SIMON KUPER writes regularly for the Financial Times on culture, politics, and sport. He's lived in Paris for 10 years. I've read him off and on and find him unremarkable.
His column in the FT on May 5 has his picture in the upper right corner, and opens with "Anyone who spends time in Paris comes away wondering why Parisians are so miserable." Really. Anyone?
Kuper offers a tiresome recitation of the boilerplate we heard from the neo-cons 10 years ago when they were all in a pout about France's opposition to the war in Iraq … empire in decline, arrogance, angst, etc. My observation is that the people who wanted the Iraq War the most were disinclined to fight in it or any other war. They're the ones most likely to take a cheap shot at the French.
I've been to Paris many times, sometimes staying as long as month at a stretch. Like most, I find the people and the place delightful. So, Mr. Kuper, I have to conclude, it's not them, it's you. You're a downer. Your picture makes you look like you're clinically depressed.
But, all is not lost. Put on a happy face. Spend more time with your wife … she is clearly your better half. And, I understand, her book about the "Wisdom of French Parenting" is doing just fine.
You'll snap out of it. Life is good … especially in Paris.
**Please note that Wednesdays Wars will be on break, and will return with new posts on Wednesday, June 6th.**