Nicolas Sarkozy, a man hated in the particular circles of French culture I frequented while abroad, was elected to the presidency yesterday. I am not typically a political person, but when one is in France, one can’t really help becoming political. When politics stop your trains and blockade your schools, you start, at the very least, whining about them. So, oddly enough, I have a political cartoon sketched by me in my 2005 journal of this fellow who has just been elected, but it would not be in good taste to scan it.

I got an e-mail today from my friend Pierre on the subject of the newly-elected. Pierre, like the opinionated semi-retired adventurer he is, did not mince words:

“Les Français ont cessé d’accepter de mourir pour leurs idées il y a plus 1/2 siecle
Les Français ont cessé d’accepter de travailler il y a plus de 1/4 de siecle.
Les Français ont cessés de se sentir Français et fier de l’être.
(mais restent juste arrogants du passé)
Sarko parle mais c’est tout…

Il n’y a plus de France et il n’y aura jamais d’Europe : tout est mort.
comme il n’y a plus de grandeur grecque, ni Romaine, …. les civilisations
naissent et meurent et le petit Sarko est juste une caricature.”

We will work, he says, or, rather, the neighbors will work, and thus no one will do anything, except riot in the streets when they see the fruits of their labor. France is no more: the French stopped dying for their ideals half a century ago, stopped working a quarter of a century ago; stopped being the sort of patriots that made them French, and were proud to do so. France is no more, and Europe will never be. All is dead, just as Greece and Rome is dead. Civilizations are born, and die, and Sarkozy is only a caricature.