“The Sylvie Germain Affair”, Violent or… Retarded Students? Chronicle “C’est la vie”

The wave of insults addressed to Sylvain Germain by disgruntled graduates highlights the decay of general culture.

With “the Sylvie Germain affair”, we discover that writing poetic novels is a dangerous profession, exposed to insults and death threats. Faced with obtuse scuds of crying imbeciles, will the academy only impose dead authors? Poor stupid. With the baccalaureate, again “overrated” this year, come the anguished discussions of parents panicked by the “illiteracy” of their little geniuses. The info is exchanged in a low voice like a secret-defense suspicion: what if my living treasure was an impostor? The question may arise because, let’s face it, from time to time, we fall from above. The dexterity with which he embellishes you in a selfie is matched only by the abysmal hole in his general knowledge.
General culture… This term is already a UFO.

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For ten, twenty years, one has the impression that the spectrum of knowledge of our dear little ones has been shrinking like a Swiss glacier. Try to quote them – at random – Courbet, Mandela or Nureyev. It vaguely tells them something but, without their cherished Google, they ask you if it’s a fashion brand, some kind of almond or a vodka. Instead, they reach supersonic speeds to find the answer. Again, well obliged to observe their funny way of reading the information. They scroll like lightning, you don’t even have time to follow them, you who practice fast reading. In truth, they don’t read, they browse, look for images. And from photos, illustrations, they guess, deduce, get their idea of ​​what we are talking about. They don’t even dwell on the captions. When you know the time spent at Paris Match writing them, checking them, it’s mortifying. Let’s move on.

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No more way to amuse the gallery with your revelations and your original knowledge. There is always someone who draws his Google to break your effect

Note, it’s no more derogatory than those evening guests who immediately check everything you say on their cell phones. No more way to amuse the gallery with your revelations and your original knowledge. There is always someone who draws his Google to break your effect. There was a time when, at a dinner party, we would spend hours (without a cellphone!) researching who had made such an improbable film with such a deceased actress, where we would try in chorus to remember lines, where we would debate of the number of German emigrants in Brazil at the origin of the last Gisele Bündchen… Not to mention the lyrics of the songs, the hit parade of the best trattorias in Venice and the price of the apartments. It was both erudite and light. We had together vibrated, reflected, commented, criticized, deliberated. It was part of our “general culture”. From the wild dissertation to the bottom.

Well, good news, not everything is screwed up: this is precisely what our “illiterate” young people are looking for, and it hasn’t changed in ten years, over the course of educational surveys: they want “interactive courses” , “teachers who dialogue” and force them to “deepen”, who “are interested in them, in their problems”, who “take into account their individual personality”, in short, the teacher as an intellectual “entertainer”… Consequence , in some college classes now, it’s like in the evening: there is a permanent hubbub, a verbal ping-pong and even a physical back and forth to “oxygenate the brain”. Often, it exhausts teachers and misleads struggling students. We stop, we question, we dispute, we move from one subject to another. In fact, we behave in class as before in our dinners without cell phones. Like in 1989, when Sylvie Germain published “Days of Wrath”, “too complicated” for our kids threatened with acute debility. 

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