I’ve had it up to here with complaints by mediocre, money-losing French winemakers (here’s a sample) that wines from California–invariably described as tasting like soda pop and candy–are killing off demand for French wines. Sorry, I’m from California—you know, “Sideways” country–and it so happens that we make some of the finest wines in the world. We can’t help it if consumers all over the world prefer our fruity, full-bodied wines (the work of our generous sunshine) to the thin, insipid, overpriced products from France. You call the “special” taste of your very, very vin ordinaire “terroir.” We call it plonk. That’s why our Bordeaux beat yours hands down in wine-tasting competitions, even in France.

That’s the trouble with the French, and the reason for the troubles in France right now; the French persist in lording it all over the world–and especially to the barbarous les americains that their culture is somehow superior to that of the rest of us. We are les cowboys, actually waging war against radical-Islamic terrorism–how un-civiilise!” They, the French, know how to make la paix with their huge, unassimilated radical-Islamic populations, and so what if it costs about 100 burnt cars a week in the suburbs even when the “troubled youths” aren’t rioting. They have le welfare state, le public housing, le multcultiralisme, la diversite, and now, as Prime Minister Dominique Villepin has promised in spades, les goverment programmes and l’action affirmative. How superieure!

That’s the Fench for you–when in fact the supposedly superieure French culture is about as thin and etiolated as your typical French vin de table. The French have a demographically declining, non-reproducing, rapidly aging population, no religion to speak of, and a sclerotic economy troubled by chronic 10 percent unemployment. Culturally, France lives off the capital of its past: Racine, Descartes, Monet–but no contemporary poets, philosphers or artists worth talking about. The French are great at contempt for Americans–I can still remember a trip a couple of college roommates and I took to Paris, in which we were treated to a parade of waiters and hotelkeepers–people who gladly took our money–pretending not to understand us because our accents weren’t perfect. When the salient feature of your civilization is your adeptness at humiliating 20-year-old Americans, you are through as a world power. No culture that lacks the will and self-confidence to replenish its population and to impose its standards of civilization on those who wish to live inside its borders can survive. The French now intend to pay Danegeld to arsonists, murderers, and vandals and, it is likely, to retreat into shrinking enclaves of les sophistiques surrounded by a vast, growing, and hostile radical-Islamic population. The French will natter on about terroir when they ought to be focusing on terrorism.

Here is what Tony Blankley has to say about the French situation inRealClearPolitics:

“As Paul Belien, writing from Brussels this weekend observed: ‘It is not anger that is driving the insurgents to take it out on the secularized welfare states of Old Europe. It is hatred. Hatred caused not by injustice suffered, but stemming from a sense of superiority. The “youths” do not blame the French, they despise them.’

“As Mr. Belien reports, look what a typical radical Muslim leader, Dyab Abou Jahjah, the leader of the Brussels-based Arab European League says: ‘We reject integration when it leads to assimilation. I don’t believe in a host country. We are at home here and whatever we consider our culture to be also belongs to our chosen country. I’m in my country, not the country of the Westerners.’….

“This is not about Muslim poverty (the Islamist terrorists who hit London all had good jobs. Mohammed Atta, who struck us in New York, was well-born and came from a prosperous family). It is about radical Islamist self-confidence and contempt for the West. And, it is about Western weakness.”

And the weakest country in the West right now seems to be France. As weak as that insipid Bordeaux.