Friday, March 23, 2007

French Bore

The French heyday of revolution is over, writes Stephen Clarke in his No Sex Please, We're French op-ed for the NYT. "Twenty-first century France rebels against change, not for it." The uninspiring French presidential elections next month "demonstrate how deep [French] crypto-conservatism runs."

The campaign may have taken a "Clintonesque" turn with sex & gossip involved, but "deep down, the French distrust modernism. They long for the days when theirs was the international language of diplomacy and only France made sparkling wine." French grandeur is beat.

Clarke's article is a tad caricatural, but it rings true. France is going through a deep metaphysical malaise, which will undoubtedly show in the election results -- like it did in 2002, or with the No vote to the European Constitution in 2005. It hurts to watch it sink into oblivion.