Philippe Labro’s week: France delivered, the Republic brutalized

Philippe Labro is a writer, filmmaker and journalist. Every Friday, for CNEWS, he comments on what he saw, experienced and observed during the week. A subjective and free notepad.


There is nothing to do, I may be ironic, sometimes, about the abuse of birthdays and commemorations (this so French mania), when June 6 arrives, I can not help thinking of this military prowess, this extraordinary strategic and organizational gesture that was on June 6, 1944, the “longest day”. The landing of the allied forces (United States, Great Britain, Canada – and also France) on the beaches of Normandy. We cannot say that, this year, we will have told you a lot about it. Barely a few lines, in some media. It would have been welcome, however, that one recalled the significance of this reality: thousands of young Americans, coming from Illinois, Kansas, New Jersey, Florida, barely 20 years old, who gave their lives to liberate France and Europe and were unaware of the existence of these names, such as Ouistreham, Sainte-Mère-Eglise, Pointe du Hoc, Cotentin, Calvados …

When I walk quietly in the main street of Pont-l’Evêque, I sometimes think of these kids. It has been calculated that, between the time they jumped from the barges, the famous LCVP (Landing Craft Vehicle & Personnel), to jump into the water and reach the sand, they had a life expectancy of 7 seconds. It is far, you will tell me, very far. Maybe, but it’s unforgettable.


“Liberation” was the keyword of this bygone era. An almost sacred word. The same term is on everyone’s lips today, but it is used for much less exceptional news: the opening of bars, restaurants, cinemas, stadiums, concert halls… It seems like the simple sound of glasses. colliding, the little music of conversations on the terraces, the queues to go and listen to rock or classic, have taken on the scale of a major event. So were there so many deaths, so many exploits and permanent sacrifices of the entire health community in France, so many inventions, so much creativity, so many demonstrations of what human beings are capable of doing and of enduring? , so that we can go into ecstasies before the return of banality, routine, “normal” life? In truth, nothing is “normal”. Everything is mystery.


The sports pages are turning. We have entered that phase of the year where tennis precedes football, which precedes rugby, which precedes cycling. It is the great waltz of tournaments, of challenges. In tennis, there are champions who do not want to die (Federer-Nadal) and those who wish to succeed them (Zverev-Tsitsipas). In football, this dream (accessible?) Of the Blues: to win the European championship after the World Cup. In rugby, will Toulouse make its Grand Slam, with Brennus’ shield after the European Cup?

The parenthesis of distraction cannot hide the evil that runs, that of verbal violence (Mélenchon), the violence of the gesture (the fool who slaps the president), the permanent rise of anathemas, the degradation of speeches, exasperation trends – the culture of cancellation, the so-called active minorities which seem to dominate a so-called silent majority. The zeitgeist is contradictory. On the one hand, a return to “normal” life. On the other hand, the sad passions and the insignificant taste for excess, but that social networks and media are growing unnecessarily.

It has nothing to do with the above, but I recommend Alain Baraton’s Dictionary of Trees Love (ed. Plon). Rarely have I read such a fascinating and revealing “Love Dictionary” from this famous collection. A short example: “The proof is made that the trees sleep. Maybe they’re dreaming. The question will be to know to what or to whom. “

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