I was overjoyed! I hadn't seen them in many a moon. I had many questions.
While Mambo Sven and my little dog, Osama, ran around and around and then ran off to do what dogs do, which I think is to run around and around mostly, Baby Jesus and I went into the kitchen for a setdown and a little chat. We had some catching up to do.
"Where have you been?" I asked.
"France," said Baby Jesus, lethargically.
He looked depressed. Something was obviously troubling him. "What is it?" I asked.
"It's the French," he mumbled half-heartedly.
"Yes," he sighed. "They're thinking too much.
"Yes. Haven't you read Le Monde or the New York Times?" Baby Jesus snapped his fingers and a copy of the New York Times materialized on the kitchen table.
"Wow!" I said, impressed. "Say, can you do that water into wine thing again for me? That's my favorite.
"Read!" he said, pointing out the article. "Read!
PARIS, July 21 — France is the country that produced the Enlightenment, Descartes’s one-liner, “I think, therefore I am,” and the solemn pontifications of Jean-Paul Sartre and other celebrity philosophers."Yeah, so?" I said, looking up.
"Boy. This IS serious!" I said. "The French are giving up thinking? C'est tragique!
But in the government of President Nicolas Sarkozy, thinking has lost its cachet.
In proposing a tax-cut law last week, Finance Minister Christine Lagarde bluntly advised the French people to abandon their “old national habit.”
“France is a country that thinks,” she told the National Assembly. “There is hardly an ideology that we haven’t turned into a theory. We have in our libraries enough to talk about for centuries to come. This is why I would like to tell you: Enough thinking, already. Roll up your sleeves.”
"Oui oui," said Baby Jesus. "I blame Bush. He has made thinking unpopular! Even in France! The Dark Ages are upon us once again! But you should read Levy's comment. Here!" He pointed it out to me.
"Well, this is good news!" I said, trying to raise Baby Jesus' spirits.
Bernard-Henri Lévy, the philosopher-journalist, is appalled by Ms. Lagarde’s comments.“This is the sort of thing you can hear in cafe conversations from morons who drink too much,” said Mr. Lévy.
"GOOD news? How so?
"They may have given up thinking, but at least they haven't given up drinking!
"Hmmm," said Baby Jesus, rubbing his chubby chin, "I guess that's true. But I'd rather not think about it, if that's OK with you.
"Think nothing of it," I said. "This is America. This is one big Think-Free Zone over here.