A Culture of Idiots

Dear readers,

This is not a regular post. In France we always had had a strange institution  called the Ministry of Culture. I qualify it as strange because although most French people never thought it was not an obvious part of the government abroad, having a Ministry of Culture is sometimes seen as an useless and costly toy in several parts of the world. Many French people sometimes note half-jokingly that the reason why we are pretty much the only nation to have a distinct, autonomous Ministry of Culture is that France has an important cultural heritage, and an important cultural influence. 

Or so we thought. These days the Minister of Culture, a super-duper Agrégé de Lettres has decided that our culture was to bow before its new masters, namely the record labels and decaying industry. In her great wisdom, our glorious Minister, the Salt of our soil, our Doctrix Ignoranta, has decided that anyone could be convicted by a private court of illegal music downloading, that the punishment would be the banning of culprits from the Internet and of course the payment of penalties. And in order for citizens not to be suspected, they will have to pay for proprietary software (running only on Windows) that may exempt them from outright suscpicion by default (and yet that’s not even clear). She has achieved what centuries of invasions, wars, and disruptions of various kind hadn’t: To bring the value of culture to the one of mundane objects. And while she is actually proud of that  (“to download music illegally is like stealing in a bakery” is what she keeps hammering), she has so far refused any kind of discussion.

I must say that this new legislation will have some advantage: Travelling abroad will be much easier for French. From now on, we will not have to boast anything coming from our country. Our Government has taken Britney Spears to the level of Charles Baudelaire and Molière and is trying hard to put restrictions on the Internet similar to the ones existing in the P.R.C.

No wonder the same government thinks our National Education system has to be deeply amended: One of its members is the living evidence of it!

More seriously, I do think this new legislation is dangerous and goes against every democratic principles. This government and the record labels  will not tell me what I have to do with my computer. Let me be very clear on this. 

Unfortunately what is happening right now at the French Parliament is very much telling of the French society: A country with decaying elites trying to impose their own citizens the constant telling of the same farce: the myth of France, the everlasting Grande Nation, its Grande Culture, and above all, its own version of American Idol.

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