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January 24, 2005 (Excerpt)


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La Malaise
The Scotsman reports from Paris on an outbreak of ennui:

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The French are a nation of depressed pessimists, wracked with self-doubt and unable to see a positive future.

This gloomy portrait of the current state of Gallic morale--or rather the lack of it--was made public yesterday in a damning report by France's prefects, the country's top administrators. 

"The French no longer believe in anything," the report said. "That is the reason that the situation is relatively calm, for they believe that it is not even worthwhile expressing their opinions or trying to be heard any more." 

The country's 100 prefects went on to use the words "lifelessness," "resignation," "anxiety" and "pessimism" to describe the attitudes they believe prevail in France today.

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And some people said it was a cheap shot when we called John Kerry* French-looking!

* The haughty, French-looking Massachusetts Democrat, who by the way served in Vietnam.


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