Monday, October 10, 2011

Frankie goes to the Élysée Palace?

The results of yesterday's Socialist Party primary elections are in, and this man is happy:

With 39% of the vote, versus the 31% obtained by his nearest rival, Martine Aubry, chances are good that Francois Hollande will carry the runoff election next Sunday, and go on to face the widely despised incumbent, Nicolas Sarkozy, in next year's presidential elections. It is widely believed that Sarkozy is so disliked that Hollande would have little difficulty in ousting him.

Of course, the gap between Hollande and Aubry is not so large that his victory next Sunday is assured. This has provoked the usual attack of logorrhea among the talking heads on TV, though their remarks are notable only for the unique combination of pomposity and vacuity in which French pundits truly excel. It hurts my brain just to listen, though I leave the TV on in the background, in the faint hope that it will act as a subliminal aid to my French.

The political discourse has now been replaced by yet another program about books, but the level of clarity has not improved in any noticeable manner. The one bright spot on the horizon was a little 15-minute filler program called "Poubelle Quizz" (Garbage Quiz), in which mayors and city councillors from local jurisdictions were quizzed on their knowledge of environmental policy and issues. The three contestants acquitted themselves quite well, and the program was both fun to watch and informative.

Another man who is happy today is this guy:

He is Marc Lievremont, trainer of the French rugby squad, who advanced this weekend to the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup. They will face Wales, who dashed the Irish hopes very early on Saturday morning, while I was on a flight back to Paris.

In other news, as far as I have been able to determine from her Wikipedia page (which is more interesting than that of most first ladies), the spouse of Monsieur Sarkozy, Carla Bruni, has not yet given birth, though the happy event must surely be imminent.

I didn't actually get to any museums today, but I have high hopes for the Musee d'Orsay tomorrow morning, before Gabriella joins me to help me pick out new glasses. Something I don't trust myself to do on my own. Assuming the optometric excursion goes well, there may even be photographic evidence to follow.

Watch this space.

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