It’s Bastille Day: Why Isn’t America Blacking Out on Wine?
Today is Bastille Day,Â a.k.a. the French Fourth of July.
All over France, people are drinking wine and eating cheese in honor ofÂ this oneÂ time in 1789 when a bunch ofÂ French people put down their cigs for a hot minute and staged a revolution againstÂ King Louis XVI.
You see, just like St. Patrick’s Day, the Fourth of July, and Cinco de Mayo, Bastille isÂ a day of national pride.
But unlike those holidays, Americans haven’tÂ co-opted it as a reason to get blackout drunk on a weeknight. Yes, you could be spending this Thirsty Thursday gulping down some cab sauv at a Bastille-themed happy hour while wearing a “sexy” beret and waving plastic baguettes in the air with your gal pals. But you’re not, because no one celebrates Bastille Day that way.
And I have to say, we’re all missing out!
I mean, what are we thinking? This is America. Since when do we shy away from appropriating outsideÂ culturesÂ for our own enjoyment and profit? Especially when those cultures include copious wine-drinking and meat-eating. Don’t tell me it’s because we’re suddenly sensitive and respectful of smaller countries’ cultures, because I won’t believe you.
French culture in particular is super fun to appropriate, in case you didn’t know â€” but it takes effort. Picking goodÂ wine, preparing amazing food, and getting yourÂ hair to look like Brigitte Bardot’s? Hard. Very hard.
Our failure to appreciate Bastille Day as an opportunity for French-themed debaucheryÂ has more to do with another wonderfully American trait, one which many French people actually share: laziness. We think we have cornered the market on laziness here in America. But French people invented theÂ month-long vacation, and they actually have the balls toÂ refuse to check theirÂ email on weekends.Â When it comes to laziness, the French are truly beating the Americans at our own game.Â There’s a lot to be emulated there.
But I digress. The point is we need to get off our asses and start making Bastille Day our own. I myself have spent Bastille Day in Paris and let me tell you: it’s swell. But there’s no doubt in my mind that an American version could be far superior.
I spent Bastille Day 2005 drinking wine (underage! <3Â France!) and eating cheese in public with my friends, drunkenly pique-nique-ingÂ next to the canals of Paris. The only snafu in our day was when some armed cops made us dump our wine out next to the Eiffel Tower. Boooo! But we got revenge laterÂ when one of my friends pukedÂ into a canal. All of the surrounding French people wereÂ trÃ©s concerned, while we just laughed like horrible American drunksÂ and gave le pukey friendÂ some water and a croissant.
See, the French know how to do a lot of things well, but party to excess is not one of them. Yeah, they drink almost every day, but their booze philosophy seems to be “slow and steady wins the race.” If you want to truly rageÂ in Paris, you have to find yourself a British or Australian bar.
And hey, did you know theÂ U.S. isÂ the only country in the entire world that drinks more wine than France? We’ve alreadyÂ got this, you guys. That’s why theÂ FrenchÂ need our help (as usual…) to turn Bastille Day into the blackout fest IÂ know it’s capable of being.
I mean, we’ve alreadyÂ turned the birth of Christendom’s Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into a reason to day-rage via Santacon. This is America â€” literally nothing is sacred!
But for some reason, every year on the fourteenth of July, as I happily plan to get everyone in the vicinity drunk off of the best French rosÃ©s and reds while frantically yelping Joyeux Quatorze Juillet!, people have no idea what I’m talking about.Â Bastille Day? they ask in confusion.Â What’s that?
And I say to them: Don’t worry about what it actually is, you’re going to forget as soon as I explain it to you anyway. Instead, pictureÂ St. Patrick’s Day, but French.
Sugary andÂ disgusting cocktails with names like “French Kiss” and “Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Moi?” would be invented and served in comically huge plastic wine glasses with lids and straws. We’d find a way to makeÂ striped boatneck French people shirts “slutty.” California wine country would turn into a yearly party destination as people flocked there, Mardi Gras-style, every fourteenth of July because this is America, wine is wine, we don’t care about the details. In every city in America, the streets would run red with wine puke, and I mean that as a compliment.
Plus it would piss off the French, which isÂ adorable.
Look at it this way: we’ve already takenÂ pommes frites and turned them into the clearly superior and much more fatteningÂ French fries. Let’s give Bastille Day the American treatment and turn it into the blackout-festÂ we all know it’s capable of being. We owe it to ourselves.