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Macron, a man whose time has come – Rory J Clarke – Medium

look at what Macron has done: in two years he formed a movement without a party, and left government before the campaigns even started, in a bid to pursue an idea, yes, an idea: that the establishment of the PS and PR, propped up on each side by extremes, could and would have to be broken once and for all if France was to change. He stepped around the scrum of the primaries, built alliances with civil society people on the ground, and has managed to up-end the old regime. Unreformable? It remains to be seen. Unprecedented? Definitely yes. Never in our lifetime has so much been done in France in so little time.

Les Incroyables after the French revolution

They were the children of the wealthy elite, the deposed aristocrats swept away with the revolution. In French, this generation became known as­ “the golden youth.” The Incroyables were royalist rather than republican, using their clothes as an advertisement for political beliefs that ran counter to the status quo. In itself, that was a dangerous statement. During the immediate aftermath of the revolution and the execution of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, the Committee of Public Safety attempted to use the guillotine to shape what member Maximilien Robespierre dubbed “a republic of virtue.” It resulted in the death of 17,000 at the blade, dubbed the “national razor.” Executable offenses were broad: Any individual whose actions “show(ed) themselves to be supporters of tyranny and federalism and enemies of freedom” was in danger. Offenses included dress: Infractions like displaying royalist insignia or colors (the fleur-­de-­lis, white, green or any indication of mourning), or refusal to sport the cockade, that symbolically ­loaded knot of tricolor ribbons, were, in some cases, enough to send someone to the tumbrils. The Incroyables were born out of that crucible. They willfully flouted the rules, even going so far as to affect a form of speech where the letter “r,” being too reminiscent of the revolution, was omitted. The thus­ pronounced “Inc’oyables” had a healthy gallows humor. Frequently, hair was brushed forward and shaved at the nape of the neck, as if a guillotine blade were about to fall. It is said that bals des victimes (victims’ balls) were staged, where the Incroyables’ female equivalents, Les Merveilleuses (loosely translated as “the Marvelous Ones”), wore transparent dresses reminiscent of underwear and tied red ribbons around their throats, suggesting decapitation. Photo A look from John Galliano’s Maison Margiela “Artisanal” show. Credit Pierre Le-Tan As those fashions indicate, the Incroyables and Merveilleuses were interested in altering perceptions of the body through the clothing they wore. The Incroyables tugged their cravats up high, swaddling their throats in goiters of cloth: The collar generally ended around the ears, entirely hiding the chin and jaw. Their tailcoats were creased and muddied, tailored short and tight in front, with pleats in the rear creating a hunchback effect; Heyl, the most famous tailor in Paris at that time, specialized in this intentionally bizarre shape. The most fashionable shade was couleur de crottin (horse­-manure brown), although ashen gray and muddy shades of blue also appeared. On men, nankeen or doeskin breeches, ­which, in 1794, were contentious enough to lead to imprisonment, were drawn tight against the body, delineating every nuance of the anatomy. Their hair was cut à la chien, dangling down in side whiskers like spaniel ears. The Incroyables were pilloried, parodied, emulated, reviled, attacked and much discussed. By 1799, when troubled times calmed and Napoleon ascended to power, their movement had died out.

This French Philosopher Is The Only One Who Can Explain The Donald Trump Phenomenon | ThinkProgress

Others in the Republican field are concerned with the rules and constructing a strategy that, under those rules, will lead to the nomination. But Trump isn’t concerned with those things. Instead, Trump is focused on each moment and eliciting the maximum amount of passion in that moment. His supporters love it. The key to generating passion, Barthes notes, is to position yourself to deliver justice against evil forces by whatever means necessary. “Wrestlers know very well how to play up to the capacity for indignation of the public by presenting the very limit of the concept of Justice,” Barthes writes. Trump knows how to define his opponent — China, “illegals,” hedge fund managers — and pledges to go after them with unbridled aggression. If, in making his case, he crosses over a line or two, all the better.

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Newspaper Edits Female World Leaders Out of Charlie Hebdo March | Mediaite

Evidence for rising intolerance in France

Nearly 7,000 French Jews moved to Israel this year, more than double the figure from the previous year.

Book coverage a la Francais

In the United States, there is one nationally broadcast radio program that has significant coverage of books — NPR’s “Fresh Air,” which book publicists fight over like pi-dogs over a picked bone. In Paris, I soon lost count of how many in-depth radio and TV shows, some as long as an hour, I taped or broadcast live at the circular, weirdly sci-fi-looking Maison de la Radio. I happened to be in France in September, during the rentrée littéraire — the opening of the literary season, when publishers release their big books — and the frenzy was palpable. And not just among the soi-disant elite, either. Lost in a strange neighborhood late one night, I approached a group of club kids for directions, only to overhear them arguing heatedly about which of the new crop of books would be that year’s “The Kindly Ones,” the Holocaust blockbuster that had come out the year before.

The Ortolan: A Tiny Bird as a French Cause Célèbre

the ortolan, a tiny songbird that gourmands, including former President François Mitterrand, used to covet, consuming the head, bones and body in a single, steaming mouthful, while covering their faces with a white napkin to conceal the act.

Three French Islamists Turn Themselves in After Police Miss Them - Bloomberg

Three men suspected of having fought for Islamic State in Syria and deported by Turkey are now in police custody after French police waited for them at the wrong airport. The men turned themselves in this morning at a gendarme station in southern France, BFM TV reported. They rang the bell at the station in the town of Caylar and were told to wait outside because no one was there. A police car came 20 minutes later to pick them up, according to a BFM TV reporter at the nearby police station they were eventually taken to.

French biography is a sub-species of fiction

In an interview with The New York Times in 1989, Mr. Lottman suggested that his work showed an American-like passion for hard facts that he believed some French historians and biographers ignored or fudged in favor of their own intellectual theories. Of his 17 books — published in English and translated into many languages, including French — 15 were about French intellectual, artistic and political life.“The French continue to use the a priori method, which is to know in advance what you want to say about a writer and then find anecdotes to make the story interesting,” he said in the interview with The Times. “And so, I have in front of me very fertile fields and no competition.”He added, “It may seem absurd that you can go back to the 19th century and still find virgin territory, but you do.”His method, he said, was more that of the journalist than the professor. “A lot of so-called French biographers imagine that they can invent things, dreams and thoughts of the figure they are writing about,” he told a French literary journal in 2007.
Ms Doudet was sued by the owner of Il Giardino restaurant in the Aquitaine region of southwestern France after she wrote a blogpost entitled "the place to avoid in Cap-Ferret: Il Giardino". According to court documents, the review appeared fourth in the results of a Google search for the restaurant. The judge decided that the blog's title should be changed, so that the phrase: "the place to avoid" was less prominent in the results. The judge sitting in Bordeaux also pointed out that the harm to the restaurant was exacerbated by the fact that Ms Doudet's fashion and literature blog "Cultur'elle" had around 3,000 followers, indicating she thought it was a significant number.
‘I hope you get to Berlin before the Americans,’ De Gaulle told the Soviet ambassador in London.
For 1 January 1941, to test the water, he called for a minimalist, symbolic ‘stay-away’ (as anti-apartheid activists later referred to the tactic): people in the Vichy zone were asked to remain indoors between 2 and 3 p.m. and in the occupied zone between 3 and 4. The results were auspicious. Vichy had cast Joan of Arc as a blood-and-soil figure with a hatred of the English; Free France endowed her with a generic rage – a ‘sacred French fury’ – against any invader from any quarter. On her feast day in May people were urged to walk the streets of ‘our towns and our villages’ – that charged little phrase – in ‘absolute silence’, not as a march or a cortège, but as families, groups of friends, individuals, ‘looking one another directly in the eye’ as they crossed. On May Day 1942, they were asked to turn out en masse and parade past town halls and republican statuary at 6.30 p.m.
« Les start-up, c'est l'inverse de l'esprit français », sourit Cécile Alduy, l'universitaire de Stanford. L'esprit de collaboration est indispensable, la hiérarchie volontairement en retrait. « On essaie d'avoir le moins de directeurs possible, poursuit Florian Jourda. Les managers sont censés se mettre en dessous de l'équipe plutôt qu'au-dessus. »
Outraged Liberation journalists vented their opposition to the plan on the cover of the weekend edition, which had the frontpage headline: "We are a newspaper, not a restaurant, not a social network, not a cultural space, not a TV studio, not a bar, not a start-up incubator." The staff voted Sunday not to repeat a 24-hour strike they staged Thursday upon learning of what the owners had in mind. Instead they vowed to fight against the "illegal" project in their newspaper's pages. Started by French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre in 1973 as a leftwing title, Liberation has been a mainstay on newsstands -- especially in left-leaning Paris -- with its emphasis on photos and sometimes militant stances.
Women can buy badges with the "mademoiselle" option crossed out and are encouraged to download a letter to their electricity provider or bank informing them why wish to be called "madame".
Closer said a woman seen arriving at the apartment at night was 41-year-old Gayet, who has been in more than 50 films including Quai d’Orsay, My Best Friend, and Chaos and Desire.She is followed by a man resembling Hollande's bodyguard, before second man, which the magazine said was Hollande, then pulls up to the apartment on the back of a scooter wearing a black helmet.The following morning, Closer said its photos showed the first man coming back to the apartment with a bag of croissants, before the second man rides away again on the scooter.The woman said to be Gayet then comes out of the building and walks away.
Franck Debieu, who runs a bakery in Sceaux, a small town south of Paris, tries to be in his shop as often as possible to gently coax his clientele toward a more bronzed baguette. His sales staff, which always includes a baker at the counter, is trained on how to handle requests for "white" baguettes, usually by handing customers a properly baked loaf and suggesting they try it. Mr. Debieu says his peers who underbake their bread are delusional. "The customer doesn't know what's best…It's the baker's job to educate him."
The baguette as we know it dates to the 1920s and was a byproduct of a protective labor law that prevented French bakers from working between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. That made it impossible to prepare traditional round loaves by breakfast time. Bakers had to turn to a new kind of bread, whose thin shape made it faster to prepare and bake. The baguette—French for "little stick"—quickly became a breakfast essential throughout France.
Taha Yasseri of the Oxford Internet Institute and colleagues looked at Wikipedia’s different language editions from their inception (January 2001 for English) to March 2010 and ranked the most contested articles, based on the number of reverts and the number of edits the contributors have made (dubbed their “maturity score”). The results in some ways confirm cultural stereotypes. Americans bicker over politics and professional wrestling; among the top French squabbles is Freud.
According to the Modern Language Association, the discipline recorded 248,000 course enrollments in 1980 in accredited, not-for-profit institutions (including two-year schools). In 1990, the number rose to 272,000, and in those heady years a certain number of faculty members hired to teach those courses won tenure. Since then, enrollments have dipped more than 20 percent, averaging about 207,000 for the last 10 years. For German, the drop is worse: 133,000 in 1990 to 95,000 today.
Tell a Frenchman what a glorious day it is and he will respond that it won’t last. Tell him how good the heat feels and he will say it portends a storm. I recently asked in a French hotel how long it would take for a coffee to reach my room. The brusque retort: “The time it takes to make it.” This surliness is more a fierce form of realism than a sign of malaise. It is a bitter wisdom. It is a nod to Hobbes’s view that the life of man is, on the whole, “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.” Nothing surprises, nothing shocks (especially in the realm of marriage and sex), and nothing, really, disappoints. Far from morose, the French attitude has a bracing frankness. No nation has a more emphatic shrug. No nation is the object of so much romanticism yet so unromantic itself. No nation internalizes as completely the notion that in the end we are all dead.
“It used to be elbow to elbow here,” said Hamidou Debo, a shoe vendor who sat quietly in his outdoor stall as a handful of people browsed through silver-hued sandals and black leather high-tops before shuffling away without buying. “Now the crowds are around half what they used to be.” For Mr. Debo and 2,500 other merchants in the 17-acre market on the northern edge of Paris, an economic slowdown has gripped business, and there is no telling when things might turn around. Last year, he said, he regularly made 300 to 400 euros, or $390 to $520, in sales by lunchtime. Now he barely makes 100 euros.