Excessive Cheese Intake Obstructing French People's Brain Activity
FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELTS!
Le Nouveau Moyen Âge!
This gem of wit by the French agent provocateur and philosophical economist Alain Minc very much more than any other quip sums up for me the state of mind of, at least, the world's industrial nations' conglomeration: “Hier, nous avions le droit d'être fatalists par optimisme; nous devons désormais être audacieux par pessimisme.” Or, as the song-poem goes: “Desperation keeps us strong...It's a terrible beauty we've made.” Spandau Ballet. Not even a Jean-Paul Sartre philosophical tractatus could, if it would, salvage this Western “Civilization”--this spent European continent which André Glucksmann declares “doesn't have a brain in its head.”
Voilà! Well now... There certainly was not enough grey matter in France on 6 May 2007 to push Ségolène Royal over the threshold and into the Presidency of the Republic of France (Presidentess of Europe?). We knew so way before the national vote casting: The “Un million de femmes s'énervent” campaign for pledges counted not more than 20,000 signatures (mine included!) only days before the final showdown; then, the vain attempt to secure votes from the third place first ballot winner—that horse breeder's boots bogged down in conciliatory pony dung—proved to be an exercise in futility. We had before us a splendid woman, oozing with dignity, tact and outspoken courage. A femme who rallied against France's electronic neo-fascists; who made a great effort to lift the largest country wholly in Europe out of the post bellum doldrums of its fictitious well-being where it had been marinating for decades; who had no fear of a recalcitrant, desperate Roman Catholic Church waning more and more each day with every passing scientific discovery; who fought tooth and nail against an entrenched olisocism (a Lagardère-Pinault-Arnault troika); who attempted to bring France—this cheesy subgenus of a puny Europe that bounces like a counterfeit coin—before the international community dressed in the overalls of a legitimate nation looking honestly to make friends, not allies, with all peoples throughout the world; and, who pleaded with all French citizens to ask not what France could do for them, but what they could do for France. A truly golden opportunity blown away by the winds of intransigent shenanigans. Merci beaucoup.
It makes no sense that France thinks it has the gumption to cultivate la politique de l'autruche and play political hardball, not soft, on the ever-expanding international scene. Limp-wristed Gaullist status-quoticians want this land area, a little less than the size of Texas, to tighten its belt, turn in on itself, and draw others unto France instead of stimulating bonds with those beyond this realm 16% of which is over 65 years of age. The conservative approach. What for centuries has been the safe methodology. Can France afford to mellow still in the memories of its Past? Can France conjecture that it can chip in to be part of the leadership of the globe when its own turf is rife with dissent, dangerously polarized, hamstrung by the very economic rules and regulations it goes up against in speeches and prayers tended to less fortunate developing populaces, when it talks with a forked tongue basing its legitimacy on standards that only French citizens might comprehend...ad infinitum! Is a France, stuck in the xenophobic, racist rut of its Past, going to impress any others who refuse to kowtow to its haughtiness and are not electrified by France's image of itself smoothly camouflaged with soft skin creams, suntanned-by-lamp youth, and swankily dressed and cutely coiffed political artistes vying for a piece of the ever-dwindling Political Pie?
France sorely wants to give it the medieval stab! And to prove it is not ribbing us, on 16 May 2007 it crowned, as President of France, a tsar puérile, the first French president with a facial tic...El Hombre Macho. A fogeyish braggart who swears he is going to whip France into law and order and bring economic miracles to this Land of Phoney Excellence! France's Number One Cheese Salesman will shuffle a spineless, passionless, hedonistic France and take its GUCCI-PUCCI set for a whirlwind of nationalism and fiscal anal-hoarding. He yearns to achieve what other European politicos were impotent to effectuate: to manage the creation of a post-World War II body politic fit for all European people. (We wish him luck with this Europe which buries Kremlin atheists at solemn high funeral masses and rescinds war orders for princes for “the good of the troops!”) One can just see this King of France on a visit to Africa—to shore up desperately-needed natural resources for his megalomaniacal castles in the air—pleading with Africans to forget those colonial days which even today keep large parts of them in misery and starvation. As would the King of Spain, on a visit to Venezuela to deal for lower oil prices, begging Venezuelans to dismiss from their minds the 14,000,000 Southamerican and Centralamerican natives massacred by Spanish marauders...or the King of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, on a visit to Russia to bargain for cheap gas prices, imploring Russians to stop thinking about their 30,000,000 dead sacrificed during the fight against Fascism and concentrate more on pasta dishes...or the King of Hamburger, on a visit to Japan to secure permission to open fast-food outlets not far from the ground zeroes of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, suggesting that the Japanese people not recall the devastating effects of the world's first use of belligerent atom bombs. The President of France can wave all the French flags he so wishes, he can sing La Marseillaise as loud as he desires for as long as he wants, but nothing will change the spirit of the African people who have had to submit to the criminal abuse administered by those French nationals who still today connive to deprive Africans of their basic human rights. The game has changed dramatically and not as the French would have it. And to react to this transformation, this stuck-in-the-mud France, with the personality of a squeezed lemon, has selected to play Bully on the Block! There are Republicans in Washington DC with more brains than that! Am I not right, Professor Glucksmann?
French conservatives have had too much a share of pessimism and negativism to offer. They have grouped together to form palsy-walsy social, cultural, economic and political ties which serve the inclusive general concept that a government should dole out political and civil honors according to wealth. The French conservative is not interested in offering a fair shake to his fellows, and he excludes them from power circles with the justification that life demands a political philosophy which exalts the nation and a select group of individuals above all others, and that severe economic and social regimentation, plus the forcible suppression of the opposition, are necessary measures to exercise stringent control over the masses who are considered inferior to the nobler and more privileged French conservative. I deny this philosophy and its aspects of myopic gloom. I look for programs which show liveliness and interest in good things. Which look with hope to the future. Which signal danger, but communicate love and understanding. “Human behavior leads to make-believe, disequilibrium, frustrations, lies, or, on the contrary, it becomes the source of rewarding experiences, in accordance with its manner of expression in actual living—whether in bad faith, laziness, generosity and freedom,” said Simone de Beauvoir. I wish that all people enjoy their lives in a spirit of unselfishness, lucidity and unsusceptibility and I beg the new President of France to come to his political and human senses and yield to the ideal that all men belong to the same community where equality and justice for all is the common goal.
Authored by Anthony St. John
19 May 2007
* * *