From the Roman writers of old to Tony Soprano’s anxious musings in the pilot episode of The Sopranos, navel-gazing is as old as Western civilization itself. Even now, American students who take French long enough will inevitably be asked to write a response to the following prompt: “Les Etats-Unis sont-ils en déclin? Repondez avec des exemples.” If the prospect of American decline does not lend itself to optimism, American writers are all too eager to[Read More…]
Post Tagged with: "Opinion"
On Friday June 21, the last official exam of the French Baccalaureat was held. The Baccalaureat exam, the equivalent of UK A-Levels and the equivalent of American High School’s end-of-year exams, is solely a State run program. The French Baccalaureat is one of the oldests schooling systems. Originating from the 18th century, the Baccalaureat was set up as a prerequisite for practicing medicine, law, theology, or the arts in France and was later adopted by[Read More…]
And the winner is… the European Union! Or is it? Friday, the European Union was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace for its contribution over six decades “to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.” Certainly, this is great news for the EU which has undergone many political difficulties over the last few months. But already, new problems are rising: who will represent the EU in Stockholm to come and[Read More…]
For more than two centuries, the United States have carried a reputation regarding the freedom of speech: they are the free-ist country in the world. Except for exceptional circumstances, everyone in the country is entitled to express publicly whatever they think. This right has become entrenched in the country’s tradition and is, rightfully, a pride for its citizens. It has even become so evident that it is now almost a weakness for the country. In[Read More…]
At times I wasn’t sure if I was watching a presidential campaign or a game show. With all due respect to French television, though, the digitalized image of the Palais de l’Élysée adorning the set of the Hollande-Sarkozy debate did seem like something CNN would do in a desperate, gimmicky move for better ratings. François Hollande, the portly, basset-hound-eyed politician from south-central Corrèze sat across from the Rolex-wearing, model-espousing incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy (appropriately nicknamed “bling[Read More…]