the absurd observers

Monday, February 21, 2005

What about freedom fries?

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Apparently, France and the US have always had warm relations. This was news to me.


For christ's sake, some US lawmakers renamed french fries "freedom fries" only a few years ago. If that was an illustration of our animosity towards the French government - and it was - then the relations have experienced some chilly periods.



On my scale, renaming food is one notch below Orwellian doublespeak. I think someone hearing: "those aren't french fries, they're freedom fries" would probably respond with the same vacant up and down head nod that the citizens in 1984 gave when they were being educated that basic arithmetic was flexible. We punished a potato by ignoring its preparation. We created confusion (in fast food restaurants). We were so mad at the French that we thought we'd hit them wear it hurts: in the fries. (I use we, because I participated in the "Freedom movement", mostly because it was fun to think of phrases that would now be called Freedom ______, like: Freedom kissing, the Freedom quarter, Freedom dressing, and the Freedom Connection).



It was the kind of political move that made you wonder what other steps didn't make it out of the brainstorming session. "I got it. Why don't we put plastic wrap on Gerard Depardieu's toilet." Or, "I say we wait till they fall asleep and then we draw on them with magic marker." I don't think that renaming a fast food falls far out of step with these ideas.

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