Vive la liberté d'expression! Freedom of speech is definitely something we French should learn from you. Oh, don't start thinking that France is a totalitarian regime where we are deprived from fundamental rights. No, it's just that we are free to say and publish everything unless it is racist, homophobic, insulting, libelous, or encourages people to be violent, or promotes crimes and misdemeanors. For instance, we can't publish an article entitled "The Best Ways to Rob a Bank," listing the most efficient ways and tools used by professionals, because readers would immediately start planning to rob. And since Chuck Norris doesn't protect French banks, we want to avoid that.
This Back to School guide is a blessing since it makes everything clear when it comes to drugs and alcohol: the effects, how to find it, and almost the prices. That's great. But that's also scary: Haven't you ever been taught about this before? France doesn't have an absolute freedom of speech, but we have kind of an absolute freedom of drinking. When I came to the U.S. for the first time two years ago, I was so pissed, and angry, and frustrated with that bullshit stuff about my ID. I can't enter because I'm not 21 yet? WHAT? Are you insane? No, of course, you're just Puritan. So old-fashioned. Just for the record, the only persons who ask for your ID in France are police officers looking for illegal immigrants. A bartender never does: It gets customers frightened. (Au passage, I would also like to express my deep and sincere gratitude to the authors of this feature article, because now I know who I am. As far as I know, there is no equivalent French word for "straight-edge." WordReference.com says I'm a "règle plate graduée", but that doesn't make sense.)
That's a pity all of you can't go to college because of the fares. In France, a year in college costs about 500 euros ($680). We consider education is a right and not a privilege, so every high school graduate has the possibility to study further. We don't have as much equipments as you guys, but we consider ourselves more educated than you. Proof is the piece entitled "Everything You Need to Know About History." It is so shamefully short I must add some stuff: The collapse of the Roman Empire (576); the French Revolution (1789); World War, Part 1 (1914—18); the Very Big Financial Crisis (1929); World War, Part 2 (1939-—45), the traumatisms due to the Algeria War we lost in 1962 and the Vietnam War you lost in 1975 (but it seems you're doing the same mistakes again in Iraq and Afghanistan); the end of the Cold War (1991); and the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center (2001). And Victor Hugo, too, because I love him (1802—85).
I secretly envy those of you who will go to college here this year. We don't have campus in France, and we don't leave our parents to go to university; you're making a big jump in your life. But I know you secretly envy me for living in Paris, so we're even.