Meanwhile, over in the Screedblog, the only thing he knows about French cinema is that Claire's Knee is the only example of it he's ever seen, and he didn't like it. This is about the 50th time he's used it as an example of why he hates French film; he trots this out as a cautionary tale almost as much as he does his ranting about how much he hates the '70s:
No country is more prickly about preserving its own culture than France; they regularly have le panique attaq whenever small fragments of other tongues infect their pristine lingo. Their cinema is heavily subsidized, producing endless movies about older-yet-unquestionably-masculine men who pensively smoke while contemplating a girl’s knee observed on a beach in 1972. Canada also mandates local content, because there’s so much difference between someone who grew up in southern Manitoba and someone who grew up in upper North Dakota. The North Dakotan grows up without a sense of what it’s like to be annoyed by bilingual candy-bar wrappers, for example.
Note the criticism of the Academie Francais, from a man who has expressed sympathy for making English the official language of the US. But, hey, it's no more hypocritical than this, his closing wind about how stupid it is for other countries to try and protect their cultures against American exports:
Imagine that! The killjoy nation. Monarchy, Communism, Fascism, Socialism, now Tribalism – the US never quite joins in the fun. Everyone else jumps off the bridge, and we hang back, taking notes. Like we’re special or something.
You feel it? James Lileks -- who thinks globalism is strictly a one-way economic affair, who routinely scoffs at multiculturalism, who sports a Horowitzian sneer whenever some pinko hippie rattles on about the value of learning from other countries -- is mocking the rest of the world for their cultural tribalism. Apparently, the only culture that deserves a chance to infiltrate other countries is our own.