I'll drink to that.
You've got to beat the devil at his own game. Learn a good line against the French. Study it so you aren't unprepared or caught off guard by it or its little quirks, and then take them on till they show some respect. I recomment 3. Nc3 lines, so you'll need to know something against the Winawer (Bb4), the Classical (Nf6) and the Rubinstein/Burn stuff (dxe4)
In the process of learning about this stuff, you'll learn a lot about chess in general. Or you could just learn to play the French as Black. I play 1 e4 and the French Defense.
I like to concentrate on dxe4 structures since you have to play against them in the Caro-Kann, Scandinavian, Alekhine and a bunch of other openings.
show me a game of an early f4 against the French your talking about please?
In my experience White has to be very careful about a quick f4 due to some tactical tricks along the g1-a7 diagonal. I have had multiple games won due to that pin and white wasting a tempo. one of the most annoying 'anti-french' lines at a lower level is just the exchange line (look at some kasparov games) and out play you opponent in an open position that most french players arent comfortable with. if you get serious look at the Nd2 lines, and GM Nigel Short's line against the French. Both are really really really annoying once you get things sorted out.
Avoid the winawer unless your ready to book up a bunch. Black's counterplay in it easy pretty easy to follow and white is under a lot of strategical and tactical pressure especially if they grab the g and h pawns. Its considered good for white in many lines but I feel like White is walking a razor edge, one slip and you a eunch
Another anti-French that would throw off most French players (including myself) is the Horwitz attack, where white plays b3 on move 2, then fianchettoes.
ya b3 is respectable its not the most challenging but I have seen strong masters lose to it (2300-2400)
"How to Beat the French Defence" recommends tarrasch against the french http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beat-French-Defence-Andreas-Tzermiadianos/dp/1857445678/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1337182239&sr=8-2
3.Nc3 is the best against the French.I recommend Alekhine-Chatard attack against the classical.....and against Winawer...get the lady out there to g4 and enjoy the complications.as far as sidelines go...the Horwitz attack looks interesting (b3) it might throw off some Frenchies.
Ok, here's some games I played using the early 2)f4 move against what I expected to play against...the French. In some instances the game transposes to what may not be exactly a French defense but the ideas are the same.
Yes, my opponent made a terrible blunder to lose the Queen.
Someone had a problem with this game because my opponent did not play the typical c5 pawn move in this game which some believe to be a critical move to play for a French D player.
This game has the c5 pawn move.
My opponent in the game also makes a mistake in the end.
Wish I had more games to show but that's about all I have since I don't get to play much; last game I truly played was about 18 months ago.
Anyway, I hope that helps a little; I don't claim to be an expert so I know there are plenty of mistakes in all of the games above. The Anti-French or De LaBourdonnais-McDonnell Attack is worth a look in my opinion for those who don't find playing against the French D much fun. Good luck.
If you hate the French, play the King's Indian Attack, or on try 2. c4 which often goes into a line of the Panov-Botvinnik Attack from the Caro-Kan. Or try the Exchange Variation (as a dedicated French player - my exclusive reply to 1. e4, I can admit that I hate it hate it hate it hate it so more, too open when I am trying to play closed).
The 2. f4 thing is pretty weak, at least in my experience of playing on this site and in OTB tourneys (usually USCF 1600-1800 range) and I love to see it over-the-board. It plays into the lines I like - closed lines with pawn thrusts and usually a game revolving around minor pieces and rook plays. Not to mentiont that after 2... d5 3. Nf3 c5, I think that black has easier development and a ready-made game on the Q-side. I just got a win in this line the other day - I'll see if I can find the notation and annotate it a little for y'all.
Here is a link to the FRENCH Themed Tournament #2
This is the second French Theme tournament after a successful turnout. It will be a recurring tournament for French enthusiasts.
For information and the most awesome videos on how to play the French visit Simon Williams vids:
http://www.chess.com/video/library?keyword=why simon loves the french