Bonjour, mes amis, and bienvenue, welcome, to French Gawker, a pop-up site that we have launched in tribute to nos frères across the la mer in bewitching France. Why France? Why today? Why French Gawker? What’s happening here? Qu’est qui se passe?
On this day in 1789, zut alors, the people of Paris stormed the medieval Bastille prison to free political prisoners who were being held—with no chance of appeal—by King Louis XVI. It was a shining moment in the revolution that toppled the poisoned monarchy, abolished feudalism in France, and delivered, at least briefly, power to the hands of the people. It was France’s proudest day then, and ever, and it is memorialized in that great country through a traditional celebration of waving the French flag, whose colors proudly represent Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity, and also drinking red and white wines, whose colors represent getting drunk.
The French have contributed many things to culture throughout history: baguettes, Brie cheese, André the Giant, Thomas Piketty’s cute face, Kim Kardashian’s bachelorette party, Gérard Depardieu pissing on a plane, champagne, Eric Cantona’s kung fu kick, and of course, everyone’s most beloved Iron Age cartoon character Asterix. Banksy is also probably French. There is literally no way you can confirm that he is not French.
We Americans take and take and take from the French, but what have we ever given in return? We appropriate their wines and distill them into two-buck Chuck. We laugh at their former colony to the north. We celebrate our Independence Day (ten days before theirs) with greater panache, bigger fireworks—and with the same damn colors. We might as well take our dicks out of our blue jeans and piss Miller High Life all over the Sacré-Cœur. Americans have never given anything to the French because, well, we invented rock and roll, baby. We don’t owe anyone shit.
But today, we do have a little gift to provide our French frères et soeurs on the special day of their independence. The French have long been vocal about wanting desperately to read the great American website experiment Gawker.com. Today, as a special diplomatic gift in honor of Bastille Day, and with the help of Google Translate, we will present every Gawker.com post on our pop-up blog translated into French. Typos, errors, and poor translation will surely occur. Miscommunication is an absolute certainty. But the end goal—getting our stories, the likes of which appeal almost exclusively to a specific kind of French audience—out to the French masses is the most important thing we could do to honor Bastille Day.
Liberty. Equality. Fraternity.