Wellllllll, this is awkward.
So the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs website issues a security warning for visitors to 16 U.S. cities, including Chicago, advising: “éviter le West Side et le sud de la ville après la 59ème rue.”
The Washington Post’s GovBeat blog translates that as: “Stay away from the West Side and anywhere south of 59th Street.”
This is dangled under the nose of our mordant mayor, Rahm Emanuel, who offers up a smooth political response, “Don’t get me started on what I think of the French,” which simultaneously conveys a proud pugnacity without actually saying anything negative; Chicago won’t move up the world-class city ladder by picking fights with Paris.
And while no American pundit can go wrong dissing the French — though it is impossible to top “The Simpsons’” deathless epithet, “cheese-eating surrender monkeys” — it is my unfortunate duty, even though the Kabuki of journalism dictates that this story dwindled away days ago, as we rush to flutter our fingers at some new trifle, to quietly point out: The French are right....
Well, kinda, sorta right, but... Contd.