The power of voice

deneuvelitI keep bragging about it… and now they use voice (that of the Cherbourg Umbrellas!) to read – on TV – extracts of Loïc Prigent’s acid book on the world of fashion. Paris fashion week “oblige”.

See full post on – La Voix à la Mode

And enjoy Deneuve’s voice on
ARTE everyday at 7:40pm (CT)

Add comment September 30th, 2016




The big lie_Cussac

Or why the EU referendum in the UK is running their nation to vote on a historical decision with the wrong info, based on wrong assumptions, with utterly flawed statements from self-centered national politicians.

Back in April, I sent this piece to journalists friends in the UK. None replied. I waited for their approval or support I guess. I dreamt – still dream – of telling my beloved UK and its people that they are being fleeced big time. I’d love to have this “big lie” printed it out all over the British press before 23 June. Just because I feel sick that they are asked to vote without being given objective information. In such context I guess citizens should listen to their scholars and researchers for those are the only ones left with a sense of ethos and responsibility; they are not in it for themselves (no electoral campaign nor nomination ahead, unlike some former London mayor to name one only).

1 comment June 19th, 2016

Remember to think

Tonight c’est plus fort que moi… No matter how much I tried to take distance from my former EU political life, I am genuinely – in my genes – a political thing, simply a citizen I guess. Like millions of us tonight. Here I am in my small fishers village in the South of France now, away from beloved Paris where tragedy hit today. And I feel so lonely, so shocked, so sad, so useless, so lost. Last time I felt that way was that Sunday evening of May 2002, when back from a typical Sunday off with European Commission interns friends in Flanders, when my Brussels landlady asked me about “Pain”. Could not proceed the info. Bugged. Wondering what bread she was talking about whereas the message was, Le Pen was up for the 2nd round of French presidential elections. I was up there, in what we’d call in Paris my chambre de bonne, and I felt so lonely, so shocked, so sad, so useless, so lost. I guess that fueled my passion for politics, for Europe, with the strong belief that we can – yes we can – change the world.

Tonight I am afraid. Not of those miserably enrolled people whose brain’s been washed in the name of whichever god.  I am afraid to see people jump to conclusions. I am afraid to see people, friends, colleagues, forget to think. I am afraid to see my country and the EU repeat the mistakes of History and somehow replay the sad scenario of what led Europe to actually do its best to build the biggest peace project ever with the sui generis EU.

Back in the Spring I was at a loss to see friends refuse to vote for EU parliamentarians, saying that if things don’t work, better destroy them. After 50 years trying, adapting, giving increased power to citizens, how and what would they do different(ly)? Let’s be honest.

Back in the Spring I was at a loss to hear my own French President of the Republic, elitist ENA graduate, say what French citizens wanted to hear, play the stupid game of scapegoating the system thanks to which he passes laws he won’t himself dare pass in Paris, namely say that Brussels is “complicated”. Biggest joke ever! I can explain the EU to primary school children and they’d get it. A checks and balances triangle. He studied at ENA, conducts the destiny of a country named France, and dares say that? How dangerous… How short-sighted… Why shooting yourself in the foot like that? Why lead the nation to shoot itself in the foot like that?

Tonight I am afraid. Of politicians who think of their careers rather than of the good of the nation they are responsible for. They intentionally refuse to “explain” the EU & Brussels because it is so easy to play the blame game. Who’s Brussels though if not them? They are extremely careful not to tell citizens who the Council is, careful not to tell citizens that the European Parliament has the power to counter them, careful not to tell citizens that if they vote for EU parliamentarians, they can thus counter their national governments in whatever decision they are making in Brussels. Keeping EU affairs into a blur is so handy… and yet so dangerous. It leads peoples to turn against the only system, which their ancestors have worked at building in order to protect them. It leads peoples to turn extreme right. It turns peoples to not embrace globalisation but develop hatred. Back in the Spring, images of 1936 came to my mind. And deep down tonight I am afraid that History is sleepwalking towards a repetition.

Wake up! Be honest to values, remember to think, don’t jump to conclusions, don’t buy into what some poorly managed media and self-centered politicians may be feeding you with.

Tonight I cannot be in Paris, Brussels or Berlin or else to stand with thousands of you in the name of freedom of thought, freedom of speech, in remembrance of brave journalists. So I wrote.


Add comment January 7th, 2015

Merry Christmas!


Add comment December 24th, 2014

A microcosm cut off from real life

3.10.2013 at 10, almost a year I have not posted anything on my blog. Yet also a year at least (or years) I have not had breakfast while reading the papers; and being in Paris now, it had to be my farourite IHT. The article is from last weekend (I do admit I grabbed the papers last Sunday in a fashionable hotel where I sometimes go for tea – one shall treat oneself once in a while, don’t you think? – and being in the midst of the Paris Fashion Week, the IHT was in a stylish Ralph Lauren ad folder – so you get why I simply had to have my copy!).

Back to the article / Krugman wrote a piece in reaction to what the rich of the rich dare say when faced to potential reductions of their wealth or privileges… While in the Brussels microcosm of policy-makers I often was telling friends and colleagues, “go back home! Keep in touch with what’s going on back home, keep an eye on what people at home go through!” Etc. Being in offices round the clock somehow cuts you off from real life. Yet here in Krugman’s article, we’re one stage further!

How could anyone compare having to pay extra tax or see a cut in golden parachutes to lynching (KKK) or Hitler?!

Persecuted plutocrats
Paul Krugman
IHT, 28-29 September 2013

Add comment October 3rd, 2013

Questioning basics

  Since I’m currently working (hard) at (trying to) writ(e)ing a book, I’ve bumped into that text I for long ha on my desktop, The New Art of Making Books, by Ulises Carrion. How ironic, right? Best is, I apparently read that text before, for I did highlight some sentences (you’ll see, I didn’t remove my notes). Phew! I wouldn’t recall any of that.

Why posting about this? Not to say I may face some early form of “Junior Alzheimer”; I wouldn’t joke about that. (And yet who knows if one’s truly sane/insane!) I just wish to share that extract about books, book writing, book “making”, which Carion wrote in 1975.

Text available here

It sounds ages ago and yet the text, to me at least, sounds so fresh. When reading it again, I can only but think of Paul Arden‘s line (and title of one of his books) “Whatever you think, think the opposite“.

So what do you think? Amis Frenchies, comment alors ne pas immédiatement songer à Desproges si… “la seule certitude que j’ai, c’est d’être dans le doute“..?

Bref, je retourne à mon travail et me demande…ce que j’écris!


Add comment November 13th, 2012

And the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize goes to…. the EU!

Enfin on pense à l’UE, à une oeuvre collective et non à un individu, on reconnaît son audacité, et celle de ceux qui l’ont fait naître; ils doivent être heureux d’où qu’ils nous regardent.Maintenant, cela renforcera-t-il le sentiment d’identité européenne et le fait qu’il faut se battre pour sauvegarder “notre” Union?
who’s the EU? C’est qui ce “nous”?

Les 499 millions de citoyens européens que nous sommes ressentent-ils tous la même joie aujourd’hui?

You’re right Pierpaolo (Settembri) when you confide “It’s certainly our Prize, but who is “us”? This question is for me the biggest legacy and the true value of this award ...”

and to my dear dear CoE alumni friends:
petite (huge!) pensée for Prof. Geremek and Prof. Picht today

Add comment October 12th, 2012

Are we all social animals?

Long time no hear, right? It’s been a while indeed since I regularly pinpointed articles I found had some flavour. I guess it took me a while to adapt to the non-Brussels, non-EU focused, non-political life. Yet habits are resistant. Can one really stop thinking about the way the world’s going? It’d give us such a good rest though! Yet personally I fail overlooking a few things.
So today I’m with you and wish to pinpoint that book of David Brooks’, The Social Animal.

Sure you already heard of it; but have you read it?Ok, it’s a good 500 pages (and it looks huge, especially when like me, the book stays out at night in the garden and undergoes a massive thunder storm, which makes the poor wet book now look like a 1,000 page Bible!) But what a delight! Or rather some savoury “delicatessen”.

If you’ve been running the corridors of international institutions, political circles, receptions, you name it… you may recognise quite a few familiar stories and patterns, acquaintances, friends, yourself? Get in the back seat and enjoy the reading.

  • Video (TED Talk) about The Social Animal by the author David Brook himself here.
  • Reviews about The Social Animal, A Story of How Success Happens(David Brooks, 2011)
    • in The Guardian here,
    • in the NY Times here,
    • and in The New Yorker here.

Add comment August 8th, 2012

Question the question

Quite interesting piece I found, questioning the very question which was raised again about Front National voters in France.
Moi aussi, j’aimerais connaître un électeur du Front National
Guillaume Erner
in The Huffington Post, 25 April 2012

Add comment May 2nd, 2012

French journalism in question?

It’s always interesting and eye-opening to read about one’s culture in the foreign press. They say what nobody dares say at home. French journalism was put into question at the time of the DSK scandal. Now Jean Quatremer (the first French journalist who dared write about DSK’s ‘weakness’ years ago) has published his latest book, Sexe, mensonges et médias, the foreign press – and not just any foreign press! – gets back on the question of the French media…in bed with power.

The French media: in bed with power and pdf here
Simon Kuper
in FT, 16 March 2012

More about Jean Quatremer’s book: Sexe, mensonges et médias, chez Plon, 198 p., 16,90 Eur.
On Jean’s blog – in Le Figaroby Plon
Félicitations Jean! 🙂

Add comment March 17th, 2012

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