Saturday, July 15, 2023

#196 / Is It True That France Has Gone To Hell?


Well, the answer you receive to that question may depend upon whom you ask! The Guardian, which is published in Britain, not France, has suggested that France's "catastrophist discourse" is at odds with the facts. As The Guardian sees it, things are not, actually, nearly as bad as some people apparently believe!
My sister, who lives in France, sent me the article I have just linked, in reaction to one of my blog postings titled, "A Message From Minnesota." In that blog posting, I quoted a Minnesota journalist who claimed that "Americans should be happy, but they're not." 
I believe my sister thinks that this is probably true for the French, as well. She notes that malaise and "catastrophist discourse" tends to be found everywhere - and definitely in France. Despite that "discourse,"  she would argue, I believe, that The Guardian is pretty much on target. I get the impression that my sister thinks that we are talking ourselves into it! That said about my sister's views, it is clear that some French pundits take quite seriously the idea that France is descending into "murderous anarchy," into what an article in Quillette calls "decivilisation." 

The feeling that "things are bad (and probably getting worse)" is often produced by the kind of "political nostalgia" mentioned in The Guardian. The Guardian posts no paywall on its website, at least as far as I can tell, so you should be able to read The Guardian article in its entirety, just by clicking this link.

My sister, whose inclination is to "keep on the sunny side of life," liked my blog posting on "Joy," as well as that blog post about Minnesota. My posting on "Joy" was published just a day before I published the one on Minnesota, and as my sister said, when she sent me her comments: "I guess, all over the world, people are missing the point…"
We are alive, she means - at least I think that's what she means - so let's just appreciate that gift!

Looking around, speculating whether or not your county is heading for hell, isn't, really, a very good way to spend your time. I think that's what my sister might say. I know what Bob Dylan would say. He's already said it. 

You can "forget the dead you've left," Bob Dylan advises. Because, you know, "they will not follow you." 
You are, in other words, free to move on, just in case you haven't figured that out. When you think you're heading to hell, it's time to pick up your bedroll and then head in some different direction. That's a Bob Dylan take on our human situation, the way I interpret his song. You can listen to Dylan sing the song, if you want to. All it takes is just one more click!
Thinking about those blog posts I've published, I think my sister has put her finger on exactly the right message: Joy is the direction in which we ought to head. Let's not talk ourselves into forgetting that!

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