There are a few things that the French love, but all Americans--liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats--love to hate. In particular, I'm thinking of
2. Jerry Lewis
3. Postmodern philosophy
I can't do much for you about items 1 and 2, but here's some French philosophizin' for ya (based on joint work with Cosma Shalizi).
Well, I used to like Jerry Lewis, what, 40 years ago when I was 6.
And the only reasonably known mime we ever had was Marceau.
And that talk you are linking to, while happening maybe 30 min from where I am, will be give by a guy named "Andrew Gelman", possibly in an empty room (I won't go in any case).
There is one thing that american like: it's attributing to the French meme (not mimes) that never were French to begin with. Such as:
"French letter" (capote anglaise)
"DÃ©jÃ vu" (we don't use that expression, except in its very litteral translation, eg "J'ai dÃ©jÃ vu ce film").
"Plus Ã§a change, plus c'est la mÃªme chose". Yeah, that what *you* say. We don't.
And right it is: the more it changes, the more you're the same.
And for the fun of it, another clichÃ© (yes, a French word we *do* use):
- Do you know how a person who speaks three languages is called? Trilingual.
- Do you know how a person who speaks two languages is called? Bilingual.
- Do you know how a person who speaks one language is called? American.
All this with a huge smiley of course.
Cheers from Paris.
After rereading what I wrote, it occurred to me that I may not have properly conveyed the extent to which all that was totally tongue in cheek.
I hope that your talk went well and that the room was not empty :-)