Critiques & Controversies: December 2009 Archives

Cultivated Europe


A friend of mine took a trip to Paris to visit her daughter. This friend's mother was flying in from Romania so that the whole family could be together. The friend is not in terrible health, but she has a heart condition that can be troublesome and other physical problems that make standing for long periods a problem.

She flew to Amsterdam where she was to catch a plane to Paris. Because of the weather, many flights, including her own, were canceled. It took them a long time to find her a place to stay and nothing was offered by way of compensation. The next day she stood for seven hours in line to rebook. While standing in line she tried to explain to someone who was patrolling the lines that she had a heart condition and other complicating factors and this wait was difficult as it was staged. The response, "I don't have any time for this."

My response, what can one expect from that haven of liberal values in which prostitution and marajuana sales thrive and laws allow for a kind of involuntary euthanasia to be administered to those who are not able to stand in line for seven hours.

I have to say that while I was very impressed with some aspects of European society, courtesy, thoughtfulness, and kindness never did seem to loom large in the spectrum. This merely confirms some preliminary impressions. While hardly an indictment of the society as a whole, it is symptomatic of the illness that lay at the heart.

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This page is a archive of entries in the Critiques & Controversies category from December 2009.

Critiques & Controversies: November 2009 is the previous archive.

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