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Clearly this Calls for Some Kind of Tea Party-Like Event….

[ 13 ] December 31, 2007 |

How could this have slipped past the wingnutty?

This Christmas, Santa Claus is leaving his reindeer behind and hitching a ride on… a French warship! The Jeanne d’Arc, a helicopter carrier which serves as a training ship for French navy midshipmen, will dock into New York Harbor on Friday December 28 carrying over 10,000 books destined for disadvantaged American students, giving new meaning to the expression “turning swords into ploughshares.” The French books, including dictionaries and textbooks, but also novels and comic books, will be offered to the children participating in New York’s newly launched French-English dual-language programs, as well as to New Orleans schools devastated by hurricane Katrina.

A delegation of students from the Jordan L. Mott Middle School (CIS 22) in the Bronx, one of the three schools that have launched a French-English dual-language program this year (the other two are PS 125 in Harlem and PS 58 in Brooklyn), will be welcomed on-board the ship at 2pm on the 28 th. Following a performance by their school band and a tour of the two French ships (the Jeanne d’Arc will be accompanied by the antisubmarine warfare destroyer Georges Leygues), they will take delivery of the books on behalf of all the schools involved. Sixty of the eighty crates will remain in New York, while the rest will be shipped overland to New Orleans.

In addition to the general threat posed by French collaboration with the potentially revolutionary American underclass, we would be foolish to discount French territorial revanchism; as we know, French foreign policy has long been animated by a burning desire to restore les couleurs over New Orleans…

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  • as we know, French foreign policy has long been animated by a burning desire to restore les couleurs over New Orleans…
    Down here in Baton Rouge, 1804 is known either as the date of la vente de la Louisiane or as the date of “the arrival of the Americans.”

  • Cass

    Just like the French to load down a warship (named for a girl!) with a bunch of pansy books.

  • the general threat posed by French collaboration with the potentially revolutionary American underclass
    Seriously, on this point, see the chapter on the Pointe Coupee slave conspiracy of 1795 in Gwendolyn Midlo Hall’s Africans in Colonial Louisiana. She shows how the subsequent trial retrospectively turned a multi-racial class-based conspiracy to join Jacobin France (which had outlawed slavery) and get out from underneath Spanish administration, into the phantasm of race war (only the black conspirators were tortured and put on trial). Highly recommended. It’s telling that the everyday name for this event is the Pointe Coupee Slave Revolt, when there never was a revolt, only a conspiracy. But the memories of the Natchez Rebellion of 1729 (which really did result in European blood being shed) were fresh enough in the minds of the planters that they didn’t object to a little exaggeration, nor, indeed, to enhanced interrogation techniques.

  • ZOMG! They’ve captured the CollectivitE territoriale de Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon! Can Long Island be next!

  • Gus

    Why do American kids need to speak French? If English was good enough for Jesus it’s good enough for America’s children!

  • dave3544

    Is this where I say “Go Ducks!”?

  • jon

    Sure, go ahead and laugh. Can’t you see that they have us just where they want us – caught in a pincers between Quebec, New Orleans and Martinique!
    Well played, Sarkozy, but it isn’t over yet…

  • Ronnie Pudding

    French books for the poorest among us? At least they didn’t send cake.
    Nonetheless, it’s more than our government would do for these kids, though still less than Venezuela has done.

  • coozledad

    You laugh now, but when your kid brings that Francophone rap album home in about twelve years, you’ll know we’ve been handed our ass in the culture wars.

  • PurpleGirl

    Good thing I was drinking while reading this post… LOL

  • doctorj

    I know a lot of New Orleanians that would not be too upset to be under the French flag. France actually gave us more moral support than our own country after Katrina.

  • SSG Jeff (USAR)

    DoctorJ,
    Well, the French are used to mooching off the Gov’t, so I’m sure they had more sympathy.
    But it wasn’t the Jeanne de Arc sitting at dock in New Orleans providing hospital care, helicopters, and coordination for the recovery effort – it was a US Navy LHD.
    And has it been the French that have been sending groups of people down to help rebuild? No, that would be American churches doing that.

  • You could not be more precise…