Readers of the Times could be forgiven for feeling a little confused after reading that "the monkeys have not merely surrendered but are prostrating themselves at the Golden Arch" of McDonald's. The monkeys? The French. The evidence of their national surrender to burgers: the latest profit figures showing that France is leading the field for McDonald's in Europe with revenues increased by 11% to €3 billion (£2.3 billion) in 2007.For decades on end, it couldn't just be a product or idea that people like or reject. It had to be ginned up into "imperialism," or some other item from the short list of buzzwords rolling from the tips of their tongues much as Pavlov's dog's drool.
French school canteens, with a menu du jour displayed every day in playgrounds, also educate young palates so that children don't become slaves to fast food in later years. Most teenagers in France go to McDonald's, but it doesn't prevent them from enjoying their grandmother's soupe de cresson their uncle's soufflé au fromage, and more importantly, they know the difference between junk food and gastronomy.As they do everywhere else on earth, but in their great, superior enlightenment, able to leap tall buildings, etc., etc., to a degree which somehow must always be defined as greater or better, as they eternally try to define themselves banking on a distant past.
As if this grand, global drama (based on them, of course) really existed, there had to be a way to talk about oneself, and one's great inability to be taken seriously when something (anything) identified as being from some other nation competes with anything as minor as your own malbouffe, something MUST be rationalized.
But of course, to explain McDonald's parfum de success you may prefer to dig into the legendary contrarian nature of French behaviour ...
- H/T to Eurota