rants and raves, II

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Since I actually only have one thing to rave about at the moment, let us accenuate the positive!  And that would be the amazing warmth of 70-80 degree weather in the French Riviera.  It's so warm, people are laying out on the beach.  Mostly middle-aged men in Speedos, but I swear, this is still a rave because it reminds me of all those sunny weekend afternoons Vinny (shoutout, as requested) and I spent in Dolores Park.  Just like being home.  Awww.

Or maybe today we'll have raving, ranting, and the completely random - I saw a Da Vinci Code DVD on sale for 90 euros today.  90 EUROS?  Does it include the actual Mona Lisa?  Or a date with Audrey Tautau? 

So now for the fun part!  The rants, from least to most offensive:
1.  Slow walkers.  I already dislike this in the states, but in Nice the streets are super narrow (like many French streets) AND they are building a new metro line so there is a ton of construction, meaning that when you get stuck behind a party of ten grandmas shuffling along, you're with them for a good 20 minutes.

2.  merde.  A month ago, I read that Stephen Clarke book, A Year in the Merde.   And said to myself, haha, what a funny story.  But it's in the non-fiction section for a reason, my friends.  And I wouldn't mind the narrow streets as much if I wasn't looking down the whole time.  I already am not a friend of the chiens.  Don't even get me started on the merde.

3. Anti-Americanism.  Okay, a real rant.  I am not walking around sporting my 'I heart Bush' tshirt, I am not pro-Iraqi war, and I don't think we have a god-given right to hegemony and imperialism.  I also think that I am pretty freaking lucky to live in American and that we have made several important contributions to the world, including national parks, the human genome project,  and iPods.  All good things.  And I am aware of both the flaws and acheivements of our homeland.  So I am more than willing to engage in a discussion about our election system, foreign policy, culture, even pop culture, as long as we are furthing mutual understanding and discussing statistics.  And given the current state of affairs, I am completely understanding of the anti-American sentiment amongst other nations.

That being said, I find it completely rude and obnoxioux to sit around making general criticisms about the general American population while in the company of a representative of said demographic.  I don't need a group of people telling me that all Americans are obese, lazy, uneducated, ignorant, and...oh yes, loud.  Especially when, FYI, I am not fat, a runner, educated at one of the top universities in the world, speak multiple languages, and am up to date on my current events.  And especially when you have dropped out of university after your second year, are above the AMA-recommended BMI limit (ok, you're not on the American standard, but since we're supposedly the fat society, lets roll with that), and do not speak anything other than English, which you do so loudly to the French without any attempts to greet or thank in their language. 

And I don't care that America can be hegemonic and imperialistic and have launched unjustified military action on another country and spread capitalism and consumerism.  For one thing, all y'alls eating Big Macs, drinking your caramel macchiatos, and listening to your iPods don't really seem to upset.  And secondly, it is just plain rude.  In the same way that I find it completely unacceptable to degrade women or make racist comments - most people would not do those things to my face - what makes it acceptable to make similar unfound and insulting comments about Americans?  Nothing.  Therefore, as they said in Bambi, if you can't say anything nice...sit down and shut up.

Also, if one more man has the nerve to call me 'girl' in that mysogenistic and degrading manner that has been so rampant in the past month, I am going to punch them in the face.  I'm small, but I am now full of simmering rage.  And I can kick it like taebo.

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photo by: Niki-Travelfan