Saturday, December 03, 2011

Invented to Counter America's Alleged Cultural Imperialism, the French Cultural Exception Is Outdated, Says New Book, and Ought to Be Junked

A concept invented in the 1980s to counter America's alleged cultural imperialism, the French cultural exception "remains the bedrock of our [of France's] cultural policy," writes Daniel Psenny in his Le Monde book review.

But in the Atawad (any time, any where, any device) era, declares Philippe Bailly in Pour en finir avec l'exception culturelle, the concept of the French cultural exception is outdated and ought to be junked once and for all.
Avec son livre en forme de coup de gueule Pour en finir avec l'exception culturelle, le journaliste Philippe Bailly, fondateur de NPA Conseil, société de conseil en audiovisuel, ne va pas se faire que des amis parmi les créateurs. Sur 200 pages bien argumentées, didactiques et remplies de références, il préconise tout simplement de passer de l'exception culturelle, datant des poussiéreuses années 1980 où cinq chaînes hertziennes rivalisaient entre elles, au "rayonnement culturel " plus adapté à notre époque numérique.

Face à la multiplication des écrans (télévision, tablette, smartphone...), à l'extension des réseaux sociaux et à l'irruption de la télévision connectée à Internet qui, dans quelques années, bouleversera entièrement le paysage audiovisuel, la réglementation française est aujourd'hui totalement inadaptée et obsolète.

"La société de l'écran remet radicalement en cause notre façon d'accéder aux programmes culturels et de divertissements", écrit Philippe Bailly. "La nouvelle donne se joue des réglementations nationales et rend l'action des régulateurs largement inopérante. Il est plus que temps de repenser les règles qui organisent en France la défense de la création."

Face à "l'impérialisme" culturel américain qui a déferlé sur le monde, l'exception culturelle française, mise en place au milieu des années 1980, reste le socle de notre politique culturelle. Avec cette "French Touch", il s'agissait avant tout, face aux Américains et aux directives de Bruxelles, de défendre la langue française et les industries culturelles, de protéger les créateurs, les auteurs et leurs droits. La bataille a été parfois rude et compliquée, mais les politiques — de droite comme de gauche — ont finalement admis que la culture n'est pas une marchandise comme les autres, mais un bien commun qu'il faut préserver des perversités économiques et financières.'

… Or, si l'exception culturelle fonctionnait bien au siècle dernier avec un numérique balbutiant, elle est aujourd'hui mise à mal par la liberté de choix donné au "specta-teur/consommateur" qui se joue des "lignes Maginot réglementaires". La réglementation française ne protège plus les créateurs constate Philippe Bailly, car "nous sommes entrés dans l'ère de l'Atawad : any time, any where, any device".

I Want Mo Free Stuff!

Greater Berlin is a Federal State in Germany. Due to recent elections and what must now seem like a bad headache, few of its’ legislators are from the “Pirate Party”. Having published their platform, I can say that it’s typically European, despite their onetime oevre as a sort of tech-fixated quasi-Libertarians, they are neither quasi- nor libertarian. Their platform can be summarized in two phrases:

I Want Mo Free Stuff!
I’m going to demand things that already exist!

The rest of it involves institutionalized theft of intellectual property rights, and a distinct lack of awareness that no-one washes a rental car.

Friday, December 02, 2011

For those of You Wanting to Join the “Meter High” Club

Not brave enough for the “Mile High Club”? Go through your very own pre-flight checklist, and in the perfect place to distribute disease worldwide by using the SleepBox™©.

It might even inspire an art movement, not to mention low humor having something to do with Doctor Who. As an additional “revenue center”, in major European cities as well as San Francisco, a conveniently located vending machine will be offering ruminating pastoral livestock for short term rentals. You know, just to express sympathy for the Greeks.

So have a blast, chicharonne.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

The Attack of that Sinister Dark Lord Electrolux

May 10th: the Ringhals nuclear reactor near Gothernburg, Sweden has a fire event. From the greenie hysteria (which included a spontaneous light-mural being painted by that famous artist known as “Greenpeace”) that ensued sounded like they hoped for, or either thought they had a Chernobyl on their hands.

The shut-down cost hundreds of millions of Kroner.
At Sweden's largest nuclear plant Ringhals power plant 60 km south of Gothenburg, says all four reactors now quiet. Cause: There is, according to utility company Vattenfall found "undesirable objects" found in emergency shutdown system for reactors 2 and 4. Reactor 1 stopped operation on Sunday for - like the other three - being subjected to a thorough review of the safety systems.

"Before any of the reactors are allowed to start again, Ringhals AB systematically examine all checks of safety and security features, and explain the outcome of the review of the Radiation Safety Office," writes Swedish control body.
Well, little missy, the culprit has been located.

The reactor was barbarously savaged by a vacuum cleaner that was plugged in, got wet during a pressure test, and caught fire. Details are sparse. For obvious security reasons, they won’t say if it was one of those Dyson jobbies that looks like it belongs in an “Art of Noise” video.

I’m sure they didn’t need all of those pesky Kroner anyway.

Waiting for Europe’s Ugly Head to Pop Out into the Open

Multi-Cultural Tolerance Alert
China is looking to buy EU factories and railways instead of wobbly government bonds as prices fall amid the eurozone crisis.

Minister of commerce Chen Deming articulated the strategy at a business congress in China on Monday (28 November).

"Next year, we will send a delegation for promoting trade and investment to the European countries ... Some European countries are facing a debt crisis and hope to convert their assets to cash and would like foreign capital to acquire their enterprises. We will be closely watching and pushing forward the process," he said.
I can’t wait for the real, nativistic fun and cheap, base cultural slander to begin:
Speaking to the Sina Finance news agency, he hit out at what he called European "prejudice ... like the view that state-owned enterprises represent your country, that whatever your background is you're a military business."

"You can come and buy a house, and you can emigrate here and bring your riches with you, or you can buy my luxury goods, but if you want to touch my natural resources, then I'm sorry, I won't let you."
Along with the expected prejudice, in a silent way the slander has already started with the idea that Chinese investors would simply had over their money as directed, when in fact...
For their part, Chinese analysts predict the spending spree will not begin until prices hit rock bottom.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Obama "personally has shown almost no interest in the human rights situation in Russia"

But, of course, why should the Apologizer-in-Chief show any interest in the human rights situation in Russia or in any other place when the only thing that stirs the interest of leftists the world over, American or foreign, and gets them frothing at the mouth, is the unbearable, shocking, catastrophic, nightmarish situation in… capitalist America and the West?!
Vladimir Putin has no official opponent yet to accompany him on his planned victory march back into the Russian presidency next March
quips John Vinocur in the International Herald Tribune, as he discusses the result of the Apologizer-in-Chief's "smart" diplomacy.
But from the look of things, he may be setting up Barack Obama as a notional fill-in.

…In terms of Russian politics and jacking up United Russia’s scores in the presidential election next year and in national legislative voting on Sunday, Mr. Obama and the United States were being held up to nationalist voters as the ugly opposition. This Russian audience (and plenty of foreigners, as well) has often heard from Mr. Putin, in line with a major policy speech he made in Munich in 2007, that an aggressive, overbearing United States is a central problem for the world.

… All the same, the threat to New Start is a first, endangering the arms treaty that Mr. Obama has called the most significant in two decades. The reverberations from the threat create a new mood of international tension going beyond a challenge to the wisdom of the administration’s reset with Russia and its insistence that Moscow is generally helpful.

Mr. Obama’s response? There has not been a word.

Rather, the White House staff has described as unfounded Russia’s concerns that the missile shield, designed as protection against Iranian nukes, could be used against Moscow’s ballistic missiles, and has repeated its willingness to discuss the matter.

But the problems with Russia are piling up just a couple of months before a U.S. presidential election campaign in which the reset was to be portrayed as a foreign policy triumph.

Here are just a couple of Russian-made points of confrontation that are meeting with Mr. Obama’s silence: Russia’s continued supply of weapons to a murderous regime in Syria, and Russian leaders’ revived talk about targeting eventual U.S. missile-defense sites in Europe with its own weapons.

… Kurt Volker, a former U.S. ambassador to NATO under both the Obama and Bush administrations, said: “If Putin wants to destroy missile defense, he can play the German card. That is, pushing Germany to resist it because, ‘If Russia is upset, the reason is NATO and the United States are doing something wrong.’ Putin did it in 2007 with some success, and he can make that move again anytime.”

… In her Senate confirmation hearing in 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, speaking of what appeared to be Russia’s goal to create a Europe dependent on Gazprom’s natural gas exports, said, “It is certainly a security challenge that we ignore at our peril.”

These days, while Germany has chosen to abandon nuclear energy, a major German utility is currently negotiating a deal with Gazprom that would give Russia a foothold in Europe’s downstream business, and Gazprom is achieving end-user access through its first purchase of a German supplier. The French energy consulting firm Capgemini estimates that Russia’s present 26 percent share of the European Union’s natural gas supply will be 50 percent by 2030.

… Against this background, and with Mr. Putin’s government needling Mr. Obama with threats about renouncing New Start, can Mr. Obama respond in a way that both better defines the Russian leadership the United States is dealing with and makes clear that the U.S. president is not a pushover for it?

A possibly effective method might be Mr. Obama telling the world what he has left unsaid but what is obvious and incontrovertible: that the “election” returning Mr. Putin to the presidency is an opaque exercise that the United States, for the sake of the Russian people and their human rights, bemoans — or, even more to the point, condemns.

I asked David Kramer, a former U.S. assistant secretary of state for human rights, and now president of Freedom House, an organization that supports the global expansion of freedom, whether he thought such a declaration was likely. His answer: not very.

“Beyond a speech in 2009 by President Obama, he personally has shown almost no interest in the human rights situation in Russia,” he said. “When the United States says something, Russians particularly care who is saying it — and it hasn’t been the president.”

#Europeans Call in the B52!

If you take the traditional definition of terror to mean that a minute coterie cause doubt, indecision, confusion, and a lack of knowing what to do, the past two years of European economic dithering, fake summiteering, and public announcements have amounted to a form of economic terrorism. In fact all it has always been about has been the Europeans unwillingness to do anything for one another, and childishly hoping other people’s resources will save them from themselves.

Whenever Europe can't make its mind up the United States is called in, Fernando Sobral complains in the business paper Jornal de Negócios:
"Europeans are always criticising how culturally backwards the US is, but when the moment of truth arrives they adore Uncle Sam. ...

Now the time has come to ask for help, however it's not General Custer's cavalry we need but some of those B52 bombers to drop dollar parcels on Europe. A Europe that is unable to persuade the ECB to fork out the money it needs. The Fed has no qualms like puritanical Europe. ... It puts money into circulation without getting nightmares about inflation. The fed has the 'hard power' the ECB lacks. The ECB is increasingly a bank with plastic money, that can be moulded to suit Germany's wishes.

Those who say Germany's hands are tied because of its constitution should bear in mind that when Helmut Kohl pushed ahead with German reunification he didn't spend too much time looking at the accounts. His political impetus carried the economy along with it. Europe is different: it's afraid of its own shadow and still dancing on a volcano."

- Fernando Sobral, writing in Jornal de Negócios (Portugal)

Their problems stem largely from the problem of imagining what the state can do to compensate for a population that largely prefers to try a to see how little it can do to get more out of society than it puts into it. The effect of wanting the state to tend to all and sundry, whether they have any need or not, has been that despite seizing half the GNP in an array of tax streams governments needed to borrow unsustainable amounts of money to serve it’s constituencies: the public sector feeding off of the population, and a large portion of the population expecting too much from others (whom they imagine can afford it and don’t mind.)

Now, through the IMF they seek more resources for their palliative care from abroad, in particular from a United States that has its’ own garden to tend right now. America’s only motivation to play along is to try and stop the chill on the neck of the global economy (and thus her own) caused by #Europe’s entrenched begging masses in need of more government cheese.

Arrogantly, they assume that they can actually call in that air strike. Expect complaints at the terms for having the slightest doubts in their ability to make good, and carping about what little will be asked for in return.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Still Not Funny

...Europeans tastelessly repeating the same old Kapo camp guard and Frau Helga von Bondage (/cruel yet naive milkmaid) themed "humor" for Germans and Germany, that is. Surely evel THEY must get tired of the pedantry, after, say HALF A CENTURY?

Sheez Louise. Okay, I'm better now But seriously, the ONE PLACE Germans don't get this kind of shabby treatment, even among the sobriety-challenged - is in the US and Canada where despite the interminable list of "cultural flaws" we suffer from, we stopped thinking this crapola was funny when we reached the age of 16 or 17.

Nothing Says Euro-Governance like...

...good old fashioned operant conditioning.

In France, many people are dying in prison; it is talked about very little

In France, many people are dying in prison. It is talked about very little.
With that laconic statement, Le Monde starts a front-page editorial, one which fits straight into the "It's Much Easier to Attack Americans For Their (Alleged) Sins When French Failings Are Overlooked" department.

"Almost every day" in a French jail, we are told, someone dies. Out of 263 deaths officially noted by the penitentiary authorities in 2010, 138 died "of natural causes", 4 were killed, and 121 committed suicide. Of the suicides — most of them young or very young (18 or under), most of them simply in (temporary) custody, and most of them (60%) for misdemeanors and not for crimes — 96% chose hanging as their way out and many (15%) did so within 10 days of being placed behind bars.
"15 novembre, un homme, 49 ans, par suicide. 15 novembre, un homme, 32 ans, par suicide. 16 novembre, un homme, 19 ans, par pendaison. 18 novembre, un homme, 46 ans, par pendaison..." 263 fois, presque tous les jours.

Il s'agissait théoriquement de lire la liste des prénoms, mais on ne les a même pas ; la plupart du temps, on meurt en prison dans la solitude et dans l'anonymat.

For the record, however, a perspicacious Le Monde reader does point out that
At the risk of being labeled a fascist, prison is not supposed to be a Disneyland experience.

Monday, November 28, 2011

France's Foremost Free-Market Politician Gives Sarkozy Government's Economic Plan an F

While the popularity of the free market in France is in the doldrums, writes Patrick Roger in Le Monde, France's foremost Free Marketeer appears like a teacher giving the Sarkozy government and its plan for the country's economic future ("doping its competitive side") an F.

Says Alain Madelin (whose blog is called Libre Échange):
Le jugement est implacable : "Des propositions indigentes et affligeantes." La note rédhibitoire : "0/20". Ainsi se moque-t-il allègrement du "courage" de la majorité sur les 35 heures. "L'UMP propose d'augmenter le temps de travail par l'ouverture de négociations de branche, note M.Madelin. On reste stupéfait devant l'audace d'une telle proposition. A se demander si les ministres et les députés lisent les lois qu'ils votent ou font voter. Car, faut-il le rappeler, cette possibilité de déroger aux 35 heures existe déjà : c'est la loi du 20 août 2008."

The Superior Lifestyle and Joie de Vivre is More than Apparent

Today’s media jumble ask the eternal question: who actually wants to live with Germans to begin with ?

Want to know why day to day crime and event reporting in Europeastan reads like “the news of the weird”? Because in large part that’s about all most of the people living in their society amount to at this point.

Leftist hat the Pope for existing, and for just being so darn papal all the time. So we find things like this Piss Christ” redux by other means in the form of petty legalistic niggling from people who think human free is limited to having something to do with free and legal recreational narcotics.
Johannes Christian Sundermann, a lawyer from Unna in North Rhine Westphalia, filed a legal complaint against the German-born pope formerly known as Joseph Ratzinger for not wearing his seat belt on several occasions “for more than one hour at a time,” according to a report in the Westfälischen Rundschau newspaper.
Because leftism these days is all about acting like something crawled up your hoagie and died, pretending that your attention seeking dog-whistle cues are about “public safety” and anything else that might make people believe that you want to share in man’s future.
Sundermann represents a Dortmund man. As evidence the two are offering YouTube videos and are also calling the Archbishop of Freiburg, the chairman of Germany’s Bishops Conference and Winfried Kretschmann, the Green Party politician who heads the state government in Baden-Württemberg.

The lawyer, a member of the socialist Left party, took on the case after several other attorneys rejected it. Both Sundermann and his client are no longer members of the Catholic Church.
But we’re forgetting about the broadly held understanding of the meaning of the word laissez faire as well.
A new study shows roughly half of all physically disabled women in Germany have been sexually abused during their youth. Women are also subjected to widespread physical abuse, according to the study.
After all, what’s an open attitude about sexuality good for if you can’t exploit the weak for your emotionally barren jollies while claiming to be a superhuman advanced being, what is it good for anyway?
A man charged with raping his daughter nearly 500 times and fathering three children by her during a 34-year reign of domestic terror told a German court on Monday the sex had been consensual.
So there it is – your choices are plain to see: you can sue the Pope with the hope that Catholicism and personal faith cease to exist while forgetting about the real harm done by those who never had a moral compass installed, or you can go with the old fashioned leftism of the past, and try calling them “the far right”.
“We have people in our programmes who have had weapons training themselves,” said Koch. “They were trained in western Germany, in Lower Saxony, by neo-Nazis who used to be mercenaries, for instance in the former Yugoslavia. Some were part of European training networks and got training in France or Belgium.”

The training takes place in remote country areas, sometimes privately owned, and sometimes rented for the purpose, either in an afternoon or over several days. “They often look for isolated wooded areas,” said Koch.
And outside of that, and the unceasing calls for Revolutionary Violence™ from the far left, they’re a thoughtful, pacifist, and peaceful society that just doesn’t want to get tangled up in that weird, incomprehensible, icky world out there so that they can get back to the business of talking up their society-improving role in advancing the human condition spending all day working on their self-awareness.

Islands of Greece Are Green and Beautiful

Green and Beautiful
Where the Olive Trees Grow
In the Fields Below

No tongue-in-cheek tie-ups to the current situation in Greece;
simply, it's the 50th anniversary of The Guns of Navarone, a war movie I never thought was that exciting, but whose movie theme, and whose Mitch Miller-led chorus, are pretty fabulous… It was OK (the role of the American held by David Niven?!?!), but after seeing, as a kid, realistic war movie recreations with officers and troops from all over the map, like The Longest Day (also Mitch Miller) and Tora Tora Tora, made-up stories with a handful of soldiers ("six men come to save 2,000 men, 2,000 men the brave and the bold, for whom the bells have tolled") didn't do it for me any more…

Sunday, November 27, 2011

”First Pirate MEP: We expect party to grow”

Thus spake Christian Engström, Swedish Pirate Party Minister of European Parliament, to which I am inclined to agree. Since their platform either has pointless platitiudes, and otherwise promises to make free the kind of things that “I have yet to grow up” Urban dwellers in their 20s and 30s do to amuse themselves in privacy, they surely will take off. They’re a sort of NAMBLA for gamers and people who download music without paying for it.

Nothing sells in EUtopia like legalizing theft - in this case of intellectual property. Imagine the future. Campaigners will use allusions to Angry Birds as a allusions in speeches. The less real the stakes, the more likely it will be to sell like hotcakes.

After all, we all know that when a government gives away something for free, people take care of it, and don’t abuse or over-use it. That’s why the Berlin Senate Piraten platform included the idea that all transit should be free of charge.

So hats off to this stunningly delusional bunch – they are the only “entitlement libertarians” that I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing taken seriously.

Was the Libyan Operation "a Just War" or Was It "Just a War"?

Answering the questions of Le Monde's Nicolas Truong, Bernard-Henry Lévy and Rony Brauman offer opposing answers. The Médecins Sans Frontières leader (the MSF's Rony Brauman) thinks the Libyan revolution was all anti-Gaddafi propaganda while BHL feels one must make a distinction between George W Bush's Iraq war ("preventive war" not good) and the Libyan conflict ("preemptive war" good). Sigh.
Les théoriciens de la guerre juste établissent une distinction, que vous effacez allègrement, entre la guerre préventive (l'Irak) et la guerre préemptive (on a les preuves qu'un massacre est programmé, qu'il commence d'être mis en oeuvre - et on l'arrête avant qu'il ne soit allé au bout de son programme). En Libye, on est clairement dans ce second cas. … la Libye est le contraire de l'Irak.