That's not bad, out of dozens of comments over the last couple of days, I guess. I don't know who that "Anonymous" was (and I use the past tense on purpose, because the person might as well comment elsewhere), but I enjoyed CHM's comment back about the sanctity of divorce.
I went to bed at 8:00 last night and didn't wake up until 7:30 this morning. I thought: "Was it all a dream?"
And then I turned on Télématin on France 2 television to watch the weather report and the morning news. Somebody was interviewing Jack Lang, who is a former mayor of Blois and was France's Minister of Culture in socialist president François Mitterrand governments in the 1980's and early 1990's. He is also an ex-chairman of the French parliament's foreign relations committee.
Lang, a lion of the French Socialist party, was talking about the election of Barack Obama as the next U.S. President. "Even a lot of died-in-the-wool conservatives are applauding Obama's election," Lang said. "But Obama is a progressive who has said he plans to lower taxes on the middle classes and raise taxes on the rich to finance programs and projects for the good of the country — public works, education, other government services. Maybe these conservatives will now begin to adopt such progressive ideas."
"We are dreaming with our eyes open," Lang said. I'm translating his French literally, but you can see what the meaning is. He describes the feelings of optimism and hope that he experienced on learning of Obama's election to what many in France felt when François Mitterrand was elected president of France in 1981. And it's true, there was an explosion of joy back then, especially among young people. A large crowd gathered on the Place de la Bastille in Paris the night of the election to celebrate. It was comparable to the joy you could feel in the crowd at Grant Park in Chicago the other night. France was "turning a page of its history," Lang said, just as the U.S. is turning a page now.
Lang used the expression "moral elegance" to describe his assessment of Barack Obama, compared to George Bush's brutality. "George Bush has blood on his hands," Lang continued. "I am convinced that Obama is and will be a man of peace and will propose a kind of New Deal for countries where violence has been so terrible for the past few years."
Walt said somebody asked, in a comment on his blog, whether he and other expats will be returning home to celebrate now that we are so happy about Obama's election. Why do some Americans have to see the choice to go live in another country as a rejection of America? Those people seem to feel judged by people who want to live differently.
The fact is, I do feel, or part of me does, that it would be good to go spend some time in the U.S. now, to be part of it all. And that is true despite the fact that I've felt at home in France since the 1970s. And I know that if I lived in the U.S. I would miss France terribly. It's not always easy to have a foot (or your heart) in each of two cultures and countries.