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    France

    I mentioned on the Mundane Thread the other day how I'd picked up a half price Camembert from Tesco. There's something wonderful about a culture that encourages you to stick a huge lump of cheese in the oven and then attack it with a three foot long pole of crusty bread. It's sort of ushered in a period of sort of semi French cooking. I made a French onion soup, chicken provencal, and I've been getting food I normally eat, and lashing it full of butter, garlic, white wine, and double cream. Which as far as I can make out is the cornerstone of Gallic gastronomy.

    I've also a new career mode on FIFA, with Marseille. Binned off all the old, shite players, and built a new, young, exciting fast team that spanners everyone in sight. Droit au but as motto and tactical instruction. Ansu Fati, Adama Traore, Lilian Thuram's lad, that Saka kid from Arsenal. Plus Juan Mata, because why not. We battered PSG 5-0 in the Parc des Princes, then went back and did them 6-1 in the league Cup. Aux armes, motherfuckers!

    That World Cup Stories about France was on the other day. From Kopa and Fontaine to Zidane and 98. Black, White and Blue. A sort of prequel to the brilliant, but annoyingly currently unavailable Les Bleus, the documentary charting the changes in French society and politics through the prism of football from 1998 to 2006.

    That 98 team was great. I supported Brazil in France 98, because I was still sulking at Aime Jacquet for not picking Eric for Euro 96, which was foolish of me, as his name is literally Loves Coats, and there's nothing more Me than that.

    But by the final I was all France. Zidane, Blanc kissing Barthez's little baldy head, Thuram, Desailly. A group of rogue mates representing the multicultural makeup of French society, bonded together and succeeding when they'd already been written off by a stuffy and pretentious media. They played like they were mates eating merguez on a apartment block roof. Tight, together, united, thumbing their nose at perceived wisdom and a vile, right-wing atmosphere. Zizou and the lads won the mundial then queued up to take turns to headbutt Le Pen right in the middle of his fascist fucking chest to usher in a new period of understanding and cooperation.

    Except right, it didn't. A lot has happened globally to change that, granted, but seeing that horrible little pig Macron carry on the way he has about Islam and Muslims sickens me. Preaching secularism as a way of masking his racism. I hate him, and I fear for Muslim, Jewish and other minorities in France. This isn't so much dog whistling as him leading the hounds of Paris down the Champs Elysees with a big funking bagpipe.

    I remember Cantona comparing Macron to Mbappe. Young, appeared from nowhere, and able to play on the left or the right. I laughed then, but it's less funny now he's found his favourite position. And far be it from me to turn this and every thread into an Eric thread, even though that was my sworn intention when I joined OTF two decades ago, I also remember him saying this:

    "It’s important not to say, that a Muslim, is “moderate”, if he’s just a citizen like you or me. What does “moderate” mean anyway? Does it mean that Islam is an extremist religion? This is a latent provocation, you see? And it’s very dangerous. We don’t have to paint everybody with the same brush. That’s the danger I think.”

    “It seems to me that all this is linked to the economic crisis,” he noted. “It seems to me that if there hadn’t been a crisis in 1929 then Hitler would never have obtained power. And unfortunately, during crises, people fall into despair, they don’t know anymore what to hang on to and all this gives birth to extremism.

    “What is dangerous, once again, is to take advantage of the despair of some people, to spread crazy ideas. Those who do it, create and develop hate for political purposes, for power purposes. And I think it’s sad and reprehensible.”

    We get more sense out of our celebrity footballer actors than we do our politicians and leaders, and I think that's sad and frightening.

    There's a TL;DR here, and that's basically this. Love France, Hate Bastards. I despise Macron and his ilk, and I fear that we're so focused on the likes of Trump and Johnson we ignore the fact that even the so-called respectable politicians are slickly preaching hate. We can't let them win, right?

    #2
    Wrote that on my phone and I've not read it back, so if it makes no sense, then screw you, buddy.

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      #3
      Well done.

      France does food well and some other things well, but they're not great on xenophobia. It's "secularism" is clearly biased in favor of white people and Catholics.

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        #4
        You've made me want a plate of merguez, you thought- provoking bastard.

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          #5
          Originally posted by Third rate Leszno View Post
          You've made me want a plate of merguez, you thought- provoking bastard.
          Merguez, spicy harissa, baguette. It doesn't get much better. Doesn't really fit into my pro veggie lifestyle, but then I think Bury market is the closest place I can get them, and who can be arsed schlepping up there?

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            #6
            First holiday I'm taking when all this is over is gonna be Marseille. Heard so much about the food, the football, the music, the people...

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              #7
              Originally posted by Reginald Christ View Post
              First holiday I'm taking when all this is over is gonna be Marseille. Heard so much about the food, the football, the music, the people...
              It's quite a moody city. There's an atmosphere or an edge. It's rare for a modern European city to feel like that, I think. I'd stop short of saying it's scary, but you're very aware that you're in a proper, working class, immigrant city. I liked it a lot.

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                #8
                In my mind, I've grouped it with Napoli for much the same reasons. I'm told (by an Italian mate) that the two cities share those characteristics you've mentioned. Though when I asked her which city I should visit first her answer was, and I quote, "NAPOLI FOREVER!!!" She supports Juventus.

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                  #9
                  They do indeed share quite a few characteristics

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                    #10
                    Merguez = best sausages. Not French though.

                    Macron is a filthy racist pig.

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by EIM View Post

                      Merguez, spicy harissa, baguette. It doesn't get much better. Doesn't really fit into my pro veggie lifestyle, but then I think Bury market is the closest place I can get them, and who can be arsed schlepping up there?
                      Where do you get your black pudding from if you don't go to Bury market?

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by TonTon View Post
                        Merguez = best sausages. Not French though.

                        Macron is a filthy racist pig.
                        They ate them on a roof barbecue in La Haine, which is French.

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                          #13
                          Its cultural imperialism, calling them French, I reckon.

                          I have a similar mixed-up set of feelings about France. Maybe one day I'll concentrate long enough to tell you about it. Maybe not.
                          Last edited by TonTon; 20-11-2020, 17:08.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by TonTon View Post
                            Its cultural imperialism, calling them French, I reckon.
                            Has anyone here done that?

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by EIM View Post

                              It's quite a moody city. There's an atmosphere or an edge. It's rare for a modern European city to feel like that, I think. I'd stop short of saying it's scary, but you're very aware that you're in a proper, working class, immigrant city. I liked it a lot.
                              I bloody hated Marseilles when I was there. Mostly because it meant that I had missed the stop on the train we were meant to get off at. It was definitely a vibey place. Would like to go back with the intention of being there.

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Originally posted by TonTon View Post
                                Its cultural imperialism, calling them French, I reckon.

                                I have a similar mixed-up set of feelings about France. Maybe one day I'll concentrate long enough to tell you about it. Maybe not.
                                I'd like to read/hear them.

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                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by EIM View Post

                                  Has anyone here done that?
                                  No. No-one did. I was just saying. Probably talking to myself really. They're very "France" in my head. And it's complicated.

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                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by EIM View Post
                                    "It’s important not to say, that a Muslim, is “moderate”, if he’s just a citizen like you or me. What does “moderate” mean anyway? Does it mean that Islam is an extremist religion? This is a latent provocation, you see? And it’s very dangerous. We don’t have to paint everybody with the same brush. That’s the danger I think.”
                                    This quote makes an excellent point that needs underlining. It is outrageous to define someone entirely by their belief system, we do not define people as Christian, atheist etc but when it comes to people who are 'outsiders' we cannot help making such lazy generalizations. When people say Muslim they do not mean the followers of a religion they mean it as a shorthand for ignorant, untrustworthy, essentially not 'one-of-us'. Until we recognize and accept them as fellow human-beings then this ignorance will persist,

                                    And to add to the praise of all things French I'd like to add Arpenteur, especially the Tintin-esque graphic shirts

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                                      #19
                                      Gert from the Well I love Arpenteur, and I composed my opening mind shite while wearing Armor Lux. Big up looking like a French factory worker/fisherman.

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                                        #20
                                        I had one of the most terrifying days of my life in Marseille, at France 98. But it had enough about it even then to make me want to go back and spend some proper time there, under normal circs. I still haven't, yet.

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                                          #21
                                          Also their entertaining and occasionally entertainingly violent rugby teams. Also, hurling cockerels onto the pitch at Twickenham.

                                          And brass bands at sports events that play Bad Romance by Lady Gaga instead of WWII crap.

                                          And La Marseillaise, the finest national anthem anywhere.

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                                            #22
                                            Yeh, these "edgy" places with great food and bars full of "characters" are great until you get robbed at knifepoint or have your teeth kicked down your throat in a random street assault, at which point you wonder why you didn't go somewhere a little quieter.

                                            "Too much fucking edge," to paraphrase a very wise man.

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                                              #23
                                              Originally posted by Nocturnal Submission View Post
                                              Yeh, these "edgy" places with great food and bars full of "characters" are great until you get robbed at knifepoint or have your teeth kicked down your throat in a random street assault, at which point you wonder why you didn't go somewhere a little quieter.

                                              "Too much fucking edge," to paraphrase a very wise man.
                                              I remember being really glad of gentrification in Rio.

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                                                #24
                                                Originally posted by Reginald Christ View Post
                                                In my mind, I've grouped it with Napoli for much the same reasons. I'm told (by an Italian mate) that the two cities share those characteristics you've mentioned. Though when I asked her which city I should visit first her answer was, and I quote, "NAPOLI FOREVER!!!" She supports Juventus.
                                                I have grouped Marseille, Napoli and Liverpool together. My Italian Scouse acquaintance agreed with that assertion.

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                                                  #25
                                                  Originally posted by Belhaven View Post

                                                  I have grouped Marseille, Napoli and Liverpool together. My Italian Scouse acquaintance agreed with that assertion.
                                                  Liverpool is a lot more friendly. Warmer.

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