I once had a friend from Portland, Ore., tell me about spending some time on the French-Italian border for work. “We crossed over to France to get our croissants and went back to get our coffee. One country can’t do coffee, and the other can’t do pastries; you would think that they could get together and work it out.”
— ‘Why Is Coffee in France So Bad?’ in Slate
French coffee shop owner Aleaume Paturle explains that in the past coffee from French colonies could be imported back to France duty-free, and the crop planted in places like Vietnam and Laos was the Robusta variety rather than the more prized Arabica.
Robusta, as the name suggests, is more hardy but the taste isn’t as rich and sometimes it’s over-roasted to give it more aroma. In general this makes for a more bitter, rougher taste, more notes of burnt wood and ashtray than chocolate or vanilla.
— Inrng, in Café Culture in France
All the same if you buy some Segafredo in Italy it tends to have this same taste, compared to the smoother varieties from Lavazza or Illy.
Liberal democracies, he has argued, faced with the dark menace of nationalism, need heroes if they are to rouse a positive national spirit and defeat the “sad passions” fanned by populists.
—The Economist on Emmanuel Macron in France’s victorious footballers do Emmanuel Macron a favour – France’s World Cup triumph
Continue reading Democratic heroes
Philosophy is still a compulsory part of the school curriculum.
Economist: The death—or reinvention—of the French intellectual
Philosophy and finance – two things most students would do well to learn in school. One helps in guiding through life decisions, other helps in financing them.
The National Front has, in recent years, become more popular in many rural areas and small towns like Wizernes, places that are often relatively homogeneous and have few immigrants.
– Will France Sound the Death Knell for Social Democracy?, January 26, 2017 at 10:59AM
It’s the same here in the UK – many of the places that voted most heavily for Brexit, and are most anti-immigrant, are also the ones with very few immigrants.
I’m guessing it’s easier to whip up a fear of the unknown – immigrants people in, say villages of NE England, have never met – than of the known – immigrants people in London meet, work and play with every day.
Further down, in the same article… Lecoustre is anti-immigration, NF supporter, while Sailliot is anti-NF, leftist union leader.
I asked Lecoustre if immigration had changed his life in any direct way. He thought for a moment. “No,” he said.
Sailliot interjected. This was the absurdity of it all, he said. There were hardly any migrants in the area, and yet somehow, immigration was everybody’s biggest problem. How could that be?