Saturday, April 19, 2014

Theme: John Gaffney

  • One year ago, on the day of François Hollande’s inauguration as the seventh President of the French Fifth Republic, May 15th, 2012, it poured with rain all day long. Inexplicably, no one offered him a raincoat or the protection of an umbrella. He spent the day’s ceremony drenched to the bone, his glasses steamed up, his sopping wet suit and shirt flattened against him. It was a sign. It has been raining ever since.Read more
  • The stunning spectacle of mass hero-worship in the Third Reich is compelling, in particular, the sight of unbridled joy at these mass rallies. This is even more so given that we – unlike those smiling faces - know what happened next, the nightmare of World War II and the deaths of countless millions.Read more
  • France's ‘Valériegate’ seems trivial, yet will possibly turn out to be one of the most important and problematic events of François Hollande’s presidency, in terms of the way both his presidency and his image are perceived from now on.Read more
  • There’s a cartoon character that all French children watched in the '70s and ‘80s, Calimero. He was a little black chick who, ever provoking trouble, always ended up defeated and complaining, “it’s really so unfair!” when in reality, he was usually the architect of his own misfortunes. At times, towards the end of the presidential campaign of 2012, Nicolas Sarkozy began to look a bit like Calimero.Read more
  • It is the received view – a view that took root that fateful evening at Fouquet’s restaurant, the evening of his victory over his Socialist rival, Ségolène Royal, in May 2007 – that Nicolas Sarkozy as President between 2007 and 2012 betrayed de Gaulle’s République de grandeur, replacing it with a République de ‘bling’. Read more
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