Incomparable France. Dazzling France. Romantic France. Beautiful France. Beloved France.
Exhausted France. Beleaguered France. Assaulted France. Broken France. Destroyed France.
In the interests of full disclosure, I lived in France for many years, and it is as much home to me as the United States of America. It is as a native who loves her homeland that I watch my equally cherished other nation destroy itself on the altar of a repeatedly proven disastrously wrong, outmoded, (passé in French), and destructive progressive ideology.
France is, in fact, a country currently in the process of committing suicide.
When I lived full time in France, I lived in Paris (staff of 12 in Charlie Hebdo offices murdered by Islamic terrorists, then 130 people massacred at a concert hall, a stadium and several restaurants and bars there, all on the same night, by Islamic terrorists, etc., etc., etc.), Provence (84 innocent promenaders in Nice killed by a single Islamic terrorist, etc., etc., etc.), and Normandy (86-year-old priest was beheaded and two nuns and several aged parishioners wounded by an Islamic jihadist in a church in Rouen, etc., etc., etc.).
This is life – and all too often death – in 21 century France. All of it.
It is impossible not to think nostalgically when you see your beloved country in its death throes, and one’s mind wanders to how things used to be in France, when it was, in fact, France. I am in mind of a duel I once heard about, and believe it not, the charm and unique Frenchness of the event. In the former France, even a duel could have its charming aspects.
Perhaps one of the greatest painters to have ever existed, a true giant of the French Impressionist movement, was Edouard Manet, who lived and worked in France in the mid and late 19th century. An example of just how great this artist was can be discerned from the most recent work of his sold at Christie’s auction house in New York, entitled “Le Printemps,” meaning “The Spring.” The estimate for the worth of this work before it went on the auction block was between $25 – 35 million; the tableau was eventually sold for $65,125,000.
Anyway, Monsieur Manet was long-time and excellent friends with a gentleman named Edmond Duranty, who was a well-known art critic at the time. Mr. Manet and Mr. Duranty were given to meet quite often at one of their favorite neighborhood cafes in Montmartre, a particularly charming section of Paris, known as the Café Guerbois (it’s probably a falafel restaurant now). One day, in the winter of 1870, Mr. Manet stormed into the café, marched up to Mr. Duranty, slapped him across the face with his glove, and challenged him to a duel by sword. You see, Mr. Duranty had written a not-so-praiseworthy review of a work of Mr. Manet, (it was not even critical, just thought to be ‘damning with faint praise’), which enraged the artist. Thus, on February 23rd, in the forest of St. Germain (a wood on the edge of Paris), Mr. Manet, accompanied by his second, the renowned novelist Emile Zola, met Mr. Duranty, and their swordplay began. This is what happened:
“Their swords struck only once, but with such force that both blades buckled. When Duranty sustained a minor wound, Manet declared his honor sufficiently defended.”
The two resumed meeting for repasts of various kinds at their favorite café in Montmartre within days.
Only in the former France could such an event involving these uniquely Gallic details have occurred.
In 21st century France, one is hard put to find charm, to find humor, to find anything but despair for the future. One is more likely to find exhaustion, resignation, and anger, along with innumerable bullet ridden and lorry ridden over bodies needing to be cleaned up. One of the main reasons for this situation is that there are fewer French people than ever before, and fewer reasons for the ones left to make the effort to try and stay French. The open borders the French seemed to have signed on for when they joined the European Union have made for millions upon millions of immigrants, refugees, and numerous other classifications of flotsam and jetsum of humanity to arrive in France, delete millions upon millions from the nation’s increasingly meager treasury, and never assimilate. There are pockets of non-French speaking Muslim individuals, communities of various north and central African nations, communities of varied other non-assimiliating national derivation, such as Turkey, that exist all over France, though primarily in Paris and in Provence. The residents of these communities are not just resistant to becoming part of their adopted country, they refuse to. They are importing their own nations’ laws, (sharia), rules (such as they are), diseases, (lots of new ones and some old but resistant to current treatment), mores (again, such as they are), garb, and various other completely un-French manifestations of the hellholes they have left, and at the same time completely rejecting the French language, French customs, in short, French everything, except of course, French money.
The French people, what is left of them, actually never voted for any of this which now constitutes the nightmare of French life today, nor did French citizenry ever express the desire that things exist as they currently do. Current French politicians in charge, AKA the elite, (this is a French word, BTW), don’t care. They are proceeding apace with their suicidal policies, and when members or representatives of the French populace who are becoming increasingly concerned about the situation they find they cannot change in their country, let the elites know how they feel, they are ridiculed as racists, xenophobes, nativists, or some such as offensive term, and basically told to shut up and start preferring learning to like kabobs rather than croissants.
There are those who say that France is over, a nation too exhausted to even reproduce itself, a nation so profoundly altered in so many ways, that it can never recover. I have been, heartbreakingly, inclined to agree, but then I heard something recently that struck a small bit of hope in my wounded heart.
In the midst of hearing about the reactions to the myriad terrorist attacks in France, which to be limited to non-serious Obama-like responses like hashtags, prayer vigils, the laying of flowers wherever, wishing of “thoughts and prayers” blah, blah, and blah, assurances from the elites that they will stop this sort of thing from ever happening again, yeah, yeah and yeah, and effectively, cleaning up the blood and bodies yet again, I read that there was actually someone in France who was taking a real step in the direction of really stopping the terrorists.
Marion Le Pen, a surname formerly hated in France due to the young lady in question’s rather notorious grandfather, Jean-Marie Le Pen, the founder of ‘Le Front National,’ has decided to do something that actually might be effective in stopping the ongoing destruction of her country. She not only stated what she was going to do, she did it; in other words, as opposed to our America-hating pajama boy president, Ms. Le Pen didn’t just talk the talk, (an Obama speciality), she walked the walk (definitely not an Obama speciality).
She joined the Army.
Vive La France.
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Susan Smith brings an international perspective to her writing by having lived primarily in western Europe, mainly in Paris, France, and the U.S., primarily in Washington, D.C. She authored a weekly column for Human Events on politics with historical aspects.. She also served as the Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Children, Family, Drugs and Alcoholism, and Special Assistant to the first Ambassador of Afghanistan following the initial fall of the Taliban. Ms. Smith is a graduate of Wheeling Jesuit University and Georgetown University, as well as the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris, France, where she obtained her French language certification. Ms. Smith now makes her home in McLean, Va.