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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

France and the French

I've been to France twice, and I love it. I love the French language and the musical way it is spoken. It's almost like a song. The parts of the country I've seen are beautiful and Paris is like a dream. I went there from Barcelona, which is charming and delightful, but Paris is the big leagues, the Yankees compared with your minor league team.
As for the French, I've had nothing but superficial contacts with them, but they have all been courteous. My advantage, or handicap depending on the way you see it, is my ability to get lost or inability not to get lost. This makes for a lot of interactions with the natives. I always try to speak French to those I meet, and everyone has been kind and nice. After I leave, they may be splitting their sides, but they don't laugh in my face. Certainly nobody persecuted me for being American.

I like to go into a shop and be acknowledged with "bonjour, madame." A woman of a certain age does not like to be called, miss, honey, or dear. Madame is respectful and dignified.

As for their politicians, politics, or political views--not their strong point. Not now, not ever. But I can cut a little slack for the people who built Notre Dame.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Late night blogging

I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night, when everyone in the world except me is asleep. It's a lonesome feeling. Then I log onto the Internet and find that the people out there in the blogosphere have been busy. People on the other side of the world are blogging--in Australia, New Zealand, Iraq, even California. The world outside my doors is still alive, reading and linking and going about their business. It seems magical to me, and reassuring.

It strikes me that it is extraordinarily difficult to write anything worth reading. It takes a lot of nerve to post anything. Who cares what I think?

Nobody. But maybe someday they will.

By the way, isn't Bill Moyers loathsome? He's actually a Baptist minister as well as a liar. Nasty things he says about Christians, things he himself knows are untrue. Southern liberals are the most pompous, self-righteous hypocrites in the world. Chief exhibit: Jimmy Carter.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

ward churchill, again, also Eason Jordan

It turns out that WC isn't an Indian, not even an old and ugly one. It seems he just pretended to be one to get a job and get his name on the Official Victims List, so he cold say nasty things about dead people and insult their survivors.
It would have been prudent of him to keep his mouth shut--his cushy job would have been safe. I think tenure protects him---those are the rules. Whether he could be fired for misrepresenting his ethnicity I don't know. It looks like fraud to me.
Ward Churchill strikes again: he

l says that more 9/11s may be necessary. In fact, he considers the necessity of such attacks on our homeland a "no-brainer." This is what he told a publication called Satya:

One of the things I’ve suggested is that it may be that more 9/11s are necessary. This seems like such a no-brainer that I hate to frame it in terms of actual transformation of consciousness. ‘Hey those brown-skinned folks dying in the millions in order to maintain this way of life, they can wait forever for those who purport to be the opposition here to find some personally comfortable and pure manner of affecting the kind of transformation that brings not just lethal but genocidal processes to a halt.’ They have no obligation—moral, ethical, legal or otherwise—to sit on their thumbs while the opposition here dithers about doing anything to change the system. So it’s removing the sense of—and right to—impunity from the American opposition.

But Eason Jordan--he should definitely lose his job. He doesn't have tenure, just a lying mouth.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Loathsome old guy Ward Churchill

There's been a lot of hoo-ha re Ward Churchill these days. I won't recapitulate it, because he has already been done to a turn by the bloggers--no links, google him yourself if you have been living in a coal mine since 2004. Lileks has his picture.. and a brief reference.


The blogosphere has been alight with the merry song stylings of Ward Churchill, whose act of promiscuous idiocy got him in trouble with those who don’t believe the janitors and busboys in the World Trade Center actually deserved their fate. About that nonsense I have nothing to say here, but I did note this. His picture:

I want to talk about the picture, not the man. I saw him on television, and the man looks like ten miles of bad road. That must be his high school yearbook picture.