Today's St. Paul Pioneer Press reprinted an article by Craig S. Smith from the New York Times which concerned bias in France. The following is a passage from that article:
"The concept of French identity remains rooted deep in the country's centuries-old culture, and a significant portion of the population has yet to accept the increasingly multiethnic makeup of the population. Put simply, being French, for many people, remains a baguette-and-beret affair."
I thought it was bad when a French artist, no less, used the striped-shirt-and-beret stereotype in an illustration for an entry in Labels for Locals by Paul Dickson (the character in the illustration was carrying a baguette as well). Neither striped shirts nor berets are particularly representative of current French customs of dress. If there were ever any aptness to the image, which I'm inclined to doubt, it's now simply a mindless stereotype. But in the case of the Dickson book, the illustrations were intended to be amusing. To have the beret-wearing stereotype of the French in a serious article concerning the French people in the New York Times is pretty disgusting.

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
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Today's St. Paul Pioneer Press reprinted an article by Craig S. Smith from the New York Times which concerned bias ... stereotype of the French in a serious article concerning the French people in the New York Times is pretty disgusting.

Even better was the "centuries-old culture" bit. (Like, wow! You mean there were Frenchmen before Lafayette? Whodathought!)

To be fair to the NYT, though, the reporting in general on the French rioting has been dismal even among France's closest neighbours. The consensus take (at least from what I've read in the British and Spanish meeja) could be summed up as "Careful! Today it's France, but tomorrow your local chapter of the Al-Qaeda-funded International Disaffected Muslim Yoof Jihad could burn your car too!"

Ross Howard
Today's St. Paul Pioneer Press reprinted an article by Craig S. Smith from the New York Times which concerned bias ... people, remains a baguette-and-beret affair." I thought it was bad when a French artist, no less, used the striped-shirt-and-beret stereotype

OK, you rewrite it. Express the idea but do it without a silly stereotype.

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Today's St. Paul Pioneer Press reprinted an article by Craig S. Smith from the New York Times which concerned bias ... stereotype of the French in a serious article concerning the French people in the New York Times is pretty disgusting.

Makes a change from 'cheese-eating surrender monkeys' or whatever fascist drivel the US press were spouting last time somebody deigned to disagree with American foreign policy.
DC
Today's St. Paul Pioneer Press reprinted an article by Craig ... French people in the New York Times is pretty disgusting.

Makes a change from 'cheese-eating surrender monkeys' or whatever fascist drivel the US press were spouting last time somebody deigned to disagree with American foreign policy.

"Cheese-eating surrender monkeys" is "fascist"? I think it is a silly absurdism like saying that you can't figure out how to spell in French because the last six letters in every word are silent. Or that French Frenchmen still think of France as strictly a baguette-and-beret affair. (I think that the French would sound better though if they were strictly "a brie and beret affair". I guess that depends on silent letters again.)
It's interesting that the French would be termed militarily as the ultimate losers even though they were at least on the winning side in World War I and World War II. The Germans were on the losing side of both of those wars and no one considers them losers militarily. And while the Germans were Blitzkrieging the French even though the French had superior force, it was the Italians who couldn't move forward even an inch against these same claimed worst warriors ever. Perhaps a clue to how the Italians have escaped being remembered as weakest militarily is in their self deprecation about it contrasted to French hubris.
Perhaps a clue to how the Italians have escaped being remembered as weakest militarily is in their self deprecation about it contrasted to French hubris.

I'm just wondering where you find all these self-deprecating types...? Perhaps it depends what papers you read...or which football games you watch (it was all the ref's fault, mind you!)...
cheers,
Stephanie
in Brussels
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To be fair to the NYT, though, the reporting in general on the French rioting has been dismal even among ... it's France, but tomorrow your local chapter of the Al-Qaeda-funded International Disaffected Muslim Yoof Jihad could burn your car too!"

A bit of a simplistic assessment, dontcha fink?
There seems to be general agreement on numbers and extent of damage and injury in most of the press...surprisingly enough, there often is!

The "reporting" in all three countries has been fairly low-key. Now if you're talking about the opinion pages, that's a whole other matter. Stay away from 'em is my advice...Don't read 'em! Have no truck with 'em!...They might not agree with you!
As far as "Disaffected Muslim Yoof" is concerned...try a midnight stroll around the Pakistani areas of Bradford or Blackburn...it might be more than your car that gets burned.
HumphreyB
As far as "Disaffected Muslim Yoof" is concerned...try a midnight stroll around the Pakistani areas of Bradford or Blackburn...it might be more than your car that gets burned.

Yeah, and I know why they're so scary, it's because they have black hair. Right?
No, wait. It's because they're poor, right?
No, wait. It's because they're treated like ***, right? No, no. I KNOW! IT'S BECAUSE THEY'RE MUSLIMS!!
To be fair to the NYT, though, the reporting in ... International Disaffected Muslim Yoof Jihad could burn your car too!"

A bit of a simplistic assessment, dontcha fink? There seems to be general agreement on numbers and extent of damage ... a midnight stroll around the Pakistani areas of Bradford or Blackburn...it might be more than your car that gets burned.

But the dumbest comment by far that I have seen came from an American: 'See, that's what you get when people don't have guns to defend their property',
Jan
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