Tuesday, 31 July 2007

I Must Stop Watching CNN

For thirteen years, while living in London, I railed against the U.K. Off-line. To my English husband.

I have posted about things I find not to my liking in France. Fewer things than the U.K., admittedly.

I hesitate to write this, since many of my American friends and acquaintances feel that any criticism I level is the result of my acquired status of "expat snob." Still, a woman's got to do what a woman's got to do.

I hereby declare that my own country, the one whose passport I still carry, the one where I still vote, takes the cake. In the United States of America:
  • The national debt is at record levels
  • Homeland Security is a joke
  • Iraq is a tragedy
  • Health care is practically non-existent
  • The schools don't deserve the name
  • Lobbyists are running the country
  • New Orleans is in ruins
  • The environment doesn't bear thinking about
And what is the big story in the land of my birth? Here's what: Hillary Clinton's cleavage. (For my French and British readers, this is not a joke.) Hillary appeared in the Senate chamber in her usual severely tailored suit and what the French call a d├ębardeur underneath. You know, one of those summery, not-up-to-the-neck, sleeveless or strappy tops. The kind we all wear. Sometimes without a suit jacket. The kind adorning my upper body as I write.

France, the country that I currently call home, has just elected a president who barely, rarely, lives with his wife. His opponent, who lost for political, not moral, reasons, has four children by the man she lived with for 30 years. They split up after the election -- they both want to be president -- but she's still a good candidate for next time. It is also worthy of note that here in the land of high fashion no one commented on her wardrobe -- at least not in the news pages. President Mitterand's funeral was attended by both his families, including children. It was the first time the wife and mistress had met. No one commented on their clothes, either.

Can we go back to that list? Can we grow up? Please?


  1. Hate to say this... 'specially cuz I live here... but it's true. Makes me wanna move to Austria or France or someplace else sometimes.

  2. Hear hear!

    Thank you for expressing that. It reflects many of my own sentiments quite well.

    I too, fear the labeling of "you guys moved away, you think you're European and posh now" when I talk or write about aspects of the U.S. that make me ashamed.

    But really, it's becoming clearer and clearer to me that American media tells the Sheeple what is important and interesting and newsworthy, and they have too many other problems or are too ignorant to realize that they could be talking about something, I don't know...relevant.

    Germans have noticed how fussy we Americans are about little things like marital fidelity and call me/us on the carpet about it all the time. See this post of mine for details on what I mean.

    At least they're asking us "why the devil are you spending time on such topics?" instead of saying "OMG HRC is totally trying to prove she's not a man -- did you see her outfit on TV yesterday!?"

    And then another thought washes over me, one that is comforting in a really ironic and saddening way: knowing how messed up everything else in and related to the U.S. seems to be, isn't easier to focus on that little piece of exposed flesh than any issues of real concern?