Category Archives: Social Media

#LaMarseillaise, Is The French National Anthem Racist? Trending On Twitter

The national anthem of France, La Marseillaise, is many things. Nationalistic in spades. But then it is a national anthem. Militaristic. Well it was written in the 1700’s as a call to arms, so yes it is that as well. Beautifully stirring? Well even to this American I would agree. But racist? Not in the least. Although for the past few days the argument has raged as the subject has trended on Twitter, #lamarseillaise.

The latest dust-up began when Justice Minister Christiane Taubira was criticized by Geoffory Boulard for not singing along during the playing of the national anthem at a commemoration of the abolition of slavery.  Boulard’s Tweet called for resignation not believing she wasn’t singing because she didn’t know the words. Taubira enlarged the Twitterfude by responding, “some occasions are more suitable for contemplation… than stage karaoke.”

Lambert Wilson, a French actor of note weighed in calling the anthem, ..”terrible, bloody, racist and xenophobic”, calling for the lyrics to be changed. One stanza he would be referring to says,

“To arms citizens
Form you battalions
March, march
Let impure blood
Water our furrows”

Certainly understandable if a pacifist objected to killing, even if it is the enemy who is being targeted. But to come to the conclusion that calling for victory by killing the enemy (impure blood being the enemy from Prussia and Austria) is racist, seems to be going way out-of-the-way to be insulted. But so many of us today seem to be happiest when we can imagine being slighted in some way.

La Marseillaise is a European March style of anthem, which is characterized by speaking of war. It first became the national anthem in 1795, lost its title under Napoleon I and was banned by Louis XVIII and Charles X. In 1879 it was restored as the French national anthem. 

In finding the version of La Marseillaise that I have linked to at the top I also learned of the artist singing the anthem. Mireille Mathieu is a wonderful French singer and even if you prefer Freedom Fries to French Fries, I would highly encourage to take a look at her in concert on this YouTube video. Listening to this talented woman sing was worth the anguish of hearing of more petty squabbling over insults, real or imagined.




Tina Brown Dishes On Monica Lewinsky and Hateful People

Tina Brown can certainly turn a phrase. Turn a phrase into a hateful screed that lambasts anyone she disagrees with. She writes in a manner that those who agree with her enjoy reading. Well check for yourself at THE DAILY BEAST

Ms. Brown laments what has become of the media with no-holds bared gossiping. Using illegal tape recordings and things said in private moments to embarrass and destroy people. But then it would be instructive to look at Ms. Brown’s career in the media to see how she has contributed to the current day situation.

Ms. Brown touches on issues that I agree haven’t been well thought out however I truly believe the problem in Ms. Brown’s world is that she can’t control who is hurt by the reporting not that “someone” is hurt. Attack those she doesn’t like and she isn’t going to see it as much of an issue as when those on her side have to defend themselves.

Businesses Held Hostage By Internet Blackmailers

The power of the internet in this, the Information Age, is being used and abused. A couple of stories points out problems that have people searching for solutions while too many of us don’t have a clue about what is going on. This report in THE TELEGRAPH is about the abuse of the website TripAdvisor by what some business owners are calling blackmailers. The blackmailers demand special treatment at hotels and restaurants by threatening to post bad reviews on TripAdvisor.

A sane person who has read reviews from the great unwashed masses for anything from hotels, restaurants, books, you name it, knows that it is dangerous to listen to people you don’t know, talking about things they may or may not know anything about. Or, they may actually have an agenda to boost or tear down something. That leads us to democracy for the stupid, in the words of Alex Proud writing in THE TELEGRAPH about the death of the professional critic at the hands of amateurs who usually seem like an angry mob.

The aggrieved aren’t taking it without a fight however. And it becomes a fight over free speech for some. There is this situation reported on by NATIONAL JOURNAL, that is spiraling out of control over a negative review on Amazon. An unhappy customer posted a negative review of a router he had purchased and wasn’t happy with. That company has threatened to sue the man who posted the review. Now Amazon has revoked the company’s seller account. The company, Mediabridge, is now unable to sell on Amazon which means there will likely be people losing their jobs.

The power of the internet is out of control.