Flickr

  • www.flickr.com
    Abiola_Lapite's photos More of Abiola_Lapite's photos

« Hacking and Facial Hair | Main | Misaki Ito is a Blogger - 伊東美咲さんはブロガーです »

April 02, 2006

Comments

Disgusted

I never realised this blog was so full of neo-liberal shit. You are off my list, dude!

Abiola

As if I cared I was on it to begin with, "dude"! Talk about self-important morons ...

Wayne

Ignoring the trolls, which way now for France? They need to urgently reform their economic policies but their populace largely rejects such necessary steps? It's one thing if the people want change but the politicians don't. Quite another when a nations populace turn their back on the future.

Indeed, two major protests in such a short space means that past boasts that French society had overcome racism and inequality were largely false.

Abiola

"Quite another when a nations populace turn their back on the future"

They'll just have to keep suffering the relative decline they've been experiencing over the last 15 years until something finally breaks. That's usually how change occurs in France anyway - things fester until some sort of societal explosion occurs.

"Indeed, two major protests in such a short space means that past boasts that French society had overcome racism and inequality were largely false."

Those of us who've long known better could previously only laugh to ourselves when watching the French self-righteously pontificate on the evils of racial strife in America. France has done an excellent job of replicating American-style ghettoization and polarization, without providing the American-style job creation to alleviate it. Worse yet is that the French aren't even perturbed enough by the racism and stratification which pervades their society to pay it the homage of hypocritical anti-racism that nearly all Americans do in polite society.

Chuckles

Developing countries are doing good on that list - which is sweet.

But seriously, I suspect that the Citizens of quite a couple of other countries wouldnt mind being in the French position - were it not for their clear view of State incompetence. In my experience of Japanese high school teachers for instance (and I have met a lot of aspiring ones) - the primary reason for their joining the teaching profession is almost always given to be job security. It is of course fortunate that this attitude is being rooted out of Japanese corporate life, even as a new generation of sentimentalists bemoan the effect of American style economy on their mythical omni-middle-class past. The same attitude is obvious in Nigeria and Kenya where civil service jobs are basically sit tight jobs - with the requisite downward age adjustments made to perpetrate the status quo.

I must confess my suprise about China's high score though (this is suppose to be a socialist type country, innit?), as well as Russia's low score (surely the State incompetence of the past was enough to teach Russians a lesson?)

This is as much a function of State policies, as it is of a culture where feelings of entitlement, dubious "rights" and so on are encouraged. Pity the Argentinians havent learned anything.

Seriously though - when is the world going to wake up from this socialist/communitarian/tribal delusion? Do people really think life is all about holding hands and getting along and being nice in one little community where people have all things in common?

Abiola

"I suspect that the Citizens of quite a couple of other countries wouldnt mind being in the French position - were it not for their clear view of State incompetence."

Of course lots of Third Worlders would be more than happy to permanently collect the French dole - it's a heck of a step up from starving in Tanzania or stitching basketballs in Pakistan. The problem is that their kids grow up in this system knowing nothing else and aspiring to the far better life they see millions of their white fellow countrymen taking for granted - and then engage in weeks-long riots when told to go back to their banlieues and keep taking their dole cheques.

"Russia's low score (surely the State incompetence of the past was enough to teach Russians a lesson?)"

Hey, Stalin's murder-spree wasn't enough to teach the Russians to view him with anything other than admiration, so why should a little queuing for shoddy goods and living with perenially empty storeshelves put them off going back to the glory days of socialism? Russia is not and never has been a liberal country - most Russians would happily surrender all their newfound liberties for the sake of ego-boosting "national greatness" (i.e. expansionism) and the false-security of the past (it was the Soviet Union's impending bankruptcy which forced Gorbachev to perestroika).

dsquared

[France has done an excellent job of replicating American-style ghettoization and polarization]

Not convinced. France has ghettoes, but they're not American-style; if they were, France would need American-style prisons.

ivan

Doesn't France have American-style prisons then? Well, it's going to: "The inmates won't feel any freer. But the French government could get a little more fiscal breathing room as it opens 18 new prisons over the next four years. The prisons will be built and run by private contractors who will be responsible for maintenance, food service, even staff training "
(http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/04_42/b3904075_mz054.htm)

Lee A. Arnold

How did they end up with the best cuisine? Maybe "lack of ambition" has its better hours?

Jason Soon

oh gimme a break. I've never understood this 'best cuisine' nonsense. French food is way overrated, it doesn't excite me.

dsquared

Thinking French food is overrated is the market's way of telling you that you don't earn enough money.

Jason Soon

dsquared
I could eat French food every week if I wanted to. Being of Asian background I genuinely don't get French food. I find it neither tasty nor hearty which are my two criteria. It's too understated and doesn't excite. It may be fine for snooty yuppy foodies whose pontifications I don't bother reading, but there are a whole list of cuisines I would rate above French food - Malaysian, Indian and Chinese for starters.

Frank McGahon

"I genuinely don't get French food. I find it neither tasty nor hearty which are my two criteria. It's too understated and doesn't excite. It may be fine for snooty yuppy foodies whose pontifications I don't bother reading,"

Perhaps French food in Australia is no great shakes because I simply don't recognise this characterisation: it doesn't sound anything like the food I've tasted in France or by French cooks elsewhere. Tastiness and heartiness are prized in France too. There are plenty of things the French do wrong but cooking isn't one of them

Incidentally, the "snooty yuppie foodies" aren't particularly excited by French cooking which is more or less the default format for "high" cuisine and seem to be more excited by the type of experimental cuisine of Ferrán Adriàn or Heston Blumenthal and I seem to remember they used to "pontificate": about the "fusion" food popularised in your own country.

Chuckles

I dont understand how being of Asian background predisposes one to not getting French food.

Wayne

Several Japanese and Chinese dishes are highly enjoyable. Alas, they're expensive and more suited to special occasions. That's the market then truly saying I don't earn enough, since I do want them.

Oddly enough, while I favour Italian as well the French versions of such Italian food go down better with me than the originators own. Italian pizza's, as one example, have been terrible in my experience (as bad as the American deep pan fried ones).

That being said I think new world wines (Argentinian, South African, Australian, etc) are better than old world ones.

Chuckles

[...That being said I think new world wines (Argentinian, South African, Australian, etc) are better than old world ones...]

That's the second time I have seen this opinion presented within 5 days. I prefer California and French wines - and almost never touch Argentinian.

dsquared

There are some genuinely excellent wines produced in Australia, but the idea that South Africa (or even worse, Argentina) are anywhere near France is just off the wall. I don't really know much about Californian wines because they don't export much, but they have won blind tastings in France (though this was 30 years ago and everyone is still talking about it which suggests to me it was a fluke).

Any comparison between national wines has to include a price point and style or it is meaningless, but my prejudice is always that France is going to be better simply because of the kind of economy of scale that Adam Smith talked about in the chapter on the cutlers of Sheffield. Bordeaux produces more wine than the whole of Australia, I read last week. There is so much strength in depth in French viticulture that they are always going to have a large percentage of the world's best winemakers.

(my acid test is that there is simply nowhere, nowhere on earth that makes a sparkling wine which is up to the standards of Champagne).

Wayne

Ah, but weren't you talking about tastes and how they differ amongst people? You for example prefer sparkling whites, I for example prefer the South African Noble Lates (similar to German Ice Wine harvests).

Simonsig and Groot Constantia are good, although Spier is overrated and in my opinion built on fancy marketing. Admittedly Nederberg has deteriorated and KWV is not consistent but then there are several hundred other smaller wine producers out there. The South African 'bushveld wines' admittedly may appeal to specific South African/Australian tastes as well but then that's the point in differentiation.

As another example though I abhor French Moet, but then isn't everyone different? Doesn't the fact that Argentina, Australia and South Africa have seen annual double digit growth in their wine exports suggest there are plenty of others with their own preferences globally as well.

Frank McGahon

Wayne, surely dsquared's point is that the sheer scale of French viticulture means that it has the capacity to satisfy a wider range of "personal tastes"

Frank McGahon

Also, a cursory browse over the wine shelves in any Irish or British supermarket would suggest that marketing of "new world" wines has been spectacularly successful with many very ordinary wines from Chile, Argentina etc. commanding higher prices than some very good French wines. Ones that I'd be willing to bet would come our favourably in any blind tasting tests over their supposed new world peers.

dsquared

[Doesn't the fact that Argentina, Australia and South Africa have seen annual double digit growth in their wine exports suggest there are plenty of others with their own preferences globally as well]

Less than you'd think. A very large percentage indeed of the growth in New World wine exports is accounted for by the UK and Ireland. Since the global wine exports of France are a much bigger number than those of Aus, NZ, SA etc, it's much more difficult for a single market to generate a double digit growth in their exports (there are also supply-side issues; France today has more or less all the vineyards it's ever going to have).

Seriously, try to get Australian or South African wine in the USA or Japan; it's a real niche. Where the Aussie producers ahve done really well is in the UK. I quite agree with Frank, btw; nearly fifteen quid for Cloudy Bay is absolutely taking the piss.

Wayne: I had a bottle of Canadian ice wine and it was delicious. But this is what I mean about needing to be very careful in defining categories of wine and price points; there are very few French dessert wines which are anywhere near the price range of the South African and German ones, unless you're actually telling us that you've compared the South African botyris wines side-by-side with Chateau d'Yquem in which case lend me a tenner :-) I'd more say that affordable dessert wines is a category where the New World produces a product that isn't available in France at all; it's one of the few categories where New World producers always appear on restaurant menus in France.

dsquared

btw, my newspaper told me back in November that the Japanese have gone mental for Beaujolais Nouveau! You can hardly buy it in the UK these days because it is so wildly out of fashion, but I always liked it, quintessential aging yuppie that I am.

Chuckles

Amateur sommeliers are a dime a dozen in Japan - another weird thing about that country: Its tastes in wine. Absolutely pretentious, if you ask me.

Wayne

Nope. I haven't personally compared any botyris wines against Chateau d'Yquem.

radek

Australian wine is pretty common around here, though it is California. Good luck finding it in Ohio.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Notes for Readers