My french chronicles (15): Suspended

As with every election since the famous showdown between presidential candidates Jacques Chirac and Jean-Marie le Pen back in 2002, the emergence of the National Front on the ashes of french derilict national governance is having everyone up in arms. It sounds very much as if political agents and press commentators all suffer from deep Alzheimer, […]

My french chronicles (14): Here we are, George!

Had I known, I would have saved the title of my previous chronicle, « From the killing fields to autocracy« , for today. How relevant that would have been now that we are in a suspended state of democracy. As the islamic killing teams wrought havoc to the parisian nightlife last Friday, the bottomless pit of hypocrisy that […]

My french chronicles (13): from the killing fields to autocracy

See the end of this article for an explanation of the above picture. On Saturday October 17th, two days after the publication of The Drone Papers describing US drone-enabled assassinations leaked to The Intercept, the french paper Le Monde put out a story about the french military specifically targeting a French ISIS fighter called Salim Benghalem. And […]

My french chronicles (12): On Islam and French Society

Alain Finkielkraut is a well-known essayist turned radio host on the « Répliques » programme from national radio channel France Culture. Finkielkraut is seen as a somewhat conservativish, right-wingingish actor in the french intellectual landscape and certainly holds some debatable views, which make his work all the more interesting.

My french chronicles (10): Satire, junk politics and old stones.

This week’s Charlie Hebdo satirical drawings relating to the drowning of the Syrian toddler on a Turkish beach, and more generaly to the migrant/refugee flux into the EU, drew international salvos of criticism. Was this the work of a journal whose near demise from terrorism led to one of the biggest march for freedom of […]

My french chronicles (9): Decision time

We all had a good laugh this week when ex-and-would-be-next-president Sarkozy said that « France, throughout eternity, as always been on the side of the oppressed and always on the side of the dictators, always on the side of the one thrown into prison for believing in his ideas ». (1) Sarkozy is one of the world’s biggest […]

My french chronicles (8): Migrants, clowns and green politics.

That’s it: end of summer vacations, back to work, school or, preferably, the french chronicles. France is gripped by the difficult question of the massive arrival of migrants in Europe, symbolised here by the Calais beach shantytown, but the dimension of which is forcing the establishment to get its head out of the sand of the […]

My french chronicles (7): Grapes, coyotes, shantytown and ferryboats

I don’t know if it’s El Niño’s fault but it’s been hot around here for the past few days. Good weather for the grapes here in Southern Burgundy, at the same time as the UNESCO includes the Burgundy wine-making area (so-called « Climats de Bourgogne ») in its world heritage listing. This could boost wine tourism in the […]