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A New Day for the Nation

Panthéon Dome. Photo by Carsten Sprotte

On July 14 in the year 2064, nothing particular happened in the country still known as France. Celebrations of unity were held, as they had been for the past 20 years, on June 4th, the day which marked the instauration of the WI. France was only one of many nations to celebrate this day, even though it was the end of the nation as we now know it. The WI (World Inclusive) is a federation of peoples for world unity and human development. The local governments who adhere to this synarchy no longer pursue national interests to the detriment of planetary interests. The WI emerged progressively from the establishment of the Good Country Index.

Back in the year 2020, France could pride itself on being in the top 10 of the Good Country Index, but on July 14th it was more or less business as usual. Some fifty fighter planes and thirty helicopters made their demonstration of military might. There was the usual firework display at the Eiffel tower, this time with no public allowed to attend (because of the pandemic). It is not clear how spending millions on such an empty-seat show will improve the state of the country or the world at such a time as this. I would call it a compulsive collective behavior, otherwise known as tradition. Who will dare change tradition? Oddly enough, it was not until 1880 that the French government established the national holiday in commemoration of the events that took place on July 14th, 1790. History is retold and re-invented as we wish, according the agenda of those telling the story.

At least some change has come in 2020. Some of the commemorations this time highlighted health-care heroes who tirelessly served during the pandemic. It would have been appropriate to shine all of the light on them, without the distraction of fighter planes and helicopters. But this is the state of most nations in 2020: war must still be glorified and a significant percentage of GDP is allotted to defense against other nations. Ironically, the President of the Republic declared war on a virus without a single gun with which to kill it.

Meanwhile, the 14th of July has its own special meaning for me. I love France so much that I wrote a book about her called The Exquisite.

Many have visited the country called France, but I encountered Her: La France Exquise.

Hers is a culture that values nature, refinement and beauty (slightly) above profit, progress, and performance. It is this culture that I espoused: ma belle mariée. The France to which I refer is not a nation, an economy, a flag, or a football team. I have a dwindling interest in the whining civil servants, the part-time pessimists, and the anti-everything majority. I wrote The Exquisite to celebrate France as the embodiment of our universal quest for beauty. I refer to Her as a woman (la France est une femme), because she is the spirit of the sublime and the essence of all things exquisite.

"It was the light of that language...the most exquisite I know. There is power in a voice, beauty in words, and genius in grammar. This was my French Revelation."

Others will commemorate their French Revolution, but the most significant things about France are the ones that remained unchanged. Where some express their pride on this day, I prefer to express my gratitude. I dedicated The Exquisite to the French who have polished and perpetuated their singular culture over a thousand years.

Thank you for welcoming me with open arms. Thank you for providing the substance of almost everything I have named exquisite. Yes, I have adored you the way a man does a woman, and you have made me who I am, the way a woman does a man."


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