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What Is Wrong with Paris: How Public Transportation Divides the City of Lights

  PARIS – I am what Parisians call a “provincial.” This derogatory term comes from the days of the monarchy when France was divided between a royal capital and provinces ruled as fiefdoms by noble families. Though the French have done away with the king, they have yet to discard the notion that Paris is the center of the universe. Some Parisians still believe it is the only city in the country worth interest. Paris[Read More…]

The Freedom to Be Funny: Reflecting on France’s Tradition of Satire

In a 2012 Le Monde interview the late publishing director of Charlie Hebdo, Stéphane Charbonnier said these now iconic words: “I would rather die standing up than live on my knees.” (In fact the quote originates with Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata.) In the same article, another of the magazine’s cartoonists injured in the attack, Riss (a pen name), said, “We do not want to be afraid, but to laugh, to take life lightly.” Riss, who[Read More…]