Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Liberté, Sûreté, Propriété

I wish all my republican brothers in France a happy Independence Day. Here in America we remember with solemn reverence the support and contribution France provided to our revolutionaries and founders during the birth of our nation. Vive la France!

Bastille Day commemorates one of the great moments in modern European history and reading accounts of the events will send a tingle up the spine of every Liberty loving human who's dreamt of tearing down a prison - weather it be physical, mental or spiritual. May France forever cling to the passion and excitement of those early days of their Nation and remember them with humble thanks to God and a commitment to live up to the dreams and aspirations of their forefathers who endeavored to establish a Republic of Humanity. We all know that this glorious effort degenerated into a Republic of Virtue which inflicted a decade of horror on the noble French citizen only to be replaced by the Empire of a stubby-fingered Corsican, but for two or three years the Free Man had a home in France. It is in this time that the Declaration of the Rights of Man was written and it's ideals live on - may it always be so. Articles 1-3 lay the foundation:
1. Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions may be founded only upon the general good. 
2. The aim of all political association is the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man. These rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression
3. The principle of all sovereignty resides essentially in the nation. No body nor individual may exercise any authority which does not proceed directly from the nation.
This was too good for filthy French Jacobins like Danton and Robespierre who plunged France in to the virtuous darkness of enlightened reason. Sadly, the true virtues and ideals of every established republic fade with time (just look at the USA), it just happened more quickly in France. But the patriot holds on to the ideal and continually strives to grasp that brief sparking light stretching across time and space born of that moment when Liberty triumphed.

Listing the contributions of France would take hours and many of them are ephemeral, conceptual and immaterial so it's hard to link to them or find photos - but if I could list just 3 that have brought joy to my life they would be:

1. Citroën cars - especially the old ones. This is what driving was meant to be. Hard to get them here in the USA, but do a little globe trotting and you're sure to find them. The hydraulic pump gives the Goddess a unique quality and presence on the road and for a time filled the Parisian streets with beauty.

2. Arche Shoes - I know these are primarily marketed to the ladies but I'm telling you, they are super duper comfortable and you can walk for hours in them. Sleek, modern, durable and as French as a fresh baguette these shoes are magnificent. Do they seem a little to metro-sexual for the KOTCB? Piss off, they're great and my feet love 'em.
3. Juliette Binoche - They don't make this anywhere but in France. Siren of the silver screen, freedom fighter, a woman with true integrity and deep emotional tones - this is a soul sprung from L'Hexagone. Prolific and versatile in her film and stage career as an actress she represents, for me, the true beauty of France in all it's contradictory and inscrutable glory.

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