Articles by: Marc Goetzmann

Why Breaking Bad Couldn’t Have Been a French TV Show

PARIS – I recently stumbled upon a joke on 9gag about what Breaking Bad would have looked like if had happened in France. First of all, Breaking Bad probably never would have existed because the French still have not developed a culture of producing quality, daring TV shows. On the whole, they have been rather boring, conventional, and poorly produced, with a few rare exceptions. But the essence of the 9gag joke was elsewhere. If[Read More…]

by April 30, 2014 1 comment Feature, Uncategorized

Passover in Paris, and the Slow Destruction of French Social Harmony

Paris. – Last week, the Jewish celebration of the Passover holiday rekindled tensions that have recently divided Jewish and Muslim communities in Paris. Public celebration elicited visible hostility in the streets of the 19tharrondissement, a neighborhood that contains one of the largest Jewish communities in France. Following a period abroad in New York, the neighborhood has recently become my home as well. This odd Northeastern section of Paris is characterized by its proximity to Boulevard[Read More…]

by April 25, 2014 0 comments Domestic, Up To The Minute

Threatened Abortion Rights in Spain Spark Concern in France

On Jan. 20, the French Parliament started debating a new set of laws regarding gender equality. The bill included an amendment of a 1975 law that allows abortion. The amendment removes the requirement that a woman must be in a situation of “distress” in order to have an abortion. The amendment was passed on Jan. 21. More precisely, the words “the woman who is put in a situation of distress by her pregnancy” were replaced[Read More…]

Small Bookstores Win Again Against Amazon

PARIS- After years of debate, French booksellers won another victory earlier this month against Amazon and other large booksellers, when the French Senate banned the practice of free shipping, one of the perks of using many online megastores. On the corner of the square outside the Sorbonne in Paris, tourists are unlikely to notice a small bookstore, Vrin. This small, independent bookstore in the heart of the Latin Quarter only publishes philosophy books. Some French bookstores[Read More…]

Back From Broadway: Why Are the French So Reluctant to Belong?

When I got back to France after a semester at Columbia University, my friends welcomed me as if those four months “abroad on Broadway” had not really happened. But there was a tiny glitch in the illusion that nothing had changed and it quickly reminded me that I had truly been abroad in a foreign country. As a souvenir of my time spent there, I still wear a Columbia sweatshirt. It was such a common[Read More…]

by January 17, 2014 0 comments Feature, Up To The Minute