I’m not really an anxious person. I’m not a paragon of calmness, far from it, but anxiety has never really been something affecting me much.
Things started to change with the pandemic. There’ve been a lot of ups and downs related to it, but right now, when I see that infection numbers have been stable - at their historical highest - for three months now, I’m not feeling too great about it. Especially, when it seems that classes will remain face-to-face for now. Especially, when on Friday afternoon, I had eight or nine students who were absent (spread over two classes), four of them have already contacted me and their absences are Covid-related (positive or close contact).
And seeing that North America and Western Europe have basically decided that they didn’t care about the pandemic anymore doesn’t help. I feel queasy every time I see pictures from these places with crowds at events and such, and there isn’t a single mask on the picture. Hundreds of millions of people seem to have lost their minds.
I can’t stand hearing them complaining about Japan’s borders being closed to foreign tourists. I can’t imagine a single minute to see thousands of Westerners flocking to Japan with no mask on, not caring about social distancing or anything else. Honestly, I hope those borders remain closed for as long as necessary.
And that’s just the normal regular anxiety that has been around for the past two years now. There is another one, right here, right now.
The French Presidential Election
The run-off is happening right now, as I’m typing these lines. Depending on how you’ll be reading this newsletter, a winner may have already been decided.
And the situation is dire. Very dire.
On one side, we have Macron, the current president. He’s the worst president we’ve ever had in the Fifth Republic. He spent his five years in office, trying to transform France into a neoliberal haven, and destroying France’s social fabric. Think of a French Margaret Thatcher basically.
On the other side, Le Pen. The name may be familiar. Maybe you’re not as familiar with the daughter as you may have been with the father. Well, she’s no different. Except that she’s not as scary. The perfect wolf in sheep’s clothing. The perfect candidate for 21st Century style fascism, racism, and xenophobia.
The worst part? Macron is so hated right now, that she has a good chance to win. Something unimaginable a few years ago. How can people be so gullible that they may vote for her? I don’t know. People are gullible. People are stupid. It’s a fact. It makes me sad.
So yes, there is a good chance that tomorrow morning, when I wake up, she’s the next President of France.
And that terrifies me to no end.
I already have a complicated relationship with my country. I’m not sure how I’ll handle it if France has a far-right-wing president.
OK, let’s try to change the subject.
I haven’t written much here lately (not mentioning most of my blogs), partly because I was busy with life, partly because a lot of my free time was spent with things related to the Setouchi Triennale 2022.
And I have finally found the time to write my first blog post about it. You can read it there: The Setouchi Triennale 2022 has started.
I may have mentioned it before, but if this art festival in my corner of Japan is something that you’re interested in, you may want to subscribe to the newsletter devoted to it: Setouchi Art & Island News.
You will be able to see things like this:
OK, that’s all for now. I’ll be back here when I’ll be back.
Time to go to bed, not sure how much sleep I’ll get.
Oh and sorry for the typos and other English mistakes, I’m sure there are more than usual.
Take care of yourselves.
You can relax now a bit … no Le Pen!