Why Breaking Bad Couldn’t Have Been a French TV Show

PARIS – I recently stumbled upon a joke on 9gag about what Breaking Bad would have looked like if had happened in France. First of all, Breaking Bad probably never would have existed because the French still have not developed a culture of producing quality, daring TV shows. On the whole, they have been rather […]

Passover in Paris, and the Slow Destruction of French Social Harmony

Paris. – Last week, the Jewish celebration of the Passover holiday rekindled tensions that have recently divided Jewish and Muslim communities in Paris. Public celebration elicited visible hostility in the streets of the 19tharrondissement, a neighborhood that contains one of the largest Jewish communities in France. Following a period abroad in New York, the neighborhood […]

Threatened Abortion Rights in Spain Spark Concern in France

A protest against the new Spanish law on January 9, in Toulouse. 
Photo: Samy Soussi

On Jan. 20, the French Parliament started debating a new set of laws regarding gender equality. The bill included an amendment of a 1975 law that allows abortion. The amendment removes the requirement that a woman must be in a situation of “distress” in order to have an abortion. The amendment was passed on Jan. […]

Small Bookstores Win Again Against Amazon

Shakespeare and Company, an independent bookstores in the Latin Quarter.
Photo: Olga Symeonoglou for La Jeune Politique

PARIS- After years of debate, French booksellers won another victory earlier this month against Amazon and other large booksellers, when the French Senate banned the practice of free shipping, one of the perks of using many online megastores. On the corner of the square outside the Sorbonne in Paris, tourists are unlikely to notice a small […]

Back From Broadway: Why Are the French So Reluctant to Belong?

When I got back to France after a semester at Columbia University, my friends welcomed me as if those four months “abroad on Broadway” had not really happened. But there was a tiny glitch in the illusion that nothing had changed and it quickly reminded me that I had truly been abroad in a foreign […]

Hollande Wants to “Put France Into Motion” and Dodges Personal Questions

President François Hollande

Photo: flickr.com/jmayrault

Tuesday at his first press conference of the year, a closely watched tradition in the French political world, President François Hollande chose to start his speech with a simple though ambitious commitment to “put France into motion”. On New Year’s Eve, giving his wishes to the French people on television, Hollande had vaguely mentioned a […]

Abroad on Broadway: The Liberal Arts Between Ends and Means

An article in the Wall Street Journal recently advised American students not to abandon the liberal arts without second thoughts for more practically oriented college study. The article was a reaction to a natural trend, especially in times of recession: focus on the programs that train you for jobs in the sectors that are recruiting […]

Abroad on Broadway: How Did the “Dating Culture” Get Lost in Translation?

Clichés do not only die hard; they sometimes express on the surface deep cultural differences of which any student like me, who is “Abroad on Broadway,” should be aware. In this case, what does it mean to say that the French are “romantic”, that our relationships are “passionate”? Being a student here helped me to […]

Abroad on Broadway: Protesting the French Way

Kassandra Céssaire. Photo courtesy of Kassandra Céssaire.

The French are known for being unhappy. Studies regularly say that we are one of the most dissatisfied nations in the world, more discontent with our current living conditions than countries at war like Afghanistan. On October 17, while I was stuck in the challenging and exciting daily life of an exchange student in New […]

French Court Upholds Verdict of Organized Fraud for Church of Scientology

A "dianetics" center of the Church of Scientology in Marseilles. Photo: Dominique Pipet for flickr.

On October 16, a French court reaffirmed a ruling finding the two main institutions of the Church of Scientology in France, the SEL Bookstore and its Celebrity Center, guilty of organized fraud. Four years after a similar decision, both were charged and will respectively pay €200,000 and €400,000 – more than $270,000 and $540,000. The […]


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