I have been reading a lot about France lately for an article on the French language that I am cooking up. It’s still in the notes stage at the moment. I have been to many French websites, almost all of them written in French, so I have had to read a lot of French, which I am not very good at.
Many interesting things struck me about France which could be the subject of many provocative posts.
First of all, I feel that France is a real country, unlike this bullshit nonentity we call the United States. I don’t know why I felt that way, but reading endlessly about France, I felt that somehow this was a real country, with a real culture, a real language, a real history, a real politics, and a people deeply rooted in, yes, blood and soil, yet somehow without being fascists.
It’s a region where the past, present and possibly the future all run together. The year 1200 could have been yesterday. The 30 Years War could happen tomorrow.
The people, even regular, ordinary working class people, are extremely cultured and educated. This goes far beyond IQ. I had a French girlfriend when I was young. I was 21 and she was 37. She told me she was educated – she had a “baccaularet.”
That is an extremely hard test that the French make you take if you graduate from high school just to qualify to get into the unversity. Just to qualify, mind you. She had passed the college entrance exam, so she was an educated person. In France, that statement is actually true. Can you imagine somehow saying that in the US.
This woman was one of the most educated people I have ever met. I have no idea what her IQ was, not that it matters. We went to see art movies, plays and lectures by arty directors. She read voraciously, especially avant-garde novels like Alain Robbe-Grillet and Peter Handke that no one reads here.
One time I called her up and she said she was reading a book. I asked what it was about. She said, “Ontology.” I asked what that was, and she acted like I was stupid for asking. It’s a branch of philosophy that deals with “the study of existence,” whatever that means.
French women are one of the few women on Earth who will actually fuck you just for being an intellectual or an artist. They really respect stuff like that.
The weird thing was that I never thought that Suzanne was an unusual French person. I met a lot of her French friends and they were all just like her.
I met another Frenchwoman on the Net recently. She read a book a day. She also wrote poetry, which she published on the Net. I have no idea how good it was, but how many Americans put their poetry on the Net? I told her I was reading Sartre, and she almost screamed for joy. This woman had spent her whole life working for the post office. How many intellectuals do you know who work at the post office?
The French IQ of 94 is lower than our US White IQ at 100, yet the French seem to so much smarter.
Your IQ is a nice base, but it also matters what you stuff into your head. The White American stuffs nothing of any meaning or intelligence in his somewhat larger head. The French head is a bit smaller, yet he fills it to the brim with intellectual hors d’oevres large and small from far and near.