“The French Really Piss Me Off”

by statia on January 8, 2004

Yesterday, over morning coffee, one of my coworkers had stated that they had gotten an email about Target being a French owned company, and not to shop there. This sparked a disagreement about why we shouldn’t buy anything French, and that I should stop buying my Grey Goose because we’re supporting the French, and they hate us, blah blah blah. I really can’t stand being told what I should and shouldn’t buy, or that I must not be proud to be American because I will in fact still buy grey goose. Let me get this straight. There may be some people that aren’t proud to be American, and that’s fine. I am proud. I’m glad that I have the right to buy whatever vodka I see fit. I’m glad I have the right to agree to disagree on this subject. Which is basically what happened. I also promptly sent an email with a link to the snopes page which proved the Target rumor to be false. It’s just as much their right to hate the French. “They hate us, so why not hate them?” Yeah, because that’s a good attitude to have. If you want to hate the French, go right ahead, but don’t force your beliefs upon me. Because of this whole thing, it sparked me to look up some information on imports and exports:

France plays a key role in economic growth fostered by European investment in the United States. For example, there are at least 2,500 French subsidiaries in the U.S., and the 100 largest of these generate an estimated $140 billion in sales and provide more than 450,000 jobs. Altogether, French firms in the USA employ approximately 650,000 people.

French commercial exchanges with the U.S. are balanced. In 2002, U.S. exports to France reached 25.7 billion Euros, and according to French data, its trade surplus, came to 409 million Euros. (Note: U.S. statistics show a much bigger trade surplus, around $9 billion). The U.S. is France’s third-ranked supplier and the 5th biggest destination of French exports. [full article]

So there you have it. Imports and Exports in this country, play a huge role in our economy. While the French people might hate us as tourists, or even as a country, it’s obviously not caused them, or us, to totally boycott either country.

If you want to provide your opinion on this, go ahead, if you want to start shit, you can take it elsewhere.

{ 13 comments }

Sarah January 8, 2004 at 10:11 am

I think in general, French people tend to be pompous blowholes. The majority I’ve known or had contact with on a personal or via-friend level. However, even if Target was Le Tarjzay, I’d still shop there because I hate Walmart. I don’t like Proctor & Gamble’s animal testing policies (i.e. yes, and a lot), but think that’s gonna stop me from making my clothes smell like candy with Blue Downy? Fuck no. P&G own a ton of shit, most of which I’m not willing to give up. I got a bottle of Grey Goose for xmas. I was damn happy about it.

Essentially, I think I’m agreeing with you. I mean, you have to pick your battles. And drinking shitty vodka is not a battle I’m willing to choose.

Mac January 8, 2004 at 10:16 am

I have met an equal number of annoying, obnoxious Americans as I have annoying, obnoxious French people. I would love nothing more than to fence off people who insist on Freedom Fries and shit like that into their own little whacko compound and provide them with the things that will really make them happy — their own livestock with which to have sex with and a house next to Fred Phelps.

Mac January 8, 2004 at 10:17 am

That was a little harsh, wasn’t it? But yeah, I agree with you.

sean January 8, 2004 at 10:35 am

People who insist on boycotting the French because they had the balls to stand up to us really just show how moronic, xenophobic and close-minded so many Americans are. “Oh yeah, we can’t hate the Russians anymore. Who we gonna hate now? The French! Yeah! Let’s direct our irrational anger towards them!”

Dimwits. Read some history. We wouldn’t be here right now if it weren’t for the French helping us in the Revolutionary War.

Paul January 8, 2004 at 10:54 am

I’d like fries with my Grey Goose, thank you.

Sarah January 8, 2004 at 11:32 am

Paul, would those be FRENCH fries? ;-P

fran January 8, 2004 at 1:01 pm

“provide them with the things that will really make them happy — their own livestock with which to have sex with and a house next to Fred Phelps.”

Mac drove the nail through the coffin there. I don’t think I could agree with your thoughts any more eloquenty than she did. However I do agree. But you know that’s how it often is with ignorant folks: They actually expect other to share and buy into their own isolated ideas just because they feel like we all should….

Jonathan January 8, 2004 at 1:17 pm

It’s funny, saying Target is French owned would be a bit like saying Wal-Mart is British owned. Target would make up around 1/25th the entire French economy.

I think you presume too much about American hatred toward France, sean. The Soviets should have been boycotted, they butchered 30 million of their people in gulags courtesy of their Communism, and impoverished the rest through state sponsored slavery that lasted for 3/4 of a century and spanned nearly a quarter of the globe. A dislike of Soviet Russia was legitimate in every regard. There’s no reason to think the French compare to the Soviets on a scale of dislike.

Besides, from my own experience & perception the rest of the world spends a lot of time concerning itself with America. If you’ve ever visited a BBC forum, you know what I mean. I don’t think the reverse is true however – I think few Americans could care much less keep track of what the French are up to… much less actually hate the French (and that’s demonstrated in what our news broadcasts follow, what our politicians talk about, etc.). Europeans are used to constantly fighting with eachother politically, there’s a culture of hating other cultures that dates back thousands of years and continues to this day. Just take a look at the current power struggle, name calling and childish antics going on between France/Germany & the rest of the EU (like the recent failed attempt at a ‘Euro Constitution’).

If a person disagrees with French politics, it’s their right to boycott them economically in response if they should so choose. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, and it works both ways. The Chinese are holding roughly five million people (according to amnesty international) in Soviet style gulags right now, and last year executed more people (by rounding them up in stadiums and shooting them, to crack down on crime) in a month than the rest of the world did combined in a year. If you wanted to boycott Chinese products in response, there wouldn’t be anything wrong with it – it would just mean you disagree with their politics, and don’t care to further support it through economic investment. As you can see from economic data, the vast majority of Americans have *not* boycotted French products (in fact, it’s an exceptionally small percentage that cared to at all). A vast boycott didn’t happen simply because French politics didn’t warrant it. Most of the French/American thing was media sensationalism.

Jimmy January 8, 2004 at 1:27 pm

The thing I don’t understand is the French leaders were simply doing the will of the French people in not backing us in war. It’s that simple….maybe if our leaders listened to the people more and actually did what they wanted we might be better off.

Oh yea, did’t it make you feel good that our tax dollars were going to a guy who spent some of his time coming up with Freedom Fries? I think I can decide for myself what I want to call my taters.

robyn January 9, 2004 at 3:20 am

Damn. It appears I hated the French before it was en vogue to do so.

David January 9, 2004 at 4:47 am

“La grandeur de la France” – the French are people who put on airs. They brag about their country and they are convinced of having won the WWI & II by themselves. A french boy asked me why I like studying english. I told him: “As a part of the US empire I’d love to speak their language”. He answered: “As UE, we should challenge the US” (1999). Despite the french people, french is a wonderful language and a girl speaking french is sexy.

Chris January 9, 2004 at 9:12 am

I was actually in France for two weeks this fall and I found the French to be incredibly wonderful, pleasant and overly hospitable to Americans. Not what I was expecting. I’d learned to say “I’m from Canada” just in case. And we can’t hold the opinion of the French government against its people nor can we expect the French government to comply with the wishes of ours.

Pepe Lespew January 13, 2004 at 11:04 pm

Target is a french company? Horseshit, it is US owned company that originated as Dayton Dry Goods Company back in the early 1900′s. Target includes Mervyn’s and Marshall Field’s all US firms from Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Gotta love those urban legends!!! Time for a red bull and grey goose!!! Oh wait, cannot go to JCPenney’s now, it should be Jacque Penney!! FOOK IT!! Hey statia, you are freaking hot!!! Have fun in Fla!!!

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