Gloomy? Miserable? Maybe Just Realistic Thoughtful Joie de Vivre

image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

What’s going on with all the French bashing at the moment about them being gloomy, miserable and less happy than the British? I know that it is not just non-French propagating these opinions but I have to wonder about the real intention behind it. In my humble simplistic opinion, all the recent articles pamper to the Anglo-American view of how society should be – fully of happy-clapping individuals seeking the peak of Maslow’s heirarchy of needs whilst ignoring the base levels and any emphasis on working together – competition at the expense of cooperation.

image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Maybe the French are just more realistic (and more intelligent?) than most and refuse to “kid themselves happy”. Barbara Ehrenreich’s “Smile or Die: How Positive Thinking Fooled America and the World” reflects this perfectly and Jimmy Reid’s Glasgow address from 1972 about alienation is still as relevant today as it ever was – “It is my sincere contention that anyone who can be totally adjusted to our society is in greater need of psychiatric analysis and treatment than anyone else.”

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