Monday, October 26, 2009

Genetics According to Hortefeux

Speaking of traits that Jean Sarkozy shares with his father, Brice Hortefeux said:

« Il a à la fois la passion et en même temps, il a la raison. Et finalement ce sont des qualités génétiques. »

Pascal Riché observes that there are many other instances in which political figures on the right have perceived peculiar genetic influences.

Quand il n'y en a qu'un, ça va ...

The Brice Hortefeux Prize for Public Candor goes to the UMP official who said that Rama Yade would add "local color" to the Val-d'Oise:

Elle a surtout détesté qu'une dirigeante UMP déclare qu'elle ferait plus «couleur locale» dans le Val-d'Oise. «C'est insupportable d'entendre que je serai la candidate des Africains», s'exclame Yade, qui s'oppose à une «candidature ethnique».

Yade is not happy with the UMP, and the Elysée is not happy with Yade. How about a little ouverture on the left?

Defending the Indefensible

It is a profound embarrassment to champions of French literary humanism that Louis-Ferdinand Céline is at once a writer of undeniable amplitude, incontournable, as they say, and the author of three virulent anti-Semitic tracts, Bagatelles pour un massacre, L'Ecole des cadavres, and Les Beaux draps. But Céline has found a defender in a British critic of Polish Jewish descent, Karl Orend, who argues that Céline was merely reflecting the belief of millions of Europeans that war with Germany would be catastrophic and that a "Jewish conspiracy" lay behind the push for war. Indeed, many people did hold that belief, but it hardly excuses what Céline wrote. In any case, the polemic that erupted in the UK after Orend published his article has now spilled over into France.

Grunberg Compares French and German Lefts

Here. Nothing you haven't heard before, but backed by recent polling and electoral results. Some will like this analysis, which is based on a distinction between a party that aspires to govern and a party that aspires only to represent a segment of the population--devenir un tribun de la plèbe, in Grunberg's somewhat dismissive phrase. Some will think that it is profoundly wrong and mistakes what the left is fundamentally about.

When Chuck Berry Opened for Raymond Barre

Good story, about half-way through the article.