Good morning folks,
I will be working in Montréal today.
The U.S. Is a particularly fickle friend and an ever stranger date. it is hard for me to keep trap of whether it likes France, like-likes France, or has contempt for France. It seems just a few moments ago that restaurants all removed their french-fry cookers and installed freedom-fry cookers. They look the same but the operators have no healthcare nor safe employment standards.
This month though, since France had become the latest country to suffer the pain of a senseless terrorist attack, France is once again on the friend list of the U.S. I could remind the U.S. that France is its oldest friend having fought along side it during the American War of Independence, but that is merely an inconvenient truth.
But friends again. Sort of. Two Sundays ago the U.S. didn't think the Charlie Hebdo Rally in Paris was worthy of any high ranking public servants to attend but then realized the goof and tried to make up for it by having Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday. Meanwhile Canada did send Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney and Quebec Delegate-General Michel Robitaille.
The Kerry visit was terribly awkward. An awkward late visit, "yeah, sorry we weren't here last week, our calendar was jammed." But the awkwardness grew. I saw a news clip of Kerry take form hold of the visibly resisting French President François Hollande and I was reminded of Lennie in Of Mice and Men. "I will name him George, and I will love him, and hug him, and pet him, and squeeze him."
Squirm as Hollande might, Kerry pulled him in for the most awkward kiss since Joe Pesci kissed Sharron Stone in Casino.
Then it got worse. After the distraught Hollande broke free from the death grip he could not quite free his hand from Kerry's meaty grip, so he just sort of stood there with pleading eyes, "why won't someone help me, where is my security?
Truly an odder twist was Kerry bringing along James Taylor to serenade the French President with an unplugged (and near impossible to hear) version of You've Got a Friend during which Kerry tapped his foot, but resisted the urge to sing along.
Mr. Kerry, a gentleman needs to know when no means no. He's just not that into you man, let it go.