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Thursday, July 14, 2005 

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

Today, July 14, is Bastille Day. On this day, 216 years ago, the French peasants embarked on a major revolution, throwing off the chains of the monarchy and hailing the bloodied beginning of the First Republic. Bastille Day, is the French version of July 4th. It is a day the French take a day off from being unemployed (a staggering 10.2% for a 1st world country) and to celebrate their superior lifestyle.

Qu'ils mangent de la brioche (Let them eat cake) - (Marie Antoinette, 1789)
It seems that more than two centuries later, the French are taking Marie Antoinette’s words to heart. Bastille Day has become a day of excess and drunken revelry. It is a day when French people across the world take pride in wearing black socks with white tennis shoes and sing "La Marseillaise," the French national anthem. They engage in coffee shop smoking, drink lots of red wine, eat incredibly expensive meals, watch classic French movies, play games, enjoy dancing and fireworks displays and… well, avoid taking daily showers. Now if you’ll excuse me, my French boss taking us out to a late afternoon lunch… here's hoping I make it back with my head still on top of my shoulders. I’m just along for the ride… never been one to say no to a good celebration.
Viva la France!, Viva la Revolution!, Viva la Republic! Viva le pomme de terre frites! et Tout le choses magnifique et formidable!
[Translation: Viva France!, Viva the Revolution!, Viva the Republic! Viva the fried potato chips! and All things splendid and remakable!]


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