mercredi 10 juillet 2013

The poor people of France

Maureen Dowd is currently in Paris (probably for the summer -or is it winter?- fashion week) and she already has two pieces published in the NYT. 

The first one is entitled Bonjour tristesse, while the second is called Agent saboteur?

Both pieces in my view belong to the infotainment department so they're funny to read.

Now, the most interesting part of the column is filled with the readers' comments and here I must say the overwhelmingly francophile bias of these Americans who are motivated enough to indignantly react to Mrs. Dowd's prose are on the verge of being embarrassing to me... 

Apparently, all Americans aren't of the opinion that life in the U.S surpasses any other one in any other country. 
But wait! in the meantime Roger Cohen apparently is also spending some time in the French capital (France's Glorious Malaise) and Paul Krugman as well has a word to say about our not so failing economy (Les Not so Miserables).

Dear friends, sometimes too much love is a bit too much but if the opportunity arises and we come accross each other in Paris, you can count on me to treat you with a bottle of red wine in the café you will have chosen.  

20 commentaires:

ZapPow a dit…

Maureen Dowd a atteint une certaine renommée pour ses "fluffy pieces". Ses articles continuent à véhiculer les mêmes vieux clichés, et il semble qu'elle voyage avec des œillères, ou au moins avec l'idée de fournir à ses lecteurs ce qu'elle croit qu'ils veulent avoir. Par exemple, elle continue à faire croire qu'en France, on ne peut renvoyer un employé qui ne travaille pas.

Tu as raison : Maureen Dowd fait de l'infotainment.

Sinon, ça va ? Tu te fais rare. Moi aussi, remarque.

Flocon a dit…

Salut ZapPow,

Je regarde la page de Dowd du point de vue de la composition.

Quand je tombe sur "they don’t even have the energy to be rude" je me demande si elle croit un tout petit peu à ce qu'elle écrit ou si le cliché/ la phrase toute faite lui vient spontanément à l'esprit et qu'elle s'en sert en se disant que it will appeal to her readers et qu'elle est là pour faire de l'audience elle aussi.

Bon, ce n'est pas sérieux, on dirait presque du BHL dans American vertigo.

Les dégâts que font les médias sur les masses et quel que soit le sujet sont incommensurables. Avec l'exemple que tu donnes, mine de rien, ça contribue à perpétuer le bobard qu'il est impossible de licencier qui que ce soit en France, Nanny State etc., nation d'assistés fainéants, toujours en grève alors que leurs bon patrons ne leur veulent que du bien... Les ingrats!

Other than that, j'espère que vas vas aussi bien que moi et que le cholestérol is under control...

Et toujours actif sur Wiki. Aujourd'hui c'est la page consacrée à Kumazawa Banzan qui est disponible en français.

Fare well ZapPow

Anijo a dit…

ah, les pauvres 'ti français..

Flocon a dit…

Hello Anijo,

Will this café be the place where I'll have the pleasure to partake a bottle of rosé with you some time in the future?

It is located along the canal, very close to where I live.

Flocon a dit…

And of course the band will play that tune... (Note Buster Keaton at 0:25)

Anijo a dit…

Mais oui. Peut-être un jour nous partagerons une bouteille de rosé Chez Prune en écoutant cette chanson.. dans mes rêves... ☺

Today the news was going on and on and on about "the royals" and their baby and I thought of you and how you must be rolling your eyes.. hee hee

Anijo a dit…

Alors, t'es un bobo Flocon? ;)

Chez Prune is an excellent lunch spot, and still one of the best places to spend an evening on the Canal St-Martin. The local bobo HQ, this traditional café, with high ceilings and low lighting, sticks to a simple formula: groups of friends crowd around the cosily ordered banquettes, picking at moderately priced cheese or meat platters. Mostly, though, they come for a few leisurely drinks or an apéro before heading to one of the late night venues in the area.

Anonyme a dit…

I thought the blog was dead, but it appears to have some life remaining. I was thinking about commenting on the issue of free will, but decided to fall in with the present mood and went to my local pub for a drink instead.

Perhaps I shouldn't insist that I decided to go.

All the best,

Flocon a dit…


re the "bobos", indeed I should be listed among them although I don't remember ever having a drink at Prune's. I didn't try that much anyway and should I eventually make my way to a table (it's always crowded) I'd choose a place indoor 'cos located as it is along the canal St. Martin, there's an uninterrupted flow of cars which makes it really unpleasant to stay outdoor.

The area where I live is one of the trendy ones in Paris with many, many cafés filled with young people, designers, artists, musicians, writers, you name them.

Au chat noir for example is one of them. Or La Caravane.

But all these cafés have to close their doors at 2 am.

Here is a little vidéo that may remind you some souvenirs.

For what I understand, Midnight in Paris was Allen's most successful work in terms of revenue. I had no idea.


As regards the British pup, your remark forces me to write a post about it before too long...

Flocon a dit…

Hi SemperFidelis,

- ...some life remaining.

- "Perhaps I shouldn't insist that I decided to go".


Anijo a dit…

Hi Flocon,

Like you, I don't like to eat outdoors near a busy street as breathing in exhaust fumes ruins the appetite and can cause one to feel nauseous.

La Caravane a l'air d'être shabby chic. Now that first picture on the Wiki article is not at all what I had in mind. This second picture is more what I think is shabby chic.

This little clip from Woody Allen's movie is beeauuutiful. It certainly did bring back fond memories. Thank you Flocon.

Also, it's nice to see that both ZapPow and SemperFi are still wandering around this neck of the woods.

Looking forward to your post re the little pup. I imagine it will be both humorous and cynical.

Anijo a dit…

Ah, j'ai oublié à dire que j'aime bien des îlots urbains en forme triangulaire comme se trouve Au Chat Noir.

It took me forever to write this in French as it was impossible to find a satisfactory translation for "city block" on the translators. Finally I went to wikipedia and looked up "city block" and then clicked on the French article and voilà! ☺

Anijo a dit…

One more thing Flocon. I remember when I was living in Marseille, a girlfriend and I were sharing silly songs and she taught me a song. I wish I could find it. The lyrics went something like this:

j'ai un petit défaut je suis timide et plus candide qu'une collégienne... quand les yeux se pose sur moi je me sent tout chose.. je perds mes moyens...

and then there was some play on words relating to "chui timbré depuis c'temps là.."

Anyway, I'm hoping that this sounds familiar to you. It's a silly kid's song. And I remember that I taught her this silly song.

Anijo a dit…

Well, I did find the "paroles", but I still can't find the music anywhere. I do remember the tune. Do you?

J’ai un p’tit défaut je suis timide
Et plus candide qu’un collégien
Lorsque sur moi un regard se pose,
Ça m’rend toute chose
J’perds mes moyens
L’autre jour mon ami Lulu m’adit : nous sommes seuls
Pour m’embrasser qu’attends tu et j’ai répondu
Là-bas dans l’feuillage, y a un p’tit oiseau
Qui me dévisage d’un p’tit air finaud
Ça me coupe les jambes et les bras
J’aime pas qu’on me regarde lorsque je fais ça, na
Refrain :
L’autre jour j’avais un timbre à mettre
Sur une lettre, j’allais l’acheter
Je sortis ma p’tite langue rose, dessus je pose
Et je l échais
Je léchais et reléchais et encore léchais
Le postier me regardait ça m’intimidait
Le timbre de 50 je l’ai avalé
Et chose effrayante j’faillis m’étrangler
J’suis un peu timbrée depuis c’temps-là
J’aime pas qu’on me regarde lorsque je fais ça, na !!

Flocon a dit…

Re Îlot urbain, Wikipedia may indeed be the ultimate helper when no dictionary delivers the proper translation of what man has on one's mind.

As a matter of fact, « pâté de maisons » is the common way of designing what you refer to as "city block". Type « pâté de maisons » (never mind the accents) in the search window of the French Wiki and see which page it directs to...

Just, « pâté de maisons » belongs to the everyday parlance - notwithstanding the fact that it seems to refer to cooking - but isn't used by professionals.

Now, if you say to a French person that you live in such or such « îlot urbain», said person will think you're an architect, a city planner or some kind of urbanist ;-)

Rather recently, I've found that in-line dictionary which I find very helpful when others just fail to help me out. Maybe will you find it appropriate to your needs.


Je ne savais pas ce qu'était le shabby chic style mais en effet, c'est tout à fait le genre de La Caravane. Three years ago, I would have my daily cup of café in the place until I had my fill with this very poorly lit café where I could hardly read the papers on very uncomfortable chairs. Shabby is OK with me but I want a minimum of comfort. These places I guess aren't meant for scholars who want to work on What is Enlightenment? (note this title Anijo, you'll soon meet it again)

Flocon a dit…

Congrats for the pics of La Caravane you managed to find. Don't know how you did it.

Je ne connais pas la petite chanson dont tu as trouvé les paroles. The lyrics resemble those used in the same sort of silly songs that were written in the 20' and 30'. There may well be a double entendre in here.

There exists different sites where you can retrieve songs and musics whose titles you've forgotten. The most famous one is Shazam. Why not have a try?

Anijo a dit…

Re-bonjour Flocon,

Si je met " pâté de maisons" dans la fenêtre de recherche sur wiki:
Îlot urbain (redirection depuis Pâté de maisons).

Le site Linguee donne beaucoup d'exemples avec des phrases complètes. Reverso est bien, mais pas avec tant d'exemples. Et c'est bien pour lar prononciation.

Re: What is Enlightenment? I see I have some homework to do in order to understand your next post.

The Shazam link is broken. I googled it, but just found something having to with downloading music to ipods and such.

The double entendre is that he swallows the stamp and is then afterwards a bit 'timbré' or fou.

Anijo a dit…

Incroyable... sur Forvo j'ai cherché le mot 'ibis' car je ne savais pas si on prononce le 's', but there was nothing there, et tout de suite y'a qqn qui a la prononciation. Cool! ☺

Super ce site.

Flocon a dit…

Hu ho... I realize I made a mistake re Shazam. My apologies about that, I should check each link before posting.

As the article says, it is a site where you can get the name of any song, musique, advertisement, by singing or humming or playing the air you want to know the title of. I've never tried it anyway but I've read it is extremely effective. Now, a French decades old silly song? But their data base is rich by the millions I've heard.

Re the song, it's a girl who's supposed to be singing (though there is some ambiguity at one moment). The double entendre has more to do with her little pink tongue, licking and licking and licking...

Now, if you mention "Le p'tit oiseau" to any French person (women included), "Willy" will instantly comes to the mind of everyone.

Also two verses end with "na" which is a typical girlish retort which basically means: "I do as I want, mind you", like a childish provocation.

Flocon a dit…

Pour "iris", it is worth noting that you wonder about the pronunciation of the word (is the final "s" to be heard?) whereas a non anglophone will notice that the same letter has 2 different pronunciations in a 4 letter word (I mean the "i". Aïreess). English isn't the most regular language when it comes to... well, everything n'est-ce pas?