Trump’s proposed wine tariffs will hurt Americans, not the French

cheese

Jon Bonné writes that Trump’s proposed 100 percent tariffs on French wine and cheese won’t help American wine producers nor harm French ones, while simultaneously hurting the American economy [ . . . ]

Read full story at CNN: Trump’s proposed wine tariffs will hurt Americans, not the French (opinion) – CNN

The Entwined Lives of Françoise Gilot and Pablo Picasso

Understanding Picasso’s art, Gilot’s memoir shows, is inseparable from understanding both his genius and monstrousness.

Early on in their relationship, the painter and writer Françoise Gilot almost left Pablo Picasso. It was 1946, and the pair had gone from Paris to the South of France for the summer. It sounds romantic and likely would have been, if Picasso hadn’t insisted that they stay in the house he had given to the photographer Dora Maar, his partner before Gilot. Maar wasn’t around, but soon after they arrived, Picasso began receiving devoted daily letters from yet another former lover, Marie-Thérèse Walter, which he would read aloud every morning. As if that weren’t enough, the place was overrun with scorpions. Suddenly, Gilot found herself stuck in a “hostile environment,” as she writes in her memoir, Life With Picasso, which was originally published in 1964 and recently rereleased by New York Review Books Continue reading “The Entwined Lives of Françoise Gilot and Pablo Picasso”

France becomes first country in Europe to ban all five pesticides killing bees 

France will take a radical step towards protecting its dwindling bee population on Saturday by becoming the first country in Europe to ban all five pesticides researchers believe are killing off the insects [ . . . ]

Source: France becomes first country in Europe to ban all five pesticides killing bees 

Les Misérables: Why are the French, who seem to have much, so quick to protest?

Puzzling as it may seem in a country that appears to have so much going for it — fine wines, haute cuisine, high fashion and roughly 1,000 different cheeses — the French are Les Misérables. As author Sylvain Tesson told France Inter radio recently: “France is a paradise inhabited by people who believe they’re in hell.”

Economist Claudia Senik, a professor at the famous Sorbonne University, has studied the French malaise and believes it dates to the 1970s and the end of the “Trente Glorieuses,” the 30 postwar years when France boomed.

“It’s linked to the way the French view the world and their place in it. They have high expectations about the quality of life, freedoms and many values driven by the French Revolution and this sets a high benchmark for satisfaction,” Senik says. “They look back at a golden age when France made the rules of the game, and now we are just another smallish country forced to accept and adapt to rules.”

In her research paper, “The French Unhappiness Puzzle,” Senik found that even when they leave France to live elsewhere in the world, they take their gloominess with them, suggesting it is not France but being French that makes people unhappy.

“I was surprised to discover that since the 1970s the French have been less happy than others in European countries, much less happy than you’d have thought, given their standard of living, lifestyle, life expectancy and wealth,” Senik says. “It’s a problem of culture, not circumstance. It’s the way they feel, their mentality.”

On paper, the French have few reasons to be gloomy: They enjoy free and universal access to an enviable health system ranked first by the World Health Organization, free schools and universities, a maximum 35-hour workweek, six weeks’ annual vacation, paid parental leave and an enviable welfare safety net. Continue reading “Les Misérables: Why are the French, who seem to have much, so quick to protest?”