Friday, October 22, 2010
How low is America's view of the French?
This is a coffee cup from Tennessee. It has "warning, this is HOT!!!" on it.
Ignoring for a moment the implications of half-wittedness that such awarning makes about the general population of coffee drinkers in the region where it is on offer, lets consider for a moment the use of space, and how it has been prioritized.
Firstly, the warning is in English (fair enough one might say. It patronizes the intelligence of almost everyone locally),
Secondly it is in Spanish (again, reasonable given demographics in the Southern US. If you are to patronize the English speakers patronize the second biggest ethnic group too. After all, thats only fair - get them all!)
So, whats the third choice of language?
Because the nearest French Speakers live in Canada ....? Like, if you lived in a place where outdoor pursuits are obligatory, where the air is fresh and clear and you live on a diet of seafood plucked from the ocean less than 20 minutes ago, and where you abhor all things American.....of course you'd drive 29 hours cross country to go on holiday in a state notable for its humid climate, lack of mountains and diet of excessively processed and deep fried food ?
I think not.
Because the staunchly Republican gun toting South wants to make sure that they are doing all they can to be creeping up the preferred holiday destination list for visitors from one of the gastronomic heartlands of Old Europe, and a "Don't burn yourself Francois!" note on a plastic cup will compensate for the lack of nouvelle cuisine, great wines, well preserved, sophisticated pencil-thin ulra-stylish middle aged women and collections of great art and 16th century architecture??
I suspect not.
Because for most anyone living in this part of the USA, France is the only foreign country they have ever fricking heard of, so they assume that the entire rest of the "furriners" out there in the world probably speak French as well...?
That gets my vote!
Viva Las Starbucks...