Tag Archives: france

Albert Camus’ Invincible Summer

Hey 3.5 readers.

The French philosopher Albert Camus once said, “In the depth of winter, I finally learned there lay within me an invincible summer.”

What do you think that means, 3.5 readers?

I’m going to guess it means that even during Camus’ worse times, he was able to feel good about himself. And why not? He was a famous writer who was handsome and popular with the ladies.  It was easy for him to find his invincible summer.

Camus was an absurdist and I am no philosophy expert but my understanding is that absurdism is a spinoff of nihilism.  Nihilism = life is meaningless while absurdism = life is absurd.

Is it? Maybe. It is kind of absurd that you are born, you live, you learn all these lessons and savor the joys of life in your youth then eventually you hit a point where with each passing year, these joys are taken away from you more and more.

So maybe it wasn’t easy for someone who thought life was absurd to find an invincible summer inside of himself. Maybe Camus does deserve a pat on the back for finding it.

Sidenote – the poor guy died at 46 in a car crash while a passenger in a sports car his agent was driving. There was a train ticket in his pocket that went unused because he decided to drive with his agent instead. If you get an agent, don’t let them drive, 3.5 readers.

Then again, what do I know? Maybe your agent is a great driver and the train you would have been a passenger on might have exploded due to some sort of unforeseen malfunction.

Don’t listen to me. Don’t take advice from blogs that are only read by 3.5 readers.

To sum up, it is good that a famous writer finds his invincible summer. It makes sense. Where it is harder is the janitor who scrubs toilets all day then comes home to an empty house because his wife left him and so he stares at the walls by himself all night. These are people who need to find their invincible summer, and it is hard.

Come to think of it, it is hard for proprietors of blogs with only 3.5 readers to find their own invincible summers. Excuse me. I need a kleenex to dry some tears that came only due to allergy season.

Find your own invincible summer, 3.5 readers and if you know someone living in winter, maybe see what you can do to bring some summer into their lives.

I got through this whole post without making any French jokes about Camus probably liking baguettes and crepes suzette. I am proud of myself, oui, oui, sacre bleu!

Tagged , , ,

La Marseillaise – The French National Anthem Scene From Casablanca

Bonjour 3.5 lecteurs,

BQB here.

There have been reports that when the Stade de France was evacuated, attendees sang La Marseillaise, the French National Anthem.

If you haven’t heard this part of the news coverage, one of the terrorists attempted to enter the stadium wearing a bomb vest.  He was stopped and questioned before entering and detonated himself right there.  Three people died and its terrible that they did.  It surely would have been even worse had he been able to detonate inside the stadium.

So the evacuees sang their national anthem as they exited the scene.  That protest in the face of tyranny reminded me of another time when French people sang their national anthem in defiance of evil. Although the one I’m thinking of was fictional, it’s still moving.

Casablanca, a 1942 film that brought light to the plight of European refugees fleeing their homeland via Morocco during World War II is one of the best films ever made, filled with quotable lines that still hold up today.  If you’ve ever heard someone say, “round up the usual suspects” that’s where it came from.

OK.  I’ll cry SPOILER ALERT even though its a 75 year old movie.  Whatever.  It’s about a love triangle between Humphrey Bogart’s Rick Blaine, a night club owner who’s fled America to escape his troublesome past, Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa Lund, the hot babe he falls in love with in France and Paul Henried as Victor Laszlo, an anti-Nazi writer and activist.  Ilsa fell for Rick assuming she’d never see Victor again but voila, he returns and it’s heartbreak city all around.

But I’m not talking about that part.  I’m talking about the part where the evil Major Strasser sings a Nazi tune with his jack booted brethren, only to be drowned out by Victor and other French folk in attendance.

La Marseillaise.  It worked against Nazis.  It works against terrorists.

Casablanca – 1942

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Where Are My Readers From? (Views by Country)

Bookshelf Q. Battler here.

My readers – they stoke the fires of the Bookshelf Battle Blog Machine, fueling the furnace of this humble blogger and inspiring me to be steadfast in delivering the latest news about books, movies, aliens, yes, and of course, my magic bookshelf.

Where are you all from?  Let’s take a look-see:

NOTE:  All figures below are for 2015 today)

#1 – USA – Coming in first place – The Americans!  From sea to shining sea, the Yanks are dominating the Bookshelf Battle scene with a whopping 6,262 views.  That’s almost as many times as I caught The Yeti using his Commodore 64 to checkout those Kim Kardashian photos.

#2 – United Kingdom – God Save The Queen!  The Brits come in second place, but at a mere 682.  Was it something we said, Brits?  Are you guys still feeling some sour grapes over that whole revolution thing?  Hell, if it’s any consolation we pay more taxes now than King Edward ever levied on us.  Hoisted on our own petard if you ask me.  Tax the crap out of our tea for all I care.  This blogger’s drink of choice is Diet Shasta Orange anyway.

Please don’t tax my Diet Shasta Orange.  I don’t want to throw all my orange soda into the harbor.  The fish will get gassy.

#3 – Canada – Oh Canada, our home and native land, true patriot love and something something something!  (Look, just be impressed that I knew that much.  We’re still trying to convince 75% percent of the population down here that you guys actually exist and aren’t just a bunch of magical wood sprites living in a fabled frozen land.)

The Canucks have viewed my site 335 times.  Frankly, I blame myself.  I need to do more to capture the Canadian market.  That’s why I’m diligently working on the following reviews of prominent Canadian Films:

  • Dude, Where’s My Moose?
  • The Maplenator
  • Hockey Man
  • Hockey Man 2 – High Stickin’
  • The Fast and The Polite

#4 – Australia – G’day Mates – The Aussies have viewed this site 249 times.  I was impressed until I realized they were all from this guy:

Koala

He’s been e-mailing non-stop, begging me to review his self-published book, Eucalyptus Leaves Are Delicious!

FURTHER ANALYSIS

It comes as no surprise that my four top countries for views are English speaking lands.  I welcome all viewers, but obviously, I’m limited in that I only speak English, Klingon, and Dothraki.

(New Zealand, I was a little disappointed with you guys – 81 views?  Seriously?  What, you guys are too busy watching all those Hobbit movies get filmed?  Get on the ball, NZ.

Of course, I welcome viewers from all across the globe.  Therefore, I’m working with Google Translate to reach out to viewers in Non-English speaking countries.

For example, the Germans viewed my site 101 times (20 more times than you, New Zealand, not that I’m trying to make you feel guilty or anything.

So allow me to translate some commonly used Bookshelf Battle speak for the Germans’ enjoyment.

ENGLISH:  Stupid Yeti!  Get in the basement!  You know you are only allowed to come upstairs on Thursday nights to watch Scandal!  Away with you!

GERMAN TRANSLATION: Dumme Yeti ! Holen Sie sich im Keller ! Sie wissen, Sie dürfen nur im Obergeschoss am Donnerstagabend gekommen, um Skandal zu sehen! Weg mit dir !

Wow.  That gave me chills.  Thanks Google Translate.  And let that be a lesson to you, Herr Yeti.

What about France?  Our French friends visited this site 49 times this year alone.

ENGLISH:  Alien Jones takes your questions and plugs your blogs!  Yes yes, I love croissants!

FRENCH TRANSLATION:  Alien Jones prend vos questions et fiches vos blogs ! Oui oui, je adore les croissants !

I adore the croissants too, Frenchies.  I really do.

Finally, the Japanese have viewed this site 17 times this year alone.

ENGLISH: The series finale of Dexter was awful! I can’t believe the protagonist became a lumberjack!

JAPANESE TRANSLATION: Dekusutā no shirīzu no fināre wa hidokatta! Watashi wa, shujinkō wa kikori ni natta nante shinjirarenai!

Oh wait.  Before that I should have issued a:

ENGLISH:  SPOILER ALERT!!!

JAPANESE TRANSLATION:  Supoirā keikoku!!!

Sorry about that, Japanese folk.

Thank you citizens of the world for taking in the greatness that is the Bookshelf Battle Blog, brought to you by Blogger-in-Chief Bookshelf Q. Battler.

Also, please allow me to apologize in advance if those translations were incorrect.  In no way did I intend to insult a) your honor b) your beliefs c) your culture or d) your lovely, lovely mothers.

As they say in Portuguese, the official language of Brazil, where my blog was viewed 141 times (still way more than you, New Zealand, just saying):

ENGLISH:  Join us tomorrow on Bookshelf Battle, where nothing can stop the one post a day challenge!

PORTUGUESE TRANSLATION: Junte-se a nós amanhã em Bookshelf Battle, onde nada pode parar a deixar um desafio do dia !

Koala graphic courtesy of a Creative Commons license via Flickr user Marc Dalmulder

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Romantic Quotes – Dangerous Liaisons

“Now, I’m not going to deny that I was aware of your beauty. But the point is, this has nothing to do with your beauty. As I got to know you, I began to realise that beauty was the least of your qualities. I became fascinated by your goodness. I was drawn in by it. I didn’t understand what was happening to me. And it was only when I began to feel actual, physical pain every time you left the room that it finally dawned on me: I was in love, for the first time in my life. I knew it was hopeless, but that didn’t matter to me. And it’s not that I want to have you. All I want is to deserve you. Tell me what to do. Show me how to behave. I’ll do anything you say.”

– Choderlos De Laclos, Dangerous Liaisons

The year was 1988 and to be honest, it seemed like a dumb movie.  But it was based on a classic novel, and starred a young Michelle Pfeiffer. It went on to positive critical acclaim – even though it mainly featured French aristocrats in fancy outfits babbling on incessantly forever.

The plot?  A widow and her lover make a bet that the lover can seduce a woman who is pure of heart.  To the lover’s dismay, he actually falls in love with the woman.

People sometimes put physical looks on too high a pedestal, don’t they?  I mean sure, none of us wants to marry a CHUD monster (Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller – scary film, look it up), but on the other hand, beautiful doesn’t always = nice and or kind.  Shouldn’t we try to get past looks and see what’s in a person’s soul?

I mean, looks are great, but they don’t last forever, and long after they fade, you still have to live with the person, so hopefully they’ll have a decent personality too.

All I’m saying is don’t miss out a good but ordinary looking person to go for someone who may look great, but doesn’t act so great.

I have no idea if my advice is helpful though.  I’m about as romantic as a CHUD.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,