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The Free State
"Man, in a word, has no nature. What he has is - history."

Saturday, March 31, 2007

It's 10h07

The reason for such a gap between this and the last post is partly because acquired something much closer to approaching a life recently, partly because of my workload, partly because my laptop also died recently (I think the stuff on it is unsalvageable) and also partly because I wanted my next post to be a substantive one on Mobutu. That's turning out to be harder than expected. More on him later.

This is just a small post, to say something disturbed me last night and decided to do all-nighter in the library. I am *tired*. Though I did get a good deal of my dissertation redone, and I've decided to include a bit of Chirac's "I'm not running again" speech in it. If I read some more about him I might type up something to assess his presidency. My gut feeling now is I don't really like his conception of "secularism," France continued it's irrelevance (however principled) in foreign policy, tested nukes when these things really were passé, France's influence Africa has steadily declined (with the collapse of Ivory Coast and Zaire), and he was basically conservative (as in, status quo). He did, however, recognise Vichy France as an integral part of French history (not simply a puppet regime), including the deportation of the Jews, something which was long overdue. Not great, but certainly not terrible either. I did end up feeling some sympathy when I heard his parting words:

Mes chers compatriotes,
Vous l'imaginez, c'est avec beaucoup d'émotion que je m'adresse à vous ce soir. Pas un instant, vous n'avez cessé d'habiter mon cœur et mon esprit. Pas une minute, je n'ai cessé d'agir pour servir cette France magnifique. Cette France que j'aime autant que je vous aime. Cette France riche de sa jeunesse, forte de son histoire, de sa diversité, assoiffée de justice et d'envie d'agir. Cette France qui, croyez-moi, n'a pas fini d'étonner le monde.


(My dear countrymen, As you can imagine, it is with much emotion that I speak to you this evening. Not one moment, have you ceased to inhabit my heart and my spirit. Not one minute, have I ceased to act to serve this magnificent France. This France that I love as much as I love you. This France rich of her youth, strong of her history, of her diversity, thirsty for justice and longing for action. This France which, believe me, has not finished astonishing the world.)

I don't really believe it, but hey, maybe. With that I'm gonna spend a long groggy day.

4 Comments:

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Anonymous WYT said...

hmm, would a new (or fixed) computer help you post more?

I actually check your blog 4-5 times a week, more out of habit than of expecting to see anything new...

hmm, what about Kaliningrad?

ok, enough pestering

8:20 PM  
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