22.11.10

Cocorico! Cocorico

"...forgive me, God, That I do brag thus! This your air of France, Hath blown that vice in me."

My wife and I often visit a certain restaurant on Saturdays in Raleigh, called "Mimi's". The faire is Louisiane and French for the most part and the breakfasts, while not "exactly" French, have a French flavor. (a least a close as I can afford). I saw the above poster in the restaurant and paused to consider the appropriateness of the rooster when considering France and the French.

But I digress. Coocorico is how a rooster sounds to the Gaullic ear. The same vain strutting, insensitive creature that daily wakes up the farmer, and keeps the hens laying eggs rooster. For a time it was the symbol of the Second Empire under another vain, strutting, insensitive creature, Louis Napoleon. The Latin word for rooster is Gallus, from the root gallia, from which the Romans derived the word Gaul. So even in ancient times the Romans already knew the Gauls were "loquacious", aggressive, and argumentative, or in a word "rooster like." In the states we might call it hardheadedness. (Laughing to myself, I recall when my family gets together.)

This inborn and most important trait of crowing about one's accomplishments is also manifested to OTF's (other than French) by what is most often termed French rudeness. It is a form of disinterestedness (as in "it does not concern me") which makes a profound impact on the OTF's who are more at ease in interrupting someone’s conversation to say hello. In a recent poll it is no surprise that of the 10 most important traits, the French placed manners in 10th place.

While many would see this as a bad trait let me remind the reader that it was this French need, which brought civilization to the Germans and Irish, brought the faith to billions around the world, conquered England in 1066, led the Crusades, defeated the English during the 100 years war, and colonized a continent. These in themselves would be accomplishments enough, but they also developed medicines to end diseases, as well as x-rays. That French was and still is the language of the diplomatic corps, is due in no small part due to the emulation of OTFs to be French. How can Buckingham Palace compare to Trianon or Versailles?

The French are not overly concerned on how others feel about them. That is how only the French can get away with wearing brown shoes and black trousers together. Doubt it? Just recall De Gaulle, the super rooster.

I have always found it a matter of pride that I am of French ancestry. I have tried to instill this in my children and grandchildren as well. There should always be in them a sense of pride from where they came.

All I can say is...

Cocorico!

"La Gloire de la France est un des plus nobles orniments du monde." ("France's glory is one of the worlds most noble ornaments") Montaigne


Vive la France!
de Brantigny

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