Daily Office:



Siné: It’s a tough case: Siné (Maurice Sinet), the Charlie Hebdo cartoonist and, ipso facto, socio-political troublemaker, has been fired over a cartoon whose cynicism might be taken for anti-Semitism. I find myself on Siné’s side. Steven Erlanger reports.


Mont-Saint-Michel: In Le Figaro: Who owns Mont-Saint-Michel? The French state has owned the abbey since the Revolution, but as for the village nestled on its flanks…

That’s all very well, dear, but what about the Pines?: At a restaurant in Cherry Grove, on Fire Island, you can enjoy a drink called the “JoeMyGod.”


Boredom:  Here’s a valiant attempt to make boredom sound creative. It doesn’t quite fly.


Morning, cont’d

§ Siné. On the one hand, Jean Sarkozy, son of French president Nicolas, has a perfect right to convert to Judaism, the religion of his fiancée, without comment. That right ought to be all the more scrupulously protected in M Sarkozy’s case, because he is the great-great-grandson of the founder of a rabbinical school in Greece, and France remains troubled by largely latent but hardly dormant anti-Semitism.

On the other hand, M Sarkozy waives the right to order his religious life without comment by entering into politics (although still a law student, he  is “the leader of his father’s party in his father’s old constituency, Neuilly-sur-Seine”), if, as seems to be the case, his marriage to a member of the wealthy Darty family, owners of the French version of Best Buy, will enhance his access to campaign funding. It is not only legitimate but necessary for political commentators to propose a cynical construction of the young man’s conversion experience. The chorus of bien pensant vituperators — including such usual suspects as Elie Wiesel and BHL — are acting as pious frauds. 

Noon, cont’d

§ Mont St Michel. The local mayor, one Eric Vannier, who claims to be a native even though he’s said to come “from the capital,” owns a good many of the businesses, including the (now franchised) Mère Poulard restaurant. “He’d like to own everything,” grumbles one inhabitant. Allez, courage; the place could be operated by Disney.

§ Pines. It’s a coconut-rum delight. I wonder whence the bartender, a reader of Joe.My.God., drew his inspiration? Joe isn’t saying.

Night, cont’d

§ Boredom. If I could put insomnia as firmly behind me as I did that other childhood tribulation, blinding boredom, I should be the happiest of men.

Sometimes I am restless: I don’t want to do anything. Usually a walk in the park will put an end to this fractious state. I am always unhappy from the moment that Kathleen walks into one airport to the moment at which she lands at another (eg, right now: Kathleen is about to fly home from a long weekend in Maine). Every once in a while, I fall victim to the mean reds; this happens rather a lot lately, given the state. But boredom would have all the charms of the exotic, if it were not boredom.

There’s an old saying: boredom is not where you are but who you are. This is altogether unfair. Boredom is a failure of where you are and who you are to engage. No blame!

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