Sunday, December 27, 2009

Confession of a dangerous mind: An Anglophile admits to liking something French. Phoenix - 1901(live)

It's funny. For years I eschewed almost all things French. There is no serious logic to the roots of this Franco-contempt I harbor. Since I was a child, I have always been imbued with a profound Anglophile streak. This can be chalked up to a deep resonance for tales of Churchill, Nelson, Thatcher, and Wellington among others, while despising the likes of Marshal Petain, and generally interpreting the French as venal, petulant, feeble, and unreliable. I still proudly maintain most of these biases. The Lafayette shtick never really held that much water with me.

My anti-Gaulish bona fides were so legit that during the spring semester of my junior year of college in 2003, a political science professor started off his April 1 lecture by announcing that I was taking up a collection to repatriate the Statue of Liberty to France. Along with collective gasps of dismay from the classroom, the girl sitting in front of me quickly snapped around and in wide-eyed rage accused me of being a "patriotic pig," before the professor could announce it was an April fool's gag. Gone are the days.

I guess I have mellowed a tad through the years. Despite never taking to French wines, even though my father always pushed them on me, I have always loved French ties. I permanently borrowed my first Hermes from my father towards the end of college, and have aggressively expanded my collection French ties since then. My favorites have always been the unlined, unstructured ties of Arnys. They tie great knots and drape distinctively. Charvet ties have such bold colors and are so beautifully woven that their elegance is hard to surpass, but I find them delicate and quick to fray, hence they don't get worn as much. Hermes has great patterns, although some would consider them cliched. The Hermes tie I lifted from my father is probably thirty years old, yet its subtle display of equestrian bits goes with just about any professional outfit I can throw together. Timeless.

I have never thought much of French rockers. For the most part, the French just aren't programmed to get rock and roll. This link says it all. Trust me. However, I will confess to being pleasantly surprised by Phoenix. I find their current hit, "1901," to be appropriately catchy and enjoyable. I became aware of the band years ago through their song "Too Young," and always thought them to be French Canadian for no good reason. Anyways, since this werewolf is in exile, he'll be honest with the world by starting to admit that he is finding a few French things likable.

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