Saturday, June 19, 2010

Times of London Raises the Drawbridge

The Times of London is becoming a pay site. This wouldn't matter much to me, since I don't read the paper, but Charles Bremner's excellent blog on things French, to which I frequently link, is disappearing behind the pay wall as well. This is a shame. I'm all for paying a fair price for news on the Web, but there are only so many newspapers I can support, and the Times of London is not one of them. In any case, on principle I'm not keen to contribute to the Murdoch empire, given the ravages wrought by Fox News and the Wall Street Journal editorial page in my own country. Which is not to say that Murdoch doesn't employ some excellent journalists. Bremner, the Times' Paris correspondent, is one of them. But 2 pounds a week is more than I care to pay to read his blog. A fairer formula must be found: I would pay a reasonable amount to read selected articles or blog posts, but I'm not going to pay for an entire paper for which I have no use. So, adieu, Charles.

Book Chat on the Web

Fabrice Rozié, who used to be the French embassy's book attaché in New York, is launching a Web-based book discussion venture, "Amateur Thursdays," with Giovanna Calvino, the daughter of Italo Calvino. They're attempting to raise money for their launch. You can see a video about it here and discussion here and here.

Villepin Launches

"Classe, sérénité, stature d'homme d'État ..." Not perhaps the words I would choose.

Cup of Bitters

Remember when France won the World Cup? Commentators fell all over themselves congratulating la grande Nation on its successful integration: the national colors were henceforth Beur, Black, Blanc, everyone embraced, and La Marseillaise was on the lips of all. That was then. Everyone loves a winner, victory has a thousand fathers, etc. The ecumenical hopes to which the '98 cup gave rise were dashed in the first round of the 2002 presidential election. So let us hope that the hatred unleashed by France's Cup collapse of 2010 augurs a better outcome in the 2012 presidentials.