French Connection: C’est la vie, and all that jazz…

France needs no introduction, of course, she of Germanic roots and Roman speech, one foot on the Atlantic Ocean and the other on the Mediterranean Sea….

As if she can’t really make up her mind which way she wants to go, or whether to go or to stay, in the past or to the future, but first she wants to know which is the shortest route, though she won’t necessarily take it… 

Born when Charlemagne took the torch of Rome in the darkest of Europe’s Dark Ages and kept the dream of Rome–and Europe–alive for a brief century, before crawling back under the covers and passing it on to Germany unnoticed…

So when the smoke cleared, and the wounds were all cleaned, Paris and France were right there front and center for the Renaissance, and the Enlightenment, and the Age of Discovery and the Age of Science…

And some of the best literature, philosophy, and art that the civilized world has seen in its short history, every bit a worthy successor to the glories of Greece and Rome…

In many ways France IS Europe, at the center of it all, north south east west, in a way that neither Germany nor Italy can quite lay claim to, and the UK wouldn’t even try, nor care to…

And even if they missed the classic age of classic rock, their current indie stuff is as good or better than most, as their film-makers always were and still are…

But me, I’m as contrary and capricious as they are, so while the tourists crowd the streets of Paris, sipping espresso and mugging for the camera, taking pictures of each other in front of this monument and that cathedral, stealing memories and souvenirs, I’ll be down in Marseilles, little Africa and little Maghreb, listening to highlife rumba and rai, getting lost on crowded streets and trying to polish up my French, so that one day I can maybe say more than “c’est la vie, ma cherie, c’est la vie”…

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