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LQD: French Intellectual Melancholia

by das monde Mon Dec 30th, 2013 at 05:16:35 AM EST

The Economist has a provoking article in the Christmas issue on French noir moods. It should stir some discussion here.

ONE of the most perplexing questions of the early 21st century is this: how can the French, who invented joie de vivre, the three-tier cheese trolley and Dior's jaunty New Look, be so resolutely miserable? [...] polls suggest that the French are more depressed than Ugandans or Uzbekistanis, and more pessimistic about their country's future than Albanians or Iraqis ....

[...] Le Monde ran three pages under the title "Liberté, Égalité, Morosité", in a bid to decode its fellow countrymen's "persistent melancholy". France, it turns out, has the highest suicide rate in western Europe after Belgium and Switzerland. An American psychiatric study showed that, among ten rich countries, the French were the most likely to have a "major depressive episode" at some point in their life. Even the French language seems to be particularly well stocked -- morosité, tristesse, malheur, chagrin, malaise, ennui, mélancolie, anomie, désespoir -- with negativity.

front-paged by afew


The Economist finds two "seams of misery" in the French culture. One is post-revolutionary romantic ambivalence towards rationalism and bourgeois values. The other "wave of miserabilism" came with existentialism.

Neither Camus nor his contemporary, Jean-Paul Sartre, was ultimately a pessimist. But it is the torment of existentialism, rather than its conclusions, that captured the imagination. Indeed, the left-bank literary clique led by Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, which gravitated to the cafés of Saint-Germain-des-Près, adopted ennui as a way of life as well as a philosophy ....
Would melancholia be a natural destination of leftish intellectuals, especially at times like now?
I doubt, therefore I am
One reason could be the French appetite for brutal self-criticism. From Descartes onwards, doubt is the first philosophical reflex [...] In "Candide, or The Optimist" [...] Voltaire mocks the folly of looking on the bright side in the face of unimaginable horrors. "Optimism", says a disabused Candide in the novel, "is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable." When a French magazine recently tried to decode today's national pessimism, it concluded: "It's Voltaire's fault". "We find it more chic and more spiritual to doubt everything."

Up to a point, this is an affectation of the elite. "It is in a certain Parisian milieu that there are intellectuals who are grumpy by trade," argues Jack Lang, the Socialist former culture minister [...] Yet France cherishes public intellectuals, so their influence spreads wide ....

The country treats its philosophers like national treasures, even celebrities, splashing photographs of them across the pages of glossy magazines. And it ensures that the canon of French thought is fed to the whole country. All pupils taking the school-leaving baccalauréat exam must study philosophy, and teenagers are examined on such cheery essay questions as "Is man condemned to self-delusion?" or "Do we have an obligation to seek truth?" [...] Were Americans to pay more attention to the writings of Noam Chomsky and Jared Diamond, perhaps they would be gloomy too.

In other parts of the world, alphas exert more cocky confidences, surely.
If the French are life's critics, they are at the same time idealists, and these two make unhappy bedfellows. Thanks to the philosophers of the Enlightenment and the 1789 revolution, the concept of progress towards an ideal society has, despite periodic turmoil and bloodshed, been a powerful narrative in the French mind....

Left-wing French intellectuals never quite got over the failed revolutionary promise of the May '68 student uprising, nor their disillusion at the declining influence of French thought from the 1980s onwards. Others struggled to reconcile French values with the country's darker moments, notably under occupation. Today, "belief in a better tomorrow has come to an end," says Christophe Prochasson, a French historian. "There is a crisis of progress."

How much is the bleak view more truthful, and useful? Will the French set pessimism fashion soon everywhere?

Display:
I think we need a right-wing government. Righteous indignation is a good stimulus.

As for pessimism : Albanians or Iraqis might reasonably assume that things can only get better (and they may well be wrong of course). But it's hard to argue with the current French mood that this is as good as it gets, and it's slipping away.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Dec 27th, 2013 at 07:54:07 AM EST
eurogreen:
I think we need a right-wing government.

As opposed to the one we've got?

</grumpy>

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 27th, 2013 at 08:02:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Older Spanish generations had this joke: Contra Franco vivíamos mejor

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 27th, 2013 at 08:14:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Recall:
The rather jolly optimistic personality [Hollande] does have (and it is his real one) is utterly out of touch with the mood of the time right now, and simply infuriates people. It is as if he is in a kind of psychological denial, unable to see the realities of the crisis.


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 27th, 2013 at 08:13:16 AM EST
European Tribune - LQD: French Intellectual Melancholia
If the French are life's critics, they are at the same time idealists, and these two make unhappy bedfellows. Thanks to the philosophers of the Enlightenment and the 1789 revolution, the concept of progress towards an ideal society has, despite periodic turmoil and bloodshed, been a powerful narrative in the French mind....

There's some truth in this. The French may be epicureans, but they don't go in for the gemütlich, the cosy, or the starry-eyed. And they like to grumble. Give them a set of poll questions and they'll rather go for the cynical or disenchanted posture. (This is imo not true of intellectuals alone.)

At the same time the notion of progress, even by disruptive leaps forward, has indeed been a powerful French narrative since the Revolution. And, right now, it looks about as alive as a doornail. A few years ago, plenty of people would have said that France had reserves of resistance against globalising neoliberalism. Not any more. There's a TINA feeling about that would depress anyone.

In fact, I think I'll go and lie down for a while.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 27th, 2013 at 08:22:06 AM EST
I'm inclined on this topic to link this:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/30/2013-horrorshow-bake-off-selfies-charlie-brooke r

Two points:

1) The British response this year has been to bury in the cosy...

Most important though:

2) This really hasn't been a year to make anyone cheerful or hopeful. There's been a lot of bad news. Further, events paint an ongoing picture that the elites, whether it be through economics or through surveillance are fundamentally dismantling what we thought of as the basics of a "good society."

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Dec 31st, 2013 at 11:18:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That opening is clever, focusing on Western Europe, thus ignoring the higher suicide rates in Slovenia, Estonia, Hungary and Finland. The fact the Economist ignored Finland suggests that for them "Western Europe" is now purely a geographic term, which makes France third among merely 12 or 13 countries (depending on whether Sweden is in the Economist's "West" or not), which doesn't seem that bad.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Dec 27th, 2013 at 11:31:22 AM EST
Yet More drivel from the Right Wing.  Letting one stand for all:

France, it turns out, has the highest suicide rate in western Europe after Belgium and Switzerland.

Then France doesn't have "the highest suicide rate."  It has the third highest suicide rate IFF, as gk has already said, "Western Europe" is defined to exclude the Nordic countries.  So what the article is really saying is:

France has the third highest suicide in a arbitrary group.

whoopie

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Dec 27th, 2013 at 12:34:25 PM EST
France has the third highest reported suicide rate in an arbitrary group of countries. In more religious or "Christian" countries, there can still be ambivalence about reporting suicide as such

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Dec 27th, 2013 at 01:25:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What has been remarkable about suicide in France has been the spate of workplace suicides in privatised state companies under pressure (middle management pushed towards the exit?). Otherwise, nothing more to be said than for a good many other countries.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 27th, 2013 at 03:38:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd like to see the Econo print a survey about the prevalence of lies, spin, and racist propaganda in the Anglo press.

If you want real misery, try watching British TV or reading our world-leading middle-brow newspapers.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Dec 28th, 2013 at 09:55:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Were Americans to pay more attention to the writings of Noam Chomsky and Jared Diamond, perhaps they would be gloomy too.

I find this passage to be particularly revealing: Chomsky and Diamond are both in the business of debunking comforting folkviews. About the nature of the international trade system in the former case, and about the ongoing experiment in terraforming our planet into uninhabitability in the latter.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Dec 27th, 2013 at 02:23:22 PM EST
Ignorance as an anti-melancholia treatment.

Wonder if it has been tested in double-blind clinical trials?

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Dec 27th, 2013 at 07:05:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From the Psalms: "Every increase in knowledge brings forth an increase in sorrow."

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Dec 28th, 2013 at 12:56:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On the other hand, if the baseline future scenario would be inevitably gloomy (compared to now), how useful is it to stay discontented? The Americans have an interesting gloom observation history:

No other writer of his generation had seen as much of the young nation's early sorrow, or become as familiar with its commonplace scenes of human depravity and squalor. As a boy on the Missouri frontier in the 1830s he attended the flogging and lynching of fugitive slaves; in the California gold fields in the 1860s he kept company with underage murderers and overage whores; in New York City in the 1870s he supped at the Gilded Age banquets of financial swindle and political fraud, learning from his travels that "the hard and sordid things of life are too hard and too sordid and too cruel for us to know and touch them year after year without some mitigating influence." Twain bottled the influence under whatever label drummed up a crowd - as comedy, burlesque, satire, parody, sarcasm, ridicule, wit - any or all of it presented as "the solid nonpareil," guaranteed to fortify the blood and restore the spirit. Humor for Twain was the hero with a thousand faces.
by das monde on Sat Dec 28th, 2013 at 11:47:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good question.

For philosophical and pragmatic reasons I reject "inevitably gloomy" in favor of "if the current trend continues things look gloomy."  The first forecloses action.  The second allows action.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Dec 29th, 2013 at 01:38:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Paradoxically, necessity of collective action turns out to be very paralyzing, while personal action is facilitated well by "inevitable" doom.
by das monde on Sun Dec 29th, 2013 at 09:23:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...necessity of collective action turns out to be very paralyzing

That sounds like something Jacques Ellul would have said.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Mon Dec 30th, 2013 at 11:13:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

Did you choose this tagline for this diary?
by das monde on Fri Jan 10th, 2014 at 12:55:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not purposefully.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Jan 10th, 2014 at 11:47:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But, at the edge, personal action faced with "inevitable doom" turns out to follow the survivalist ethic.

Collective action, in France at least, was made possible over the last decades by the sharing of common ideas (perhaps well-worn clichés, but in practical terms it doesn't matter) about progress and human dignity. Those ideas are now disappearing into limbo. Organisations such as unions, political parties, are powerless to raise mass protest without them. And when it's up to individuals to say "we need collective action", that is indeed paralysing. What is collective action that can't base itself on a set of common assumptions? Protest movements (Occupy, indignados) can make a noise, but have no relay into mass consciousness, and are easily dismissed as fringe.

If there's a take-away from ET's eight, going on nine, years, it is this: we need a new mythology.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Dec 31st, 2013 at 03:12:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Funny how organizing depends on progress perceptions. What principles would be reliable under a decline?

Dystopian writing is on the rise. Even "Fifty Shades of Gray" is somewhat of that kind. Dystopian themes on websites are more frequent as well. Will we have a nice dystopian mythology? With collectively inspiring themes?

by das monde on Tue Dec 31st, 2013 at 06:22:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dystopia narratives are the romanticised versions of "inevitable doom", and they are perversely attractive. If I'm one of the atomised masses and I have no power, I also have no responsibility, no anguished choices to make, and I can get on hollowing out the comfortable corners of my alienated cubicle, just doing enough to ensure a sufficient supply of vaguely satisfying artificial chow and of vaguely titillating vidscreen content. Why on earth some busybodies have to organize an underground on the Resistance model beats me. They want to live in hell or what?

But isn't the Resistance model the only collective mythology in a dystopia? And isn't it bound to fail? (Hint: Resistance movements in Nazi-occupied countries in WWII did not defeat Nazi Germany).

As for the non-fantasy version, "inevitable doom", collective action might take the form of me and my family teaming up with a few more families to go and kick the shit out of the families that are sitting on a pile of food. A good old tribal mythology, with warrior heroes thrown in.

The more people fear the slide towards either of these forms of bad future, the more atomised they become. Which is why we don't just need a new mythology, we need it fast.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Dec 31st, 2013 at 09:57:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I do not agree that a dystopian story must be dis-empowering. Or is there a separate term for that intermediate story spectrum between assured utopian optimism and utter helplessness?

A prayer goes:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
The power of a dystopian novel could be giving a real perspective to cut through peak delusions, adding to wisdom, courage and serenity. And vbo comments on this page:
I always was under impression that for example Serbs from Bosnia are much tougher then Serbs from Serbia. Getting to know them better trough my husband's family I was surprise to see how they are able to take everything as a fact of life and continue to live almost untouched as opposed to us Serbs from Serbia where everything unexpected seems tragic to the point that it can ruin our lives.
If this civilization is in desperate need of new mythology, it is in a bad (collective) shape indeed.
by das monde on Wed Jan 1st, 2014 at 01:33:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At a minimum a dystopian novel that resonates with its readers and rings true to perceived reality allows readers to realize that 'it' is not just a problem with how they see things. That alone is empowering.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jan 1st, 2014 at 11:50:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it is in bad collective shape.

On the other hand, I don't mean to imply that dystopian fiction could not be a vehicle for a new mythology.

The problem with fictional dystopias is, it seems to me, the perverse attraction they exert (see my comment above). Since ATinNM mentioned Jacques Ellul, here's something that he put forward:

Jacques Ellul - Wikipédia

l'homme n'est pas du tout passionné par la liberté, comme il le prétend. La liberté n'est pas chez lui un besoin inhérent. Beaucoup plus constants et profonds sont les besoins de sécurité, de conformité, d'adaptation, de bonheur, d'économie des efforts... et il est prêt à sacrifier sa liberté pour satisfaire ces besoins. (...) L'homme a bien plus peur de la liberté authentique qu'il ne la désire.

man is not at all passionate about freedom, as he pretends. Freedom is not an inherent need for him. The needs of security, conformity, adaptation, happiness, and economy of effort are much more constant and profound... and he is ready to sacrifice his freedom to satisfy these needs. (...) Man fears true freedom more than he desires it.

Opposed (in most fictional dystopias) to the comfortable alienation in which humans can live with their basic needs satisfied, but in which freedom is suppressed by totalitarian social organisation, the usual narrative is that of the underground resistance. That doesn't seem to me to be a winning mythology at all. Most people would probably prefer not to have to make the difficult and dangerous decision of fighting for freedom.

So I suppose a fictional dystopia that would offer a new mythology would have to transcend the pattern I describe, both by showing alienation to be miserable, and proposing a new social organisation that could defeat the old one. Then it becomes a fictional utopia...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 1st, 2014 at 12:56:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Freedom is not the most basic human need. You scare people about their security, and they will settle for conformity. Especially when a critical resistance mass is not there. No one want to be a rare fool.

The first half of the 20th century was the classical times for resistance. But since then, elites apparently became skillful in discouraging resistance ideas.

The Achrdruid Report traces the utopia/apocalypse dichotomy deeply to the Western cultural history:

... nearly all modern thinking about the future is hobbled by our obsession with a pair of rigidly defined mythic narratives -- the myth of progress on the one hand, and the myth of apocalypse on the other [...]

Both these visions of the future, while they take secular forms nowadays much more often than not, have their roots in Christian apocalyptic theology [...] The premillennialist position was that Jesus would return and bring about the Millennium, a thousand year period when Christians would rule the world. The postmilleniallists argued instead that Christians would rule the world for a thousand years, and then Jesus would return.

The difference may seem about as relevant as the number of angels who can dance on the head of Jerry Falwell, but sweeping implications unfold from each viewpoint. If the postmillennialists are right, history is on their side, since they're destined to rule the world for a thousand years before Jesus gets here. Thus postmillennialists believe that things will get better over time until the Millennium arrived. If the premillennialists are right, on the other hand, history is on the devil's side, since it will take nothing less than the personal intervention of Jesus to give the Christians their thousand years of world rule....

He reiterates this point regularly.

The same blog makes a distinction between problems and predicaments. Not all problems have neat or satisfactory solutions, hence not all dystopias will turn to utopias.

by das monde on Wed Jan 1st, 2014 at 11:04:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The American sense of humor might be changing to sadder, after all:

Why are the Golden Globe "comedies" so depressing?
"Nebraska." "Her." "The Wolf of Wall Street." These depressing movies are our best comedies?
by das monde on Fri Jan 10th, 2014 at 12:58:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The article cites Claudia Senik and her work
`The French unhappiness puzzle: the cultural dimension of happiness'.
It is mostly a summary of that study.
by das monde on Sat Dec 28th, 2013 at 12:58:51 AM EST
Worth noting that like most economists she knows very little about culture.

The paper is largely just an exercise in random correlation between some stats and her pre-conceived (and frankly ignorant) notions about what drives culture and how culture drives psychology.

I take personal offence (since culture is my area) at how ill-informed, under-educated and ignorant this economist is about culture.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Dec 31st, 2013 at 11:14:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Economics and Political Science have a fundamentally different orientation towards culture than the social sciences. They are power disciplines and are much more about imposing what is favorable to incumbent power holders than about any aesthetic concerning culture.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jan 1st, 2014 at 01:12:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And since culture has no power, there is no need to understand its dynamics before shoe-horning it into the model.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Jan 2nd, 2014 at 09:47:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting stuff...
As for Slovenia, suicide rate was always higher in Slovenia and Vojvodina (upper part of Serbia) than anywhere else in ex YU. This was interesting because these two areas were considered richest in the country.
Happiness does not seem to have too much to do with wealth (once when person has enough for existence). As I mentioned before my doctor visited Mongolia lately and he told me that he never saw poorer and more happy people as opposed to us here in Australia where we have so much and we are still so unhappy.
As for a cultural aspect of this, yes, I believe that it has it merits. But not so much trough educational system...If anything in ex YU I was raised in communist's unrealistic optimism and "trained" not to be able to see reality and compare. It did not stop us from being realistic and melancholic.
And I wouldn't even stick to a "nation" as such, either genetically or trough language etc. I always was under impression that for example Serbs from Bosnia are much tougher then Serbs from Serbia. Getting to know them better trough my husband's family I was surprise to see how they are able to take everything as a fact of life and continue to live almost untouched as opposed to us Serbs from Serbia where everything unexpected seems tragic to the point that it can ruin our lives.
Generally for unknown reason it seems that with more progress and wealth people seem to be more unhappy. Is it because we ask for too much (more and more) not just in material aspect of it? Is it because so called personal " freedom"  made us to selfish to consider others ? And while personal freedom seems to grow, our social freedom (well monitored as we learned recently) seems to be more and more limited.I do not know...
But sense of hopelessness is growing in western civilization...as if we reached peak and now we do not have anywhere else to go but down...and not just in material sense...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Dec 30th, 2013 at 09:15:23 PM EST
Progress times are prone to provoking delusions, wildly extrapolated dominating stories. And then, we do not know progress limits until we had hit them.

The Baltic states surged to leadership in suicides rates as well. Estonia is a similar "right" economic prosperity example, but labour wages and depression... not much different from Latvia, Lithuania. With the social environment changing swiftly in a particular direction, many just refuse to live by new brave rules.

by das monde on Tue Dec 31st, 2013 at 01:59:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Since most everything we read these days in English, and a large proportion or what is written about France in English is negative or critical, and is begin parroted by our elites, no wonder we feel depressed.

The story of the past 30 years is the betrayal of the French model (at least of the parts that worked) by the French elites that built it in favor of the parts of neoliberalism that don't work (but without the features of the US or UK model that do work).

To tease redstar, I'd say that power has gone from polytechniciens (engineers, who at least know how to make things and systems work) to enarques (who can administer but not build).

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Dec 31st, 2013 at 04:51:25 PM EST
I've heard that Proust is to blame for the melancholy.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Wed Jan 1st, 2014 at 02:00:54 PM EST
Could there be a bakery bias in that comment?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jan 2nd, 2014 at 03:11:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But can Simone de Beauvoir escape all blame?

:-)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Jan 10th, 2014 at 12:20:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Even though today was no slow news day in France (Schumacher still in a coma! Live from Grenoble!), there were many comments and lively pundit debates about a Newsweek blurb called (hang on to your seat): The Fall of France

Written by a nice lady who has relocated to a posh Paris neighborhood some years ago, who really, really, loooove Paris, but the taxes are just, oh, so terrible, and sky high, you know, truly unbearable and driving all talented French people to South Kensington, just like (I kid you not) Louis XIV drove the French protestants to Berlin in the late 17th century...

Not to mention that in her Paris derelict hood, "A half liter of milk [...] costs nearly $4 - the price of a gallon in an American store.". That would be about €6 a liter: meanwhile, every else in the country, even organic milk can be had for under €1 a liter....

A colleague mentioned the item today at the office which gave me the opportunity to explain the "Foreign correspondent syndrome" concept.

Some smart asses at "Le Petit Journal", a sort of French Jon Stewart's fake news show tried to sell milk in the streets of Paris for €6 a liter bottle (they managed to foist it onto a few people, including unsuspecting foreign visitors). At least, a good laugh was had by all.

by Bernard on Mon Jan 6th, 2014 at 05:26:15 PM EST

There's a very good reply by Anne Sinclair at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.fr/anne-sinclair/article-newsweek-france_b_4547107.html

The decodeurs of Le Monde take it apart at:

http://decodeurs.blog.lemonde.fr/2014/01/06/the-fall-of-newsweek/

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Mon Jan 6th, 2014 at 06:25:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's hilarious. "Grey hand of socialism" indeed.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 7th, 2014 at 05:26:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And to think I used to subscribe to newsweek... But that was 20 years ago...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 7th, 2014 at 05:51:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We all make mistakes. I used to subscribe to the New York Times and to Die Zeit.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Jan 7th, 2014 at 05:54:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An ET regular who shall be nameless went into a store in a similarly derelict Paris neighbourhood and came out with a similarly expensive half-litre of milk.

Only then did said ETer notice it was a carton of mare's milk.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jan 7th, 2014 at 10:10:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... and the beef lasagna turned out to be...
by Bernard on Tue Jan 7th, 2014 at 03:08:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Le Canard
Mais le plus étonnant dans l'affaire est qu'un article aussi débile soit autant pris au sérieux. Tout ça parce qu'il est publié sur un site Internet qui porte le nom d'un magazine de légende, né en 1933 et officiellement mort en décembre 2012. Et dont le titre prestigieux, longtemps propriété du respectable "Washington Post", a été racheté, l'an dernier pour 1 dollar symbolique par un .. Francais de 30 ans, lequel entretient d'étroites relations avec une secte coréenne et interdit à ses journalistes de porter jean et tee-shirt.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Jan 10th, 2014 at 01:08:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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