Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Free French

“The heart has reasons that reason cannot know.”

Now there was a guy who knew a thing or two about living--Blaise Pascal, the French mathmetician, philosopher and badass theologian. Born in the summer, died in the summer, never made it to see age 40 and still made an impact on Western culture with his inventions and writings. 1623-1662

"A poem is never finished, only abandoned.” -- Paul Valery, essayist and critic, who graced this good earth from 1871-1945. Abandon hope, all ye who attempt the periodic poem. Takes a patient hand to create such imperfection...

“The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be” -- Marcel Pagnol,  Film Auteur, 1895-1974.

Seen any of his flicks? Me, neither, but we could catch a screening on my birthday. It's coming up, and I'm available.

“Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.”  --- Voltaire, Frenchiest French Philosopher and Writer ever, 1694-1778.

Yes, it's Bastille Day, or at least for another 45 minutes. I'm squeezing one in, under deadline tonight.

This was the day, in 1789, when the Marquis de Launay learned that it's generally not a good idea to piss off a crowd of pike-wielding siegers, unless one doesn't value one's head. A good number of the aristocracy suffered the repercussions of that day in the weeks that followed, and of course, it marks the beginnings of the modern French republic.

So here's to the French. We love to hate them, we like their cheese. They subsidized our own Revolution (merci!) and they host the world's greatest bike race every summer as well. And they produce the best mimes.

And who would vous want defending your Maginot Line more than these guys? Crepes all around, s'il vous plait.

Thanks for reading. And please remember that just because you can, does not necessarily mean that you should.


  1. The French get such a bad rap here in the US. "Rifle-dropping, cheese-eating surrender monkeys" comes to mind... But i like them! Never encountered that reported Parisian Rudeness, when i make a feeble attempt to speak french. And Pascal? You picked a fine choice as your lead off batter!

  2. Thanks Daise -- yeah -- I've found the Parisians to be aloof at times, but hey, that's de rigeur in New York as well. It's a city thing, in a certain way. One day, I'd love to be fluent in French.