH.. LOVE those shoes. The thing about France is...well two things really. One: They aren't happy unless they are complaining. And two: They create really awesome Underground Subcultures around things not typically deemed chic. Knitting for example. And Halloween. I happen to know of several badass Halloween fetes here in Paris. I didn't GO to any of them of course, but they existed.

Embrace the Awesome Underground Subcultures!!!

'Drea said...

I don't do high heels but those are cute.

sprite said...

omg you're really on the roll now, lol!!
have nothing to add here except to say - can you please move to the uk?? i would love to hear your insights and perspective on the brits. their foibles and quirkiness/eccentricities/insanity (depending on your view point) are guaranteed to provide oodles of rich material. pretty please?
also those shoes are too cute. wish i had somewhere to wear them to. wish it was spring or summer again 'cos then i could wear them to the supermarket or something.

Audrey said...

Aww, I think they are cute. That's the first thing I thought to myself when I saw them :)

Came to your blog by way of "Black Girl in Prague".