Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Stuff to Read

France's problem with their new president because he jogs.

“Is jogging right wing?” wondered Libération, the left-wing newspaper. Alain Finkelkraut, a celebrated philosopher, begged Mr Sarkozy on France 2, the main state television channel, to abandon his “undignified” pursuit. He should take up walking, like Socrates, Arthur Rimbaud, the poet, and other great men, said Mr Finkelkraut. “Western civilisation, in its best sense, was born with the promenade. Walking is a sensitive, spiritual act. Jogging is management of the body. The jogger says I am in control. It has nothing to do with meditation.”
See that is why I am glad we don't have "celebrated intellectuals" in Ireland because that is some of the stupidest crap I have ever heard.

AFI top 100 movies. I have seen 63. You?

Central power is a forcefor economic liberalism from the FT

The alternative to a strong Brussels is not a decentralised free market and minimal government interference. It is greater political capture of economic policymaking and abuse of authority by member states and sub-national governments. Politicisation is more likely and more obstructive to market competition when done by local or member governments than when the federal authority has competence. Subsidiarity is in many cases an invitation to corruption, entrenchment of incumbents and horse-trading of handouts. Too many political veto points equals too many opportunities for extortion.


John Cav said...

I have seen 66 of the AFI Top 100 films. Quite happy with that.

However, I cannot believe Forrest Gump was in there. Schmaltzy muck. The inclusion of Tootsie is also a bit dodge.

Unknown said...

The funny thing about Finkelkraut is that he is one of the 68-generation nouveuax philosophes, who has since swung to the right, and are enthusiastic supporters of Sarko. I don't think Finkelkraut would have a problem with the notional political orientation of jogging per se.

I do like that line about jogging being 'body management' though. What is funny is that Sarkozy, though a very intelligent man, is devoid of any cultural inclinations (or any intellectual nous, as his remarks on paedophiles being genetically determined) yet he has a rash of intellectuals rushing to try and give him a cultural makeover.

Sarkozy is very much emblematic of a new type of France, the sort that I see in my classrooms every day: middle-class, mostly white, conservative (with both a small and a large 'c', unadventurous and lacking in any interest in anything beyond the most mainstream of popular culture. Sarko likes to call it the France that gets up early; you might just as well call it the France that never reads. For a large part of French society, this is an abhorrence.