Thursday, May 3, 2007

Segolene, Je T'Aime

Even though they helped us in the 18th Century gain our independence from those English Redcoated bastards, America has maintained a hatred for France that runs so deep we took to changing the names of things that had french in the name (freedom fries anyone? they really did this. I went to a drag race and the stand only sold freedom fries). Is it because they are elitist? Did someone find a Serge Gainsbourg record and think it was dirty? Was it Sartre and Camus with their existentialist strains of writing? I mean, I don't know. I actually like France although I wish that some of its inhabitants actually wore deodorant, but that's a complaint I have about Americans, too, so I can't hold that against them.

So while we have been engaging in the longest election cycle in American history, the French have been having an actual election. They had a rundown. Bitches scrapped, Le Pen and Bayrou were not allowed to the runoff. Segolene Royal and Nicolas Sarkozy were the two chosen to run for the five-year term. Yesterday, Royal and Sarkozy had a debate, which is pictured above.

Now, I don't know what's going on in France other than the fact that they hate Black people and Arabs. But, I must say that this set is the hottest thing ever. How awesome would it be if there were such high-tech looking sets in American politics with huge LCD's that flash red when the candidate's time ends? Additionally, look at the the pose of Royal, i.e. the one on the left. The only thing I know about her is that she is a socialist candidate who had problems actually justifying her candidacy in the beginning. Look at her now, BBC! Anyway, she looks like she's either hot or so self-confident in her verbal beatdown skills that she doesn't need to be worried. I don't know. If it's the former, that'd be hot, but regardless, that's a boss pose. That means Segolene is thinking, "I am the SHIT!"

Anyway, I comment on French politics because this election has had something that American elections haven't had in a while: a huge set of balls. Even though Mme. Royal does not have any balls, hers are the size of her head. She's come out against enemies and generally been a high-quality, all around hater. I love it. The same goes for Sarkozy. There's no pussyfooting around issues; everyone is genuinely mad in this election. Hell, Bayrou won't support either of these people and he got voted out of the race. This is greatly different from American politics where everyone is so afraid of saying something controversial, unaware of the fact that if they say something controversial, they would actually be more popular than if they say something safe. The New York Times reported on "2007: LE DEBAT" this morning. I think that the following comment sets the mood of the debate quite well:

By midway, Ms. Royal’s perpetual smile disappeared from her face. Their tone was reminiscent of a couple bickering at the breakfast table, with the husband barely restraining his sense of superiority and the wife attacking him for not listening to her.
Who doesn't love squabbles? I would have loved it if Bush and Kerry started going for the jugular all of the time. It would be amazing! Best debate ever. I'm listening to this debate right now and it's a bit nippy for sure. There's a lot of back and forth, interruptions, raised voices, direct attacks. Essentially, it is everything lacking in American politics. The moderators are not the controllers as they've been made in American politics; they sit back and ask a fairly open question to allow the candidates to interface with the question and each other. This is a beautiful sight in politics. I love it. I also love exchanges like this:

“Calm down,” he told her.

“No, I will not calm down,” she replied.

“Do not point at me with this finger, with this——” he said.

“No. Yes,” she said.

“With this index finger pointed, because frankly——”

“No, I will not calm down,” she said. “No, I will not calm down. I will not calm down.”

“To be president of the republic, you have to be calm,” he said.

She responded: “Not when there are injustices. There are angers that are perfectly healthy because they correspond to people’s suffering. There are angers I will have even when I am president of the republic.”

In the middle of her sentence, Mr. Sarkozy tried to stop her, asking, “Madame Royal, would you allow me to say one word?” But she ignored him.

His voice took on a patronizing tone. “I don’t know why the usually calm Madame Royal has lost her nerve,” he said.

When was the last time you heard something like that happening in American politics? How awesome is that? Federal Election Committee, when the presidential debates come around, keep the town hall debate and a traditional debate behind podiums with a high school debate type feeling, but add one of these types of debate as well. I'm willing to miss an episode of The Office if I can get sound policy description and amazing back and forth conversation like this. Maybe such an election will also bring people back to politics and make it relevant in America again. But, I can only hope for something like that.