I know, that’s kind of a mouthful of a headline, mais there has suddenly been all sorts of interesting dust-settling France coverage, and considering that a chunk of it ended up in my inbox with nary a mouseclick required from me I figured I should pass it along. Then I saw two more stories and, well, three’s a trend.
J’aime bien le pamplemousse. Oui, c’est vrai.
First, a shout-out to New Republic editor Marty Peretz, whose personalized email made me feel very special (how did you know that “Reader” was my special nickname?). Peretz drew my attention to TNR’s France-o-centric issue (see sad little Napoleon up above.Oh, buck up, little emperor. Elba’s not that bad), which features articles on why the French have failed to assimilate their minorities, and, confusingly, why the riots are uniquely French but also why all of this is also a European problem. Yowsers.
Next the New York Times Magazine published an architectural take on the riots, turning blame away from the French toward the Swiss, specifically the architect Le Corbusier, whose version of “upwardly mobile” is actually oxymoronic when taken literally in his high-rises on the outskirts of Paris. I think that sentence made sense but I’m not entirely sure.
And finally, in one of the more unique commentaries on the events overseas, over at Collision Detection FishFriend Clive Thompson writes of a unique project dramatizing the experiences of various French characters via machinimia (basically making art/video from video game characters and interfaces – more here). The TNR articles provide an interesting backdrop; the video-game-cum-movies highlight the assimilation/identity problems behind the more general marginalization of disaffected youth.
In any case, trois est un trènde, et aussi, je ne pas parler le Français vraiment bon. Zut alors! But that doesn’t change how I feel about grapefruit. Tasty, that.
Update: Allez allez allez! Fishbowl has been informed of more relevant links in this matter, specifically TNR cover-story-writer Paul Berman‘s book Power and the Idealists, as reviewed in yesterday’s NYBTR; it’s actually a super-favorable review and sounds like a really interesting book about the rise of post-1968 fascism in Europe, framed against, inter alia, the 1972 Olympics (a hot topic in the coming month when Munich is released). Wow, from France to Germany all in one post about unrest and racial violence in Europe. Nothing unsettling about that.