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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Woman Named "Marine"

Up to now I have paid no attention to the far right party in France called the "National Front."   It was founded a good while ago and has been run ever since by a man who is now a crusty old bird just a few years older than I am, named Jean-Marie Le Pen, and I guess it is the equivalent of the U.S.'s Teapublican party, though, by doing good to be getting as much as 15 percent of the vote in French elections, the Front is not nearly as popular as the Teapubs are in the U.S.   That fact alone backs up what an American expatriate told my wife when she visited Paris a few years ago.   "You know," he said, "the French are more evolved than Americans are."
Ol' Le Pen's political plaything, the National Front, is known mostly for bitterly opposing the influx of immigrants into France, thus lightening the melanin count in that ancient and over-proud country considerably.   But this is only proper.   The French barged into their territories years ago, uninvited, mainly in Africa but also in Asia and even South America, dcclared those places part of France, and made themselves at home there.   So now the immigrants see no problem with seeping into France and making themselves at home there.   Such is one of the fruits of colonization, the Monroe Doctrine, "Manifest Destiny," and "the White Man's Burden."

But I can see right now that I will begin following the fortunes of the National Front much more closely, because a day or two ago, ol' Jean-Marie Le Pen conceded that he had finally burnt out, and he stepped aside, in favor of the third and youngest of his three daughters, born in that same highly fateful year as my son,  1968.

First of all, a woman named "Marine" can't be all bad, and because she is a woman the name looks much better on her than it does on all those bad-ass tough guys with the crewcuts who infest the U.S. Marine Corps.   And the "Le Pen" sirname is good, too.   It seems to mean the same thing in French that it does in English, though I hope that doesn't mean a place where pigs wallow but instead refers to that great and noble tool, the fountain, ball-point, quill, felt tip, or whatever writing instrument.  

Secondly, mere glances at her picture and her bio  immediately show that in so many ways Ms Marine Le Pen trumps the woman whom many might immediately take to be her American counterpart, the Palin woman.   Though she is a blonde, Le Pen is no vacuous beauty like Palin, and instead she looks strong, business-like, and highly intelligent, as befits the head of a functioning political party.   I am sure that you would never catch her saying that you can see Tunis from Marseille, or lusting after unicorns to shoot either.   While leading the Front in its usual main thrust, Ms Le Pen intends to file off some of its hard edge, and for instance she is in favor of women's rights, including their right to decide for themselves whether or not they should get abortions, instead of having such decisions being made for them entirely  by crusty old males like her father, who never bore a child in their lives.

And she has paid her dues, showing that nepotism was only partly at work here, and then only a small part.  She has done a lot of work for the party in various positions, and participated in elections and various protests, over a period of years.

The cause that most caught my eye was when she took part in a campaign against the blocking of public streets in France, for the purpose of Muslim prayers.

At first I took this to mean that the streets were very accommodatingly blocked off by the gendarmes.

What? I thought.  You don't mean that in France they close off the streets so as to allow Muslim men to run out, set down their prayer rugs, and kneel and pray five times a day, do you?  But that didn't sound very likely, so then I thought it might mean instead that the Muslim faithful run out with their rugs five times a day and block off the streets themselves.

 Either way, I might look askance at that kind of thing myself.  You never know what might suddenly need to come rushing through the streets in matters of great urgency.   Maybe even one of those scissors-sharpeners that ol' Le Pen and I came along just in time to see when we were small kids, in the very early 1930's. with their carts drawn by a horse or maybe a mule, and shaking bells that loudly proclaimed that they were in the neighborhood.


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