Wednesday, July 14, 2010

In honor of Bastille Day... A brief and irreverent history of France

40 BC - That Caesar guy was a bit of a dick, wasn't he? Oh well, I guess it's not all bad being conquered by the Romans, what with the whole "civilization" thing. Oh, and the orgies. We'll have to make that a tradition around here.

AD 486 - OH SHIT! THE GERMANS!!!! Oh wait, it turns out the Franks are cool dudes. They even converted to Christianity like we did. It's cool, and they promised us they wouldn't start shit with us ever again. Nice people.

987 - Some guy named Hugh is calling himself king. Seriously? Hugh? That's the name of the kid who got picked last in sport and merriment, or a horse-drawn-cart salesman. And that guy is calling himself king? Eh, it'll never last...

1066 - Hey, you guys see that big island over there across the Channel? Let's take it! I don't see how that could affect things over the next millennium...

1309 - Ha! It's so nice here, even the Popes are moving in! Save your whining, Romans - have you seen Avignon in June?

1337 - Ugh, these English folks are starting to get bitchy; some are even saying that their king should be our king. Say what?!? We got to go kick some ass around here; this shouldn't take long...

1350 - Ok, so it's been going on a decade, but come on, it's not like it's gonna last another hundred years, right? Right? Hey, what are these black spots on my skin...?

1453 - Well, I guess that got out of hand. Most of us just plain forgot why we were fighting in the first place; near the end there, we were just having drinking contests instead of battles (those English can't hold their wine at all). Still pissed they killed that Joan girl, she looked awfully cute in that armor. Although it must be said: she was kind of a frigid bitch. Yes, I know you're the leader of the army and whatnot, but was it really necessary to call me "needledick" in front of the other troops?

1572 - "Thou shalt not kill (anyone but the Calvinists)". Amen!

1660 - Louis XIV's parties are the shit! The dancing, the fireworks, the food, the entertainment, the orgies... I was supposed to be back in Normandy two months ago! What do you mean, "Who's leading the country?"

1720 - The Enlightenment, where our philosophers are creating the ideas that will improve society for centuries. Still waiting to get started on deodorant, though.... priorities, people.

1776 - The Americans did WHAT? To the English? Oh man, we should help the Yanks out; I'm still pissed off about Joan of Arc.

1781 - Wow, that worked out surprisingly well... perhaps too well....

1789 - Now, I know some of you are worried about this so-called "Reign of Terror", but I swear it's all done with the best intentions for France. After all, you can't make omelettes without decapitating a few monarchs... and aristocrats... and alleged traitors... and ex-girlfriends... and people who look at me funny....

1804 - Some midget from Corsica is declaring himself emperor (without a farcical aquatic ceremony, even). OK, I'm sold.

1812 - Invade Russia in the winter? Why not? It's this outside-the-box thinking that's gonna take the French army straight to the top!

1815 - Wow, that sucked. Got spanked at Waterloo by the Brits and Prussians (hey wait, didn't the Germans say they were gonna play nice?). On the bright side, we're no longer an empire; so it's time for us to install... another kingdom! Oh, wait...

1830 - Another revolution causes the king to be overthrown (woot!) in place of a constitutional monarch. Shit, that didn't quite have the effect we wanted, either. Oh well, I'm sure it'll turn into a nice musical one day.

1848 - Finally! A true Republic!!!!

1852 - Woo hoo! Napoleon as Emperor!!!

..........Wait, what the fuck!!! Didn't we do this like 50 years ago? I'm getting a sense that I've seen this already. There should be a term for that....

1870 - OK, now that that's all sorted out, can we try to stick with the Republic thing again? Please? OK.

1889 - Hey, things are going great here! We have colonies all over the world, the finest artists, writers, and chefs around, our cabarets are world-renowned and WHAT THE HELL IS THAT THING THEY'RE BUILDING?!??? Why on earth are they erecting a giant metal penis in the middle of Paris? (Hey, stop chuckling over there.) Is this some Brit's sick practical joke?? Ugh, what a disgrace to the city, hopefully they'll take it down once the World's Fair is over.


1920 - Now that things have settled down, let's get to work philosophizing about how much everybody sucks (except us, naturally).


1944 - Wait, does this mean we have to actually like the English and Americans now?

No? OK, good.

1958 - Hey, Algeria, where are you going? Was it something I said? Those d-bags in Indochina put you up to this, didn't they?

1981 - You mean that guillotine is still hanging around? Ew... creepy. Toss it.


1998 - HAHA! At last, in our home nation, France has won the World Cup! Truly, we are now the kings of football, and will be for years to come....

2006 - Merde.

2010 - MERDE.

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