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 (4): Rififi in Charlieland

Remember last January 7th and the Charlie Hebdo shooting that decimated the satirist journal, boosted Hollande’s opinion ratings (for a short period), enabled that mostly irrelevant journal to go from an audience of a few tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands in addition to massive state subsidies – all in the space of a few […]

My french chronicles (3): Books, Big Brother, warplanes and spoof

French politics have become such a farce that it’s getting difficult to know where to start. Thankfully, popular author Emmanuel Todd, has just come up with a new essay entitled « Who is Charlie? Sociology of a religious crisis », in which he denounces the January 11 grand march (following the January 7 Charlie Hebdo and Hypercasher attacks […]

My french chronicles (2): Did you say « Front National »?

Putting it very simply, the first round of departmental elections last Sunday saw a fairly strong showing from the far-right National Front (in French: Front National, or FN), around 25%, just behind the Conservative / Center-Right (UMP / UDI) alliance, and in front of the Socialist / far-Left (PS / FdG) alliance. The second round will occur […]