The Blog

Everything Old Is French Again

The confessions of a former Francophile.

7:00 AM, Apr 18, 2003 • By JOEL ENGEL
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This war and the run-up to it have been infinitely clarifying. It's clear that many antiwar liberals are like the proverbial frog (hmmm) who doesn't notice that the water has gotten hot until it's too late. It's clear that the word liberal often belongs to an Orwellian lexicon. It's clear that France--which remains Europe's locus of antiwar anti-Americanism (and which predictably now wants back in on the action)--petrified into obsolescence a long time ago. And it's clear that those who can't unglue themselves from the romantic notion of France as the legitimizer of art and truth and political beauty now find themselves described in the dictionary under the adjective "conservative: in favor of preserving the status quo and traditional values and customs, and against abrupt change."

Joel Engel is an author and journalist in Southern California.