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Forum du Mouv' 31 décembre 2010

Wikileaks Shakes the U.S.
From the "N&O Clippings" series, December 4, 2010

Jean-Christian On Radio France Broadcast "Le Forum du Mouv, December 31, 2010


ERIC LANGE : And this is Jean-Christian who is with us, Good evening Jean-Christian.

J-C : Good evening Eric, how are you?

ERIC LANGE : Very well thanks, still in Durham in the United States ?

J-C : Oh yes, yes, we don't move from here, when one arrives to Durham you know, not only does one always come back, but also sometimes, one never leaves, like.

ERIC LANGE : Jean-Christian is one of those French, installed in the United States, since what ? Quite a long time now, isn't it ?

J-C : 17 years, 17 years.

ERIC LANGE : Here it is, and nevertheless, you never really integrated in America, did you, you keep an extremely critical eye ?

J-C : oh yes, yes, no, yes, I don't know, you know, when I immigrated here, I was full of good intentions, and then I had to face reality, and this is how I became the gesture, the one who says what the others often don't dare to utter, or even sometimes don't even see, because they are too Americans or too complacent. There is a lot of French who actually give me strange looks, I mean French folks from here, because I say .., I don't know, because I don't behave in a good, well disciplined immigrant fashion, but hey, that's life, one cannot change nature.

ERIC LANGE : But it seems to me that in the U.S. it is kind of tough to have political discussions, no ? Because folks don't want to argue with each others, they want to stay on the "enjoy" level, they don't want to fight.

J-C : Bingo! And you know, where I am it is the South, that is even worse. I fell that you did not really often went in the South, that your experience of the U.S. might be more North East or California bound, but here in the south, there is a culture of absolute complacency, never make any wave, it is an extremely conservative environment, as a matter of fact, it shows politically. The South which historically was Democrat, in fact because it went back to civil rights fights (Note to reader : yes sorry, got that wrong in the spur of the moment, I meant "Civil War"), when around 1968, Blacks got their more or less final emancipation, then the whites who had become Democrats, I don't even remember why... (Note to reader : "well yeah J-C, you can't remember because you were confusing historical facts) but there was a reason, although in fact they were "sunny days" Democrats, not real ones, hyper conservative Democrats, and now they have decided to be Republicans once in for all, which at least has the merit of being honest. So, yes, the South, that is very very conservative, and one tries to never say anything that would remotely be controversial.

ERIC LANGE : And that is quite astonishing, in an America where people are quite free speaking in the media, in books, in movies, conversely, between individuals there is much more difficulty to approach challenging topics.

J-C : But even in the media, there is never ... I don't know, I sometimes feel that in France we are freer in our tone, if you want. If one compares Radio France, France Inter and NPR, , the former are freer in their tone than on NPR ! For instance there is never any instance of sexual talk in the U.S., any. For instance I remember hearing Guillon rather recently on France iNter, and apparently that did not bring him luck, he was talking of "Dicks" "Balls, and so on. Never, never, will you hear that here, it is an absolutely taboo.

ERIC LANGE : You can't say "Fuck" in America.

J-C : Or even a language that may be remotely little crass, or a little Gaelic, oh no, absolutely not.

ERIC LANGE : In two words Jean-Christian, this year was important for you, you were featured in Le Mode, the newspaper Le Monde ?

J-C : Yes, yes, that was a high note. That was very satisfying, obviously, yes, that's very honorific. Additionally, I am probably part ... I am not absolutely sure of that, I don't know the statistics, but I assume that there is quite few people that have been published in Le Monde, both in writing and photography. Because most of time photographers don't write, and I am primarily a photographer. So yes, I was extremely flattered by this, yes.

ERIC LANGE : Jean-Christian, thanks a lot, Happy New Year, you are partying tonight ?

J-C : You are welcome, the pleasure is mine. I just wanted to add that what stands out for me in 2010, is Wikileaks. I heard the fellow earlier, who started his summary with Wikileaks, I think that was an important part of 2010, as a materialization of the fracture between the establishment on one side, and the people on the other, which found that Wikileaks in the end that was not that bad, they like it when the powerful get hit and their crap gets revealed. And it was also very revealing to see that fracture, even among journalists ...

ERIC LANGE : Yes ,yes. I don't know what you got in the U.S., in France all the so called pundits, you know, all the journalism establishment, all of a sudden when they saw Wikileaks arrive, all the syndicated columnists,everybody well installed in journalism in France were saying "oh but no, but that is not good, they have invented a new dictatorship of transparency ..." and when I saw all these guys, these well tinkling fellows, all those well established editorialists plus all the politics around, all undermining Wikileaks, of course I automatically thought that was something wonderful ...

J-C : I don't know if we are allowed to talk of ... It is not really a competitor, is it ? But on France inter there was a debate, either the day of, or the following one, they had invited in the morning show, Hubert Védrines, who as a start is not ... I was kind of disappointed by him, because here is one I used to have more respect for, So here he was, offended by ... or more exactly as the incarnation of the establishment offended by, saying that "Wikileaks.., where was the big deal ... They did not reveal anything that everybody did not already know etc ..." Which was not really true, as a matter off act, because it is not quite the same thing as hearing rumors, and all of a sudden seeing the cables from the U.S. Department of State verifying that all the suspicions we may have had were founded. And around the table, and that is what was most marvelous about it, on one hand you had Bernard Guetta, posing as the chief pundit, clearly associated with Védrines, those two seem to be very good friends, and across you had Thomas Legrand, whom I like very much, I love his writing style ... and they just got into it. Politely of course, on France Inter, we rest polite .... But between Bernard Guetta and Thomas Legrand, I though that was an extraordinary radio moment.

ERIC LANGE : I am very much with you, Wikilaks, that was a great event this year, it it will change the landscape. Thank you my dear Jean-Christian, we keep in touch ?

J-C : My pleasure, of course Eric, talk to you soon. Bye.

ERIC LANGE : All right, talk to you very soon, in a moment you come back on the air. We put some music, Marc Antoine says we need some music ...

Jean-Christian dans le Forum du Mouv, 31 Décembre 2010


Les Anglophones ont droit à une traduction (colonne de gauche). Dans le podcast inclus au bas de ce post, vous entendrez ma conversation avec Eric Lange dans l'émission de clôture de l'année 2010 qui récapitulait les temps forts des 12 mois écoulés. Nous y parlons notamment de comment Wikileaks secoua l'establishment et mis à jour la fracture entre d'un côté l'establishment et ses laquais, notamment ceux de la presse, les barons qui sont en charge de faire l'opinion, et de l'autre la masse de ceux qui en ont assez de la suffisance de l'establishment et de ses privilèges, et se régalent de voir les seigneurs révélés dans leurs duplicité.

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