Market for misery

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Last updated on August 9th, 2017 at 02:15 pm

“More than a year after France legislated a 35-hour week,” wrote Adele Horin in 2002, “the economy is flourishing, unemployment is falling, consumer confidence has hit a historic high and most French say their lifestyle has improved.” Let’s check the current mood in Happiness Central:

Outside the Grand Palais museum, people stood in line for hours in biting cold this winter to see the city’s most popular art exhibit—Mélancolie , a collection of paintings and sculptures evoking depression, sadness and despair.

“It doesn’t surprise me that this exhibition is such a success,” said Claire Mione, a 20-year-old Web site editor who joined the rush to the show in its closing days. “Melancholy is an overwhelming feeling in our society right now.”

Adele’s beloved Europhisticates aren’t merely sad; they’re also scared:

Ipsos, a French polling institute, recently asked 500 people between the ages of 20 and 25 the question: “What does globalization mean to you?”

Forty-eight percent of those surveyed responded, “Fear.”

To be fair, that’s probably a default option. Now we visit Sarcellles for a glimpse into France’s future:

“It’s blacks and Arabs on one side and Jews on the other,” said Sebastian Daranal, a young black man standing in the parking lot of a government-subsidized housing project with two friends.

Eight men beat the son of a rabbi here in March. Another Jew was attacked the next day …

Ianis Roder, 34, a history teacher in a middle school northeast of Paris, said he was stunned by what he witnessed after Sept. 11, 2001. The next day, someone spray-painted in a stairwell of the school the image of an airplane crashing into the World Trade Center beside the words “Death to the U.S., Death to Jews.”

When he told his class months later that Hitler had killed millions of Jews, one boy blurted out, “He would have made a good Muslim!” Mr. Roder told of a Muslim teacher who dismissed her class after a shouting match over Nazi propaganda. The students said the offensive images accurately depicted Jews.

Nice place.

Posted by Tim B. on 03/26/2006 at 09:27 AM
    1. Off Topic…apologize

      Afghan Court Drops Case Against Christian

      Posted by El Cid on 2006 03 26 at 09:42 AM • permalink


    1. Many French citizens and political analysts take the blame for the country’s malaise to the top—with Chirac, 74, a lame-duck president who’s held the office for 11 years. In one news poll, only 1 percent of those surveyed said they would vote for Chirac if he ran for a third term when his second one ends next year

      The Kos creeps go on and on and on about Bush’s 37% approval rating, (like an American president gets kicked out once a Zogby poll dips to a certain number. Funny, I don’t remember ever seeing that clause in the constitution but they’re the reality-based community so I guess they know what they’re talking about).

      But their hero Chirac has one freakin’ percent%!!?!

      Posted by Amos on 2006 03 26 at 10:10 AM • permalink


    1. One of the things that makes the Judaic tradition turn up in Western thought a lot is that it’s compatible with the interpretation that everybody is a Jew.  That is, the position of the Jew in the world is the position that everybody takes on, by virtue of being human.

      Being human may still be too much of a challenge for other traditions.

      Implicit reminding is not welcomed.

      For example of “the duty owed to those with whom we have nothing in common.’’

      Posted by rhhardin on 2006 03 26 at 10:39 AM • permalink


    1. Nice place.

      I know I’m impressed.


      Posted by Barbara Skolaut on 2006 03 26 at 10:53 AM • permalink


    1. Most of Europe is gone. France lost the battle a long time ago, when de Gaulle got into bed with the Middle East and thought that the coming conflict between Islam and the rest could be fixed with some new-age appeasement.

      Let us hope the rest of the Western world can go back to a policy of assimilation rather than the rubbish we have now, and start to question without fear why it is the Religion of Peace has such an Orwellian name, and is the world’s foremost producer of murderers, rapists, and terrorists.

      It is also a pity we have such a numerous fifth column within the Western leftist movement.

      Posted by anthony27 on 2006 03 26 at 11:02 AM • permalink


    1. Maybe the history teacher was stunned because the airliner didn’t look like any that he had ever flown before.

      Posted by yojimbo on 2006 03 26 at 11:19 AM • permalink


    1. Bush is the one who called it ‘a’ Religion of Peace, we keep calling it that out of sarcasm. It’s not Orwellian if it’s sarcastic.

      Smith didn’t say ‘See you at the Ministry of Peace. Nice Ministry of Peace you got going there, jackass!’

      Posted by Amos on 2006 03 26 at 11:53 AM • permalink


    1. They’re always “stunned,” aren’t they?  They better face the music and stop being “stunned” or they will all wind up “dead.”

      Posted by Patricia on 2006 03 26 at 12:05 PM • permalink


    1. Most of Europe is not lost. Believe me, there are no people on the planet as calmly violent as the French when they feel threatened.

      Remember, this is a country that put an unreconstructed neo-fascist with a “kick them all out” policy into the second round of the last elections, and that was BEFORE this current round of troubles.

      No, the French will not go quietly. Look for a nativist anti-Muslim, anti-Jew, anti-American, protectionist regime to sprout up there.

      I speak with a number of French people online and have been struck by the number who are sure a civil war will happen in their lifetime.

      It’s going to get ugly. Really, really ugly. My main hope is that boys from Los Angeles, Manchester and Sydney don’t get dragged into it, as usual.

      Posted by NewSisyphus on 2006 03 26 at 01:05 PM • permalink


    1. “Melancholy is an overwhelming feeling in our society right now.”

      Oh, crap!  They’re giving themselves compassionate head tilts!

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 03 26 at 01:53 PM • permalink


    1. Outside the Grand Palais museum, people stood in line for hours in biting cold this winter to see the city’s most popular art exhibit—Mélancolie , a collection of paintings and sculptures evoking depression, sadness and despair.

      Ah—“Girl Weeping Over Her Dead Canary” is back! The French have always been susceptible to this tendency to wallow in “finer feelings” when times become rough. It’s usually a sign that events are going to start going downhill fast. I believe the popularity of the painting mentioned above, as described here, preceded the bloody Reign of Terror.

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2006 03 26 at 02:05 PM • permalink


    1. Rich the Mack…can’t stop laughing…

      Posted by ushie on 2006 03 26 at 02:09 PM • permalink


    1. As if they aren’t weighed down enough with their melancholy burden already, they’re going to freak when they see the cover of the latest issue of Time.

      Posted by Crispytoast on 2006 03 26 at 02:14 PM • permalink


    1. Andrea, that sadass pic put me in mind of the brilliant Mark Twain’s “I Shall Never Hear Thy Sweet Chirrup More Alas,” one of the Grangerford’s daughter’s drawings that gave Huck the “fantods.”

      Didn’t the Grangerfords stand for the obsolete, half-dead way of “living” based on an unreal ideal…?

      Posted by ushie on 2006 03 26 at 02:20 PM • permalink


    1. Welp, Crispy, goodness gracious looks like we’re all gonna die…

      Posted by ushie on 2006 03 26 at 02:23 PM • permalink


    1. #9 No, the French will not go quietly
      Correct! They’ll go with a lot of whining and wailing and screamin’ “It’s Le Fault Bush” or something equivalent. I don’t think the USA will be in the mood to save a Chirac France of LePen France. Or any France at all unless they show some backbone effort to save themselves. At least the Jews have some decent place to go. But ask a Muslim or African if they would like to go back to where they came from. Jamais, jamais! Instead, they prefer to turn France into the disgusting places they came from.

      Posted by stats on 2006 03 26 at 02:30 PM • permalink


    1. 9. NewSisyphus

      I have taken the very difficult decision to stop blogging .

      Nice to see you ‘blogging’ again, in a way that is…:).

      Posted by El Cid on 2006 03 26 at 02:33 PM • permalink


    1. Oh no, El Cid, commenting is a whole different kettle of fish!

      Posted by NewSisyphus on 2006 03 26 at 02:38 PM • permalink


    1. NewSisyphus

      Well I will admit, it is probably a hell of a lot easier, then it is rolling a rock, uphill…:).

      Gee, I never told anyone this, but that’s similar to me attending school as a young man…well NOT the ‘rock’…but uphill, both ways…lol.

      Yeah, yeah…old as hell joke.

      Posted by El Cid on 2006 03 26 at 02:42 PM • permalink


    1. Since when have the French ever passed up a chance to have a good weep?

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2006 03 26 at 03:53 PM • permalink


    1. LOL Ushie,

      I always enjoyed that part of Huck Finn as the Grangerford girl seemed to be the proto-Goth rocker.

      Posted by JDB on 2006 03 26 at 04:49 PM • permalink


    1. JDB…your observation has felled like like an ox.  GAH!  Stupid Goths.

      Posted by ushie on 2006 03 26 at 04:57 PM • permalink


    1. #9.The prospect of a civil war in France provides interesting possibilities but I don’t see a role for boys from LA,Manchester or Sydney,after all the Germans haven’t had a really good rape and pillage for more than 65 years and by their historical standards must be way overdue.Pacifying civil unrest in France would be right up their alley and this time they wouldn’t have to worry about those interfering Russians.

      Posted by Lew on 2006 03 26 at 07:46 PM • permalink


    1. I speak with a number of French people online and have been struck by the number who are sure a civil war will happen in their lifetime.

      Paul McGeough has predicted one in the next fifteen minutes. He’s adamant!

      France (and probably Europe) is however lost. Thanks to projected demographics, any actions, no matter how swift or brutal will be little more than death throes.

      Hopefully the rest of the world can learn.

      Posted by Dan Lewis on 2006 03 26 at 08:55 PM • permalink


    1. It is only a poll of one so hardly scientific but still surprising.  I recently hosted a 30 something Parisian advertising executive in Sydney to make a commercial for the rugby world cup.  He was adamant that he and his partner were going to emigrate to Sydney and that “everyone” in France was leaving.  He said that all of his peers had either already left or were in the process.  It’s a surprise because it is the first time I have heard it from a member of the French privileged class.

      Posted by allan on 2006 03 26 at 09:01 PM • permalink


    1. speak with a number of French people online and have been struck by the number who are sure a civil war will happen in their lifetime Geee, the only propspect for civil war I’ve found in the MSM is the one predicted in Iraq to take place yesterday. Hasn’t happened. What’s wrong with reality, doesn’t it read the papers? If it did, it would know nothing has been reported about France at all-all is well. This proves there will be no civil war in France.

      Posted by stats on 2006 03 26 at 09:54 PM • permalink


    1. So, this is news? The French have always been revolting.

      Posted by MentalFloss on 2006 03 26 at 10:38 PM • permalink


    1. Adele is probably a throwback to the arty left of the past, when every aspirational creative person thought anywhere but Australia was the place to be. Those French! Sooo sophisticated and overflowing with heureusement.
      Or is it now harassment?

      Posted by blogstrop on 2006 03 26 at 10:43 PM • permalink


    1. I’d feel more smug about this if, oh, I don’t know, there weren’t a half a million people waving the flag of a foreign country in my hometown yesterday.

      La reconquista continua.

      Posted by NewSisyphus on 2006 03 26 at 11:07 PM • permalink


    1. #29. Which town is that?  (if it is OK to ask)

      Posted by Brett_McS on 2006 03 26 at 11:45 PM • permalink


    1. Amos, I didn’t realise it was a G. Bush’s label, oddly I’ve heard it invoked by lefties too many times 😛

      I always wondered why it is they would use a label so on par with the Ministry of Peace.

      # 9 – “Most of Europe is not lost.”

      Here is a quote from Mark Steyn, from a story Tim B. posted not too long ago.

      The reason Europe, Russia and Japan are doomed boils down to a big lack of babies […] if you want the reality of Europe in a nutshell, walk into a supermarket belonging to the French chain Carrefour. You’ll be greeted by a notice in Arabic: “Dear Clients, We express solidarity with the Islamic and Egyptian community. Carrefour doesn’t carry Danish products.” It’s strictly business: they have three Danish customers and a gazillion Muslim ones […]. Europe is bicultural: a fading elderly population yielding to a young surging Islam.

      On the up-side:

      In the years ahead, North America and Australia will have the pick of European talent and a chance to learn the lessons of its self-extinction, as they apply to abortion and much else

      I’ve seen no willingness on the part of the European mainstream to fight Islamic terrorism, just to continue to try and appease it. France’s immigrant communities are full of blatant Jew-haters. The police (see this story) wouldn’t even look at the likely kidnappers of Halimi until it was too late. The French would not dare accuse Muslims of crime, which also explains why looting and burning cars is a ‘protest’ over economic conditions, not an attack on the French Dhimmis.

      I want to believe you that we’ll all live happily-ever-after, but I’m too much of a cynic.

      Posted by anthony27 on 2006 03 26 at 11:49 PM • permalink


    1. #29, #30.  ‘Can’ the question.  LA.

      Posted by Brett_McS on 2006 03 27 at 12:00 AM • permalink


    1. France is gone. No biggee, the best bits have been relocated elsewhere.

      The “New World”’ does wine, as well and cheaper.

      Only mechanics and matches like French cars.

      Vegas has recreated all the best monuments, without the price gouging and with a pleasant American “have a nice day” spit shine.

      Luckily due to immigration, hot Euro babes are being created in other parts of the world. Euro wombs have pre-empted the factories and are now closed for business.

      If you miss surliness, join a Labor Party faction.

      Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2006 03 27 at 12:10 AM • permalink


    1. #25 –

      He said that all of his peers had either already left or were in the process.

      Interesting that they think that any country would actually want them, what with the splendid job the French ‘elite’ have done with their own country.

      Posted by mongo78 on 2006 03 27 at 12:42 AM • permalink


    1. “Melancholy is an overwhelming feeling in our society right now.”

      Gee, next thing you know they’ll be writing depressing existentialist novels.

      Posted by Dave S. on 2006 03 27 at 01:24 AM • permalink


    1. ‘I speak with a number of French people online and have been struck by the number who are sure a civil war will happen in their lifetime.’

      i sure hope these guys are in their sixties !

      Alors Gaston, how bout zose sharpened pitchforks?
      Ready Mon general! Tell me why is your middle name Marie-Antoinette mon general?
      I have aristocratic blood, Gaston. I come from a long line of French queens!

      Posted by davo on 2006 03 27 at 03:29 AM • permalink


    1. At least Bob Ellis and Alan Ramsey have not expressed optimism about the future of France – there may still be hope.

      Posted by Margos Maid on 2006 03 27 at 05:08 PM • permalink


    1. If there HAS to be a civil war SOMEPLACE, I nominate France.  But does there?

      Posted by Stoop Davy Dave on 2006 03 28 at 02:48 PM • permalink


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