Iconic or patriotic

Emoticons are having a great momentum these days among the instant messenger providers. MSN offers you some packs, yahoo! counter attacked with its own...
When I received the above GIF in one of my friends' automatic signature, I freaked out. Emoticons are supposed to give more warmth to a cold electronic communication. In other words, to insufflate some feelings in 0 and 1 environment. But this series of emoticons is just too much for me. What feelings are they supposed to convey? Patriotism? National pride? I doubt that a Napoleicon triggers any feelings for instance. And what is this beret wearing guy intends to do by sniffing his baguette like a Romeo y Julietta?


Seriously, these images are just symptomatic of stereotypes used to summarize other cultures. I have talked about this at length (here and here for instance), but for me stereotypes are simply the pauperisation of culture. So yes, these emoticons ultimately trigger a feeling for me: pity.

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