Thursday, July 5, 2007

Jogging: Brainwashing tool of the right?

I need to preface this post with two facts: First, I am 1/4 French. I have a grandmother who is full-blooded française whom I love very much. Second, I'm not small-minded or right wing or a fanatic who will attack anything French because it's different. Quite the opposite. I appreciate a lot of French things, partly because they are so different from the way we do things in the States. Still, this was just too funny to ignore.

It seems that liberals in the French media and intelligentsia have jumped on new French President Nicholas Sarkozy for his decidedly distasteful habit-- jogging.

The London newspaper, The Times, has an interesting article, which reports that many on the left see jogging as encompassing many of the "worst" traits of the right.

From The Times:

"'Is jogging right wing?' wondered Libération, the left-wing newspaper. Alain Finkelkraut, a celebrated philosopher, begged Mr Sarkozy on France 2, the main state television channel, to abandon his 'undignified' pursuit. He should take up walking, like Socrates, Arthur Rimbaud, the poet, and other great men, said Mr Finkelkraut."

The article goes on to note that President Sarkozy is often seen jogging in his favorite workout gear: an NYPD t- shirt. No surprise from a conservative who has vowed to repair his country's relationship with the US.

In our country, presidential workouts are a noted past time, from the nostalgic Kennedy touch football games to President Bush's impressive 6- minute miles; however, the opposite is apparently true in France. President Mitterand kept his fondness for golf away from public view, and President Chirac tempered down his energy in public.

Jogging is also suspicious to the French because it is about "performance and individualism," and a hallmark of a "self-centered society." Like the one we have in America, no doubt. The intellectuals go the next step and question whether President Sarkozy's habit is actually part of an elaborate propaganda plan.

"The 'hypnotic' daily images of presidential running are not innocent, said Daniel Schneidermann, a media critic. Mr Sarkozy uses the video images of his jogging as 'a major weapon of media manipulation', said Mr Schneidermann."

Here's the site for the full article (the name of which is "More Rimbaud and Less Rambo"), pretty interesting stuff.

1 comment:

Brooke-lynn said...

Maybe Sarkozy has to jog because he has been eating too many FREEDOM FRIES!!!