Roundup

Roundup, Vol 1.

I’ve collected a few little things worth sharing that don’t really merit entire separate posts. Behold!

Finances

Over the past two weeks, I was incredibly lucky to have been offered several freelance projects with generous budgets. As a result, I’m now sitting at just a tiny bit under $40,000 in savings, which puts me very slightly ahead of my savings schedule. I have a big (and very transparent!) budget post coming soon – it’s taken so long to prepare that now all my calculations are off, actually – as well as an essay I’d been meaning to write for a while on my experience with freelancing, some of the issues I’ve encountered in the past, and some of the parts of the process with which I still struggle. If there’s anything in particular you’d like me to cover on this (or any other) topic, feel free to leave a comment below.

French things I’ve enjoyed

I watch a lot of archived French political talk shows on Youtube, and one of the most interesting episodes I’ve found was an October 2014 appearance by Éric Zemmour on On n’est pas couché. Zemmour’s much-discussed and widely reviled book, Le Suicide Français, had just come out, and the panel just went to town on him. Let me take a moment to note that while I disagree with Zemmour on pretty much absolutely everything, I will never pass up an opportunity to read a controversial book, much less so one about de Gaulle and Gaullism and the history of the V Republic, so I’m reading it now (there’s definitely a lot of eye-rolling happening, rest assured). Anyway, what I loved about this particular episode was the depth and breadth of the debate, the passion with which each side approached its arguments, and that final grilling of Zemmour on his “re-evaluation” of Vichy and Pétain, which is an example of the type of conversation no modern democracy should ever shy away from. What made me sad was that I can’t remember the last time I saw anything even remotely similar on an American news network, save for maybe when Christiane Amanpour was given 2 minutes and 45 seconds to take Clinton to task on failing to act in Bosnia.  ‘Twas the year 1994, and I was in 4th grade. That’s just… tragic.

Langue de bois

“Langue de bois” – literally, wooden language – is a French term used to refer to language that’s deliberately vague, unnecessarily complex, and ultimately meaningless. Build your own phrases in langue de bois with this handy (satirical) flowchart, or generate a ready-made statement here.

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