alexandra alger

ABC

France and its Petty Problems (Joke!)

For anyone who’s interested, I’ve made progress on my resolutions! I’ve thrown out several stacks of old papers and board proceedings. It was easy, and so gratifying…I really have to do it on a more regular basis! I’ve also weeded out my closet, which was even more gratifying. After agonizing on this blog about whether I could really toss items like the skirt I wore on my wedding day and not since, the tossing was surprisingly easy. Something about writing it down—and then Lara wrote in her encouragement (thanks again, Lara!). My desk is still an utter mess, but at least now I can see all those other clothes that I forgot I had.Yes, I realize that if I forgot I had them then I haven’t been wearing them and should be chunking them, too, but I’m choosing to think these are blouses (mostly blouses, oddly) as new additions to my wardrobe. We’ll see how that works out.

It’s a gorgeous Saturday, I’m over the flu that laid me low for a few days, and I’m going to write. If I could just stop reading stories about what’s going on in France. I knew that anti-Semitism was on the rise in France—the odious National Front party, both anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant, gaining support—and I knew French Muslims were living the lives of an underclass, apart from real opportunity. I say “know” about these problems, meaning I’d read about them. Read about them, and forgotten them, as one reads and forgets about news stories all the time. And now the tragedy at Charlie Hebdo and the kosher supermarket have made all these issues painfully real.

As per a new anti-terrorism law, the French are now arresting and incarcerating people who make or post comments supporting terrorism—a guy who yelled support for the Hebdo terrorists getting six months. This is the wrong tack. I’m not against taking measures to criminalize hate speech, but throwing people who are likely just idiot loud-mouths into prison isn’t going to prevent further terrorist attacks. Muslims need improved economic and social mobility in France—that’s the longterm solution. I don’t know how much will there is among other French to give it them, though. The future for Jews in France is grim, too. French authorities say they can protect their Jewish citizens. Can they? Day in and day out? It’s surreal, the idea that they need to be protected at all.

Now I’ve got to get my head back into writing. Oh—first lunch. I worry about the world, but I’m also a master of procrastination.

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