Archive for May 7th, 2007

Is That All Ye French Fellas Think About?

It’s getting hard these days to keep this blog on the straight and narrow. It is not that I am short of topics to address; rather, the notional part of my brain that is used for thought is drying and shrivelling, to the point that, whenever I get the time to write something, anything I write comes out as unrefined complaint. In short, I hate nearly everything and everyone.

This afternoon I spent half an hour watching a blackbird in the garden, poking around for worms after a heavy shower had fallen. People often admire birds for their ability to fly, but I am drawn toward them for their ability to go about their business -on two legs- without appearing concerned about their finances, the onset of global warming, the French Presidential elections, and so on.

OK, the French Presidential elections. Well, I watched Sarkozy’s victory speech, and thought it two-fingers-down-the-throat time. The bit about how he loved France like a loved one who had given him everything: barf. One might accept that the form of a presidential election victory speech requires slapping the nationalist bombast on thick, but Sarkozy’s rhetoric was excessive, even by the standards set by the likes of De Gaulle.

But despite its manifold references to ‘France’ and ‘les Français’, it was easy to spot foreign influences. There were large bits of it that, translated, would have slotted nicely into an American Presidential victory speech, if you changed ‘France’ to America and ‘le peuple français’ to ‘the American people’.

Then there was the bit about ‘l’autorité, la morale, le respect’, and ‘la nation et l’identité nationale’. One is inclined to hope that Sarkozy is cynical enough not to believe in any of this silliness.

As for this:

‘La France sera du côté des opprimés du monde. C’est le message de la France, c’est l’identité de la France, c’est l’histoire de la France’

Since when was France on the side of the oppressed of the world? This is a grand and self-serving delusion. But people seem to lap it up. Cette France, c’est M. Sarkozy.

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May 2007