After Notre Dame bailout Yellow Vests urge more Victor Hugo tributes, starting with "Les Miserables"

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Les Mis is one of those books I feel the need to revisit now and again, as it continues to be relevant to today’s political discussions. Hugo was attentive to the human condition under the rising capitalist order and an engaging writer.


And yet Victor Hugo himself is the original cause célèbre of the wretched Berne Convention copyright that lets capitalists steal from the public domain. Funny how everything is connected like that.




What about Proust?
I think a nationwide Summarize Proust competition is long overdue.


Wait wait wait… so if the rich give money, they’re assholes, but if they don’t… they’re assholes? Thank God I’m not rich then.


It’s a matter of who they give it to. Many of us on the left would like to see the rich give their money to a progressive liberal government who can then distribute the wealth in ways that protect the general welfare. Of course, we don’t have such a government at the moment, so there’s that.

But when rich people give their money only for their pet concerns, with no thought to the public aside from how it can burnish their reputations, then yeah, that makes them assholes.


You miss the point : it’s all about timing. André Finot, the Notre-Dame spokesman and president of the Friends of Notre-Dame association, has been busting his *ss for several years to find 150 millions euros for the renovation of the spire… He even has toured in the US in the hope to find some philanthropists… And all of a sudden, one billion euros are poured in 24 hours !


Do we know where he was when the fire started?


Pardon my french, but you’re underestimating a bit the french soul here imho. You fight for a noble cause, seem to believe and/or hope in the good in mankind, yet stumble over clichés and prejudice a bit …

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Shhh you can’t say that out loud - business friendly! Business friendly! Fiscal conservative!


He’s speech about the elimination of poverty still resonate:


Yep, primarily because the economic system that caused these problems in his time are still with us today.


Guillotines replaced by Le Mis. Well played oligarchs, well played.

despite brutal suppression tactics by French police

I’m no great defender of the police and hate being put in the position of looking like one, but the phrase “brutal suppression tactics” in this case is just epically shitty reporting.

At the crux of the police violence debate has been the use of “defense balls” – essentially gofl-ball-sized rubber bullets – because the police have been using them improperly and they have caused some 70% of the serious injuries incurred during the protests. And yes, that’s bad, it’s yet another example of the militarization of police, and something needs to be done about it. The police are wrong here and it is surely not the only way in which they have been wrong in the course of policing the protests. But they have been positively restrained in comparison to those in, say, Furguson or London, to say nothing of Cairo or Beijing. If the French police can be said to be “brutally suppressing” the Gilets Jaunes, I’m not sure the English language has words extreme enough to describe what happened in some of those other cities.

And lets not forget that it was protesters who set fire to a bank and a restaurant, both of which were located (like most businesses in Paris) on the ground floors of apartment buildings where people live and were present at the time the fires were set. As far as I know, the police haven’t actually tried to murder anybody yet. (Yes, I know I’m being hyperbolic, but I’m just trying to keep up with Cory.)

In the end, I’ll just say what I have said here before: The reporting from outside of France makes Paris look like an uninhabitable war zone. It’s not. When I leave the house I’m far more worried about idiots on Bird scooters than I am anything protest-related.


Yellow vests are not deserving of consideration. They have broken stores and burned cars relentlessly.

Hey, the rich aren’t assholes if they give money to me.

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Oh good, I was wondering if there was an escape clause. Hey rich guys! Over here!

In what way, exactly, is the burning of a 800 year old temple of hate and ignorance a “global tragedy?”
Yes, I get that it is/was a wonder of architecture… But how many thousands of man-hours and billions of dollars have been wasted on this edifice of bronze age theology and stone age “morality?”
Tear it down and build a public library.

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Because it’s an irreplaceable human achievement of incredible beauty and cultural significance, and has been for so for the better part of a millennium.

I don’t think one needs to have a high opinion of the Catholic Church to appreciate that, just like one need not necessarily endorse Islam to appreciate the incredible beauty and value of the Blue Mosque.