Hardly a day goes by without someone asking me how they should feel about France. Now, please bear in mind that I’ve never been to France, I don’t know any French people and I don’t speak French. But people know that I’m a deep thinker and generous when doling out the advice, so they ask anyway. As a result, I’ve developed this fun little quiz to help figure out whether you’re a Francophile or Francophobe.
For well over 200 years France has been America’s best frenemy in the world. They gave us Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier (aka General Lafayette), without whom we’d never have won the revolutionary war. In return, we gave them randy Ambassador/Viagra inventor Ben Franklin who quickly tallied up an impressive record of sleeping with every girl in Paris as a 70-something year old man. Obviously, our two countries go way back.
For each of the following seven questions, please score yourself two points for yes, one point for maybe and zero points for no:
1) Do you like French food?
While France is credited with inventing fine dining and professional chefery, once you eliminate all of the disgusting things that they eat (frog legs, snails, fish eggs, rotten mushrooms, goose liver, etc.) you’re left with only three meaningful contributions to the food world: fries, omelets and freedom toast – in other words, the Denny’s menu. (0 points)
2) Do you like French music?
Clearly intimidated by nearby musical powerhouses like England and Sweden, the French have never produced any good (non-classical) music, ever. Perhaps it’s their obsession with techno and hip hop that’s ruined their chances at international music stardom. Hell, even the Germans managed to produce The Scorpions and Falco. You’ve got to go all the way back to Edith Piaf and Maurice Chevalier to even find a French musician whose name you recognize. (0 points)
3) Do you like French film?
Loving French cinema is a prerequisite to being a pretentious film snob and France has produced a long list of amazing directors, including Jean Cocteau, Jean-Luc Godard, Michel Gondry, Jean Renoir and the big daddy of them all, François Truffaut. But to be perfectly honest, most French films remind me of Barney Gumbel’s award-winning “Pukahontas”. Then again, Catherine Deneuve. (1 point)
4) Do you like French art?
The Renaissance, The Louvre, Notre Dame, Palace of Versailles, Jacques-Louis David, Manet, Monet, Renoir, Degas, etc., etc., sacre bleu! (2 points, easily)
5) Do you like French wine?
Now, I’m a beer drinker first and a spirits (rum/vodka) drinker second. If pressed, I’d admit that my favorite wine is the complex and fruity Manischewitz – which is totally awesome – so I’m obviously not a French wine drinker. However, lots of people seem to like wine and France gets credit for both the grapes and the modern production process, so good on you, les drunkelbots. (1 point)
6) Do you like French sports?
The French Open, The Tour de France and Le Mans are the three big French sporting events. That’s tennis, bicycle racing and auto racing for you non-sports fans. I don’t get the bicycle thing at all – a gaggle of men in spandex riding bikes up hills for a month in teams that aren’t really teams. On the other hand, pro bikers have advanced the science of cheating to levels that even Barry Bonds couldn’t dream of. Blood doping? That’s some seriously committed cheating. Auto racing is the most tedious “sport” known to man, but I guess that explains why French people love vacationing in the deep south. Tennis is kind of cool and I dig that they play on clay, which screws up all of the top-ranked players. (1 point)
7) Do you like French politics?
Here’s the tough question. The French right wing (which isn’t really called right wing) is currently in control of France, but their right wing seems much saner than America’s neo-crackpots. I generally view France as a lefty country where people like to go on strike, smoke butts and take a month off in the summer. In other words, they’re awesome like Manischewitz. Sure, they get dinged for that whole Vichy government thing, but then again, Carla Bruni is their first lady – easily the hottest first lady since America’s own Ellen Lewis Herndon (Nell) Arthur. (2 points)
So, how’d you do? Are you a Francophile or Francophobe? Tally up your scores to find out:
0 – 4 points: You seriously hate France, Dick Cheney-style.
5 – 10 points: You’d follow France on Twitter, but you wouldn’t friend France on Facebook
11 – 14 points: Emballer vos sacs, mon ami!
(By the way, my final score was a 7.)