Mon rêve Français

When I listen to France Info for French radio news, I typically have a dream where I'm in France or speaking French. The French news radio is really a great way to keep up on it, and to learn new words. As a missionary, certain words just rarely make it into your lexicon. This is a great way to pick up on French geography, too, as news stories identify the setting of the story. It's also awesome to listen to them comment on our political process. No wonder they all know so much about what we're doing! I heard about Obama overtaking Hilary in Iowa before I saw it on our news. (In defense of our news, I don't typically watch or listen.)

Since it's news talk radio, the program resembles NPR a bit. The best part is when they get two guys to argue over a hot topic. Yesterday it was about a big car tax in Paris. Evidently the Mayor of Paris is green, and is trying to get rid of parking lots and car lanes in favor of bike lanes and buses. One guy was all for it, the other guy all against it. They were going at it, and I heard that SNOOTY tone of voice creep in with the jabs that still smart when I argued with people. They can be so condescending when they argue. Ecoutez-moi bien, je vais vous expliquer. Listen to me, I'll make it clear for you. Despite being so upset about how they argue, it is infinitely reassuring to know that that's just the way they do it. The guy who was against the car tax was being loud, talking over the moderator and the other guy, not listening, repeating himself with more and more intensity, and absolutely littering his comments with those snide remarks that set himself up as the authority and anyone who disagrees slaps logic in the face. In other words, he was your average Frenchman. I met so many of them and it was hard not to take it personally. Hearing them do it to each other just makes me roll my eyes.

Ah, the French. I love them anyway. :)


Kermit~the~Frog said...

"Ecoutez-moi bien, je vais vous expliquer."

I can actually hear your snooty Parisian impression in my head!

Almost as good as your Tim Gunn.

sixline said...

But only almost.

Shaun Carlson said...

Well, it's definitely not just the French that are lacking in debate skills. We Americans are no better. Two of my roommates and I were trying to have a discussion on immigration policy, reform, solutions, etc. It ended with one roommate essentially accusing me and the other guy as being racist (I think, perhaps, a comparable American phrase).

There were many memorable intellectual points made such as how America has a tradition of not having a national language. I disagreed saying that it isn't so much a tradition, but it's rather just been a non-issue because the vast majority have always spoken issue. Apparently I was "dead wrong" because German "almost" became the national language (another myth, http://www.snopes.com/language/apocryph/german.asp).

Essentially, sometimes I feel that we need to subject everyone to an objective test of diplomatic and debate skills (developed by me, of course). Those that pass have earned to right to participate in public discourse while those who fail will have their mouths forcibly duct-taped. Of course, this would mean that we would have to re-elect just about every politician we currently have representing us. I'm still looking for a down-side.

Also, yay NPR! Specifically, hooray KUER!

sixline said...

Americans have a fair share in retarded arguing tactics as well, definitely.