“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Sunday, April 22, 2007


Not a bad day in France. LI was prepared for the worst. We have watched in agony as Segolene Royal seemed to deliberately piss away a win. Our own candidate was probably Buffet the vampire hunter – Marie-George Buffet from the PCF, don’t you know, the woman denounced as a Stalinist by the ever obnoxious Onfray – but in the end, if we lived in France, sheer fear of Sarkozy would have driven us to the Royal side.

The second round is going to be different. I hope that Royal concentrates for real on giving a picture of just what Sarkozy is offering. It is a watered down neo-liberalism that will cause the usual type of economic boom and bust – with all the proceeds going to the top, and the usual dissolving rat race by the middle and the bottom to give themselves wage raises through sheer borrowing. We’ve seen this all too often before. It only beckons as a good model because, on the whole, the people who benefit most own own own the media. All of it. Royal ought to speak out for a robustly Keynesian approach to counter the utterly awful Sarko, and talk about government expenditures in terms of what brings the highest social return. So she should speak out about putting more government money, not less, into vital services, particularly education. If compromises must be made to make labor markets more “flexible” – for instance, to remove some of the burden of hiring people for short term positions – they can only be made in the context of a greatly expanded educational sphere – one that would, as in the U.S., absorb many of the unemployed. I think what the Netherlands and Sweden have done in this regard might well be looked at.

As for France’s position in the world, Sarkozy is a crazy Bushophile, but I fear Royal would be a French Tony Blair. There’s nothing one can do about that. More (unsolicited, unheard) advice from this blog – figure out that the vote against the European constitution meant no to expanding the EU blindly, no to rule by central banks, no to the attack on labour, and that these aren’t domestic but international issues. The EU has a chance to offer a model of affluence with social justice, and it should be steered in that direction.

I’m unhappy that Sarko won the first round, but he won much less grandly than many had predicted, and Royal did a lot better. So – here she is! (in a youtube production that is a moony tour of Royal’s dentition to the melodious strumming of cheesy seventies arena rock! at least it made me laugh.)

ps – LI should have cast away childish things long ago – but, childishly, we were shocked by the awful reporting and commentary in the Guardian about the French election. It is a true reflection – the pro-Sarko bias – of Blair’s legacy, God help us. The newspaper has a blogger in Sarko’s camp; it has lined up four or five commenters on the French election, all but one of which have sung the Sarko song; and in general, refused to comment on the story line followed in the anglosphere of Royal falling apart. In fact, the 25 percent was much better than was predicted by this pack of Pecksniffs. If Royal loses, the loss will not be – as the Guardian so hopefully puts it – a mandate for Sarkozy. It will be a close election, followed by the regionals, and the destruction of France’s social welfare network, so ardently hoped for by the Thatcher-Blairist set, will, LI is pretty sure, be indefinitely delayed. As the Iraq war taught us, the media will rush like rabid lemmings towards any cliff that the worst stock option dregs point them to, and ask questions only at as the splat point grows overwhelmingly large to their rodent-like peeps – but one forgets just how bad and creepy the filter is until ‘socialism’ becomes something more for these fuckers than a distant polemic.

But if you want to read a reasonable analysis of the election, go to Michel Noblecourt here.


Anonymous said...

Salut Roger,
excuses ma longue absence...
Tout a fait d'accord!
Alain Genestier

roger said...

Salut - toi!
Thanks! I think I have been un petit peu mechant about Segolene - thinking she was too vacuous, too much the catalogue candidate. But at the moment, I'm happy with her.

amie said...

oops, LI, i posted my comment re your post on the french elections on the wrong post! pardon, svp!

amie said...

"Certains en France m'appellent Sarkozy l'Américain. J'en suis fier. Je suis un homme d'action, je fais ce que je dis et j'essaie d'être pragmatique. Je partage beaucoup des valeurs américaines." Sarkozy, 2004.

Brian said...

God that's disgusting. American fundamentalist machisimo is taking over there, too?

I wonder if M. Sark will have been found to be visiting a male meth dealer soon?

Vive le poofisme! Down with the Macho Idiocy!

roger said...

Brian, I like the poofism idea. Poofism for the masses - poof rules. More poof!
You need to write the poof manifesto, man. It is calling you!

northanger said...

i am totally down with le poofisme!

on topic: ensemble, tout devient possible

off topic: just saw Tom Hamburger on CNN talking about his article in today's LA Times, Low-key office launches high-profile inquiry : The Office of Special Counsel will investigate U.S. attorney firings and other political activities led by Karl Rove.

"This is a big deal," Paul C. Light, a New York University expert on the executive branch, said of Bloch's plan. "It is a significant moment for the administration and Karl Rove. It speaks to the growing sense that there is a nexus at the White House that explains what's going on in these disparate investigations."

roger said...

Well North, in other news...

There's a big NYT article on the disappearing bee. I should say, the exhausted bee. These bees were being outrageously overworked!

The article is tarnished, by the way, by an unbelievably stupid graf at the end:

"The French government banned the pesticide in 1999 for use on sunflowers, and later for corn, despite protests by the German chemical giant Bayer, which has said its internal research showed the pesticide was not toxic to bees. Subsequent studies by independent French researchers have disagreed with Bayer. Alison Chalmers, an eco-toxicologist for Bayer CropScience, said at the meeting today that bee colonies had not recovered in France as beekeepers had expected. “These chemicals are not being used anymore,” she said of imidacloprid, “so they certainly were not the only cause.”

The one quote comes from Bayer? It is like quoting Exxon Mobile about an oil spill. Bad bad journalist.

northanger said...

bees are disappearing because of cell phones.

Brian said...

Damn, Northanger. I guess we don't have to worry about global warming. We will all starve well before then.

Anyway, my Manifesto:

Le Manifesto de La Poofisme

We firmly reject the modern “faux machismo” so dominant in modern culture and politics.

We do not believe that the Spartan military state is heroic or worthy of emulation in the modern United States.

We are not interested in listening to bleatings from soft, prosperous, safely insulated pundits about how war is always the answer and how they would have heroically gunned down the various mass murderers this society uniquely seems predisposed to create.

We do not believe that the husband must dominate the wife, and that the wife must be submissive.

We are not particularly interested in small town football as the exemplar of American life

We do not believe that Sty and Arnold and a heavily padded suit wearing Ronald Reagan are the only

We are not interested in a politics based on the activities of a particularly nasty band of chimpanzees.

We are tired of Promise Keepers, James Dobson, and other hackish cultural movements that create nothing, say nothing, do nothing but peddle theocratic fascistic nonsense and inspire insipid contemporary Christian soft rock.

We call for a politics that celebrates music, rebellion, difference, art, good food, good drink, good drugs, feminine men and masculine women, and colorful flowers.

We call for a rejection of the manly myth

We call for a new MANIFESTO OF POOFISME!

amie said...

wow, Brian, some manifesto! I'm looking forward to further iterations -- "we the poofs...", "poofs of the world...".

LI, not to get into the WAPO forums you mention in your post, though they are in line with a discussion on NPRs Talk of the Nation yesterday which spent an hour seriously considering whether students should be allowed to take guns to class!
Have you seen the forum on Le Monde which does bring up your point about the left taking up the No in the referendum on the EU?

And SR does refer to it in a statement yesterday. Meanwhile, in a poll reported on Libé, the gap between M.Sark and SR has narrowed to 51-49.

roger said...

Wow! That's a great poll! Too great, though. It is libe. Still, I am going to give Ms. Royal a lot more credit at the moment than the mostly male fraternity of journalistic know nothings.
The WAPO forum was so amazingly whacked that it was funny. The D.C. elite have definitely gone beyond Nietzsche - they are way more than 6000 feet above humanitiy. I'd put them on mars.

roger said...

Brian, like the manifesto. Suggestion: I think it should end not as a call for another manifesto, but for Puffism now. You know, so crowds can languidly yell out, if they have a mind to, What do we want? poofism. When do we want it? Now.
The Poofist demo, though, is strictly BYOB.

northanger said...

the Ronald Reagan one got snipped, Brian. did he get poofed?

we need a press release.

Roger, if we can't find any bees can we bring our own beer?

roger said...

North, your comment stung - I hadn't thought of the beer thing. Hops and wheat and all that stuff needs pollination. Oh shit - now I am starting to get in a sweat. I was thinking, well, I don't eat too many walnuts anyway. In fact, I fuckin hate walnuts. But BEER - NO BEER????

That's it. Along with the poof movement, we need a be kind to bees movement. Put honey outside your windows, people. Little gifts for bees. Hey, next honeybee I see, it gets the works. Flowers, a compass, whatever.

This is a disaster!

northanger said...

well, at least glenfiddich isn't made by bees. that's a relief.

Brian said...

J. Alva Scruggs points out that the bee story is junk science.


Ah well...

As for the snipped comment, what I meant to say was something like "...are the truest exemplars of manhood" or something like that rot :)

northanger said...

thanks Brian.

Well I tried to chase a bee out using my mobile phone, gave up and used fly spray in the end.


amie said...

LI, I don't think a compass would be the best of gifts to ingratiate oneself with a honey bee, as it seems to imply HB has lost its sense of direction! to say nothing of blatantly flaunting the technological superiority of Mr.Man. you can imagine HB's stinging response re the pollination and beer connection!

roger said...

Brian, yeah, I read the yorkshire ranter thing, and I agree with Mistah Scruggs. I'm more interested, to tell the truth, in the genetically modified corn, especially now that we know that the bees, as they are transported, are fed with corn syrup. But - casting off the mask of Dr. Frankenstein and assuming the mask of your average UFO abduction survivor - this article, which concentrated on the business of shuffling the bees here or there, has made me think - the bees are tired. Like all Gaia's creatures, they are just fuckin tired of working for the Man. It's species fatigue, man. It's like the elephant revolt reported in the NYT magazine last year. All of creation is groaning and moaning and trying to get the Man's attention, as in: knock it off. Knock on the glass. Mr. Man, you got to be kidding me about this monocultural, lets destroy the atmosphere, fish all fish out of the sea program. Like, its dumb.

roger said...

Amie, hmm, so the compass might be a little non-subtle? well, we better get on the stick with some kind of hive finder for our little honey makin' friends. The other thing I learned from the NYT today is that there is a National Honey Board, which made me understand the sham and failure of my own life up until now - since a sane person would try to do everything to work for the National Honey Board. I could go into any bar, any club, any gathering, and say, I work for Honey, and immediately be the cynosure of all eyes - instead of being the miserable non-ink stained wretch who gets ignored at best. I want to work for honey!

Ray Davis said...

Brian, congratulations. I think it's the highest form of poofiness to call for reinforcements even before the manifesto's over. Don't pay attention to Roger. When has he ever risked a poofy manifesto for you to better?

roger said...

My God! Now I feel my manhood's challenged because I haven't displayed enough poofiness! That makes me so goddamned mad. Grr, grrr.