An introduction

This is a semi-public place to dump text too flimsy to even become a blog post. I wouldn't recommend reading it unless you have a lot of time to waste. You'd be better off at my livejournal. I also have another blog, and write most of the French journal summaries at the Eurozine Review.

Why do I clutter up the internet with this stuff at all? Mainly because I'm trying to get into the habit of displaying as much as possible of what I'm doing in public. Also, Blogger is a decent interface for a notebook

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Europe: Not just boring, but old:

Now the Europeans really do seem to be acting old -- not
delusionary and bewildered, like the USA, but elderly, crotchety. Bent
over their knitting.

Without Americans and Soviets around to boss and screech at
them, the Europeans are obsessed with immigration and internal
minorities. It's all about the lazy, job-stealing Polish plumber or
the North African guy next door who killed a goat in his bathtub....

Obviously immigration is a big deal for small, relatively homogenous
societies with big language and heritage issues. But something about
this pervasive anxiety really makes contemporary Europeans seem feeble
and small-minded. These used to be massive, globe-spanning,
imperial states. Even in the Cold War, they were at least the major
pieces on the planetary chessboard. Now you can ask what the glorious
European Project is about, and it's mostly about a cushy retirement
for what's left of their managerial class. Europe's younger generation
is getting one of the rawest deals you can imagine.

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