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Voici la troisième saison des Borgias, diffusée sur Showtime.

the-borgias-s3-showtime

Le pape Alexander charge le Cardinal Sforza d’une inquisition auprès des cardinaux qui complotent contre lui. Avec les preuves récoltées, Alexander bannit tous les cardinaux en qui il n’a pas confiance.

Pendant ce temps, Catherina Sforza ordonne à Rufio de trouver le soutien de mercenaires appartenant aux familles romagnes.

Lucrezia est embêtée par ses futurs beaux-parents et sa situation empire lorsqu’elle réalise que ses sentiments pour Cesare deviennent plus que fraternels…

La saison est sous-titrée “hell bent”… cela promet!

J’ai regardé le premier épisode de la série The Newsroom, actuellement diffusée sur HBO, et – sans avoir réellement accroché aux personnages ou à l’histoire – j’ai tout de même bien apprécié ce petit moment :

La vidéo est constamment retirée de YouTube et ne peut être intégrée sur des sites tiers donc en voici une version kinétique :

[Jenny]
Hi, my name is Jenny, I’m a sophomore and this for all three of you. Can you say in one sentence or less – what – (laughing in background) you know what I mean: “Can you say why America is the greatest country in the world?”

[Emily Kathleen A. Mortimer – As Sharon]
Diversity and opportunity.

[Debate Moderator]
Louis?

[Louis]
Ah freedom and freedom, so let’s keep it that way.

[Debate Moderator]
Will?

[Jeffrey Warren “Jeff” Daniels As Will]
The New York Jets.

[audience laughs]

[Debate Moderator]
No, I’m gonna hold you to an answer on that. What makes America the greatest country in the world?

[Jeff Daniels]
Well, Louis and Sharon said it. Diversity and opportunity and freedom and freedom.

(audience member holds notebook)
IT’S NOT. BUT IT CAN BE.

[Debate Moderator]
I’m not letting you go back to the airport without answering the question.

[Will]
Well, our Constitution is a masterpiece. James Madison was a genius. The Declaration of Independence is for me the single greatest piece of American writing.

[Will]
You don’t look satisfied.

[Debate Moderator]
One’s a set of laws and the other is a declaration of war. I want a human moment from you.

IT’S NOT

[Debate Moderator]
What about the people? Why is it?

[Will]
It’s NOT the greatest country in the world, Professor. That’s my answer.

[Debate Moderator]
You’re saying?

[Will]
Yes.

[Debate Moderator]
Let’s talk about…

[Will (Speaking to Sharon]
Fine. Sharon, the NEA is a loser. Yeah, it accounts for a penny out of our paycheck, but he gets to hit you with it anytime he wants. It doesn’t cost money. It costs votes. It costs airtime. And column inches. You know why people don’t like liberals? Because they lose. If liberals are so fuckin’ smart then how come they lose so goddamn always?

[Sharon]
Hey!

[Will (to Lewis]
And with a straight face, you’re gonna sit there and tell students that America is so star-spangled awesome that we’re the only ones in the world who have freedom? Canada has freedom. Japan has freedom. The U.K. France. Italy. Germany. Spain. Australia. BELGIUM has freedom. (laughs) Two hundred and seven sovereign states in the world, like, a hundred and eighty of them have freedom.

[Debate Moderator]
All right…

[Will]
And you, Sorority Girl, just in case you accidentally wander into a voting booth one day, there’s some things you should know. One of them is there’s absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we’re the greatest country in the world. We’re seventh in literacy. Twenty-seventh in math. Twenty-second in science. Forty-ninth in life expectancy. A hundred and seventy-eighth in infant mortality. Third in median household income. Number four in labor force and number four in exports. We lead the world in only three categories: Number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending, where we spend more than the next twenty-six countries combined, twenty-five of whom are allies.

Now none of this is the fault of a twenty-year-old college student, but you nonetheless are without a doubt a member of the worst, period, generation, period, ever, period. So when you ask what makes us the greatest country in the world, I dunno what the fuck you’re talkin’ about. Yosemite?

(Audience surprised.)

[Will]
Sure used to be. We stood up for what was right. We fought for moral reasons. We passed laws, struck down laws, for moral reasons. We waged wars on poverty, not poor people. We sacrificed. We cared about our neighbors. We put our money where our mouths were. And we never beat our chest.

We built great big things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases, and we cultivated the world’s greatest artists and the world’s greatest economy.

[pause]

We reached for the stars. Acted like men.

We aspired to intelligence. We didn’t belittle it—it didn’t make us feel inferior.

We didn’t identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election, and we didn’t, oh, we didn’t scare so easy. Ha. We were able to be all these things and do all these things because we were informed. By great men. Men who were revered. First step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one. America is not the greatest country in the world anymore.

[pause]

Enough?

Petite précision pour la sorority girl : America is not a country, the USA is.

Voici la seconde saison des Borgias, diffusée sur Showtime.

Le Pape Alexander VI prend une nouvelle maîtresse et organise une gigantesque fête païenne pour les citoyens de Rome lorsqu’une cache pleine d’anciens artefacts est découverte.

La rivalité entre les deux frères – Cesare et Juan – éclate en plein jour dans les rues. Lucrezia s’occupe de son nouveau-né.

Pour remplacer The Tudors sur sa grille, Showtime récidive et s’intéresse à une autre période de l’Histoire : le Vatican au temps de la Renaissance avec la célèbre famille Borgia.

The Borgias est une création de Neil Jordan qui place Jeremy Irons dans la peau de Rodrigo Borgia, futur Pape Alexandre VI, connu pour avoir été le pape le plus controversé durant la Renaissance. On y retrouve à ses côtés David Oakes (Juan Borgia), François Arnaud (Cesare Borgia ), Holliday Grainger (Lucrezia Borgia) et Aidan Alexander (Joffre Borgia).

Introduction

175 years after the arrival of the first English-speaking settlers in North America until the Declaration of Independence laid the foundation of a new model of nation. The distinctive characteristic ideals and contradictions of colonial America shaped the civilization of the United States until very recently.

I. Puritans’ Promised Land.

Those who migrated to New England for religious reasons after the Pilgrim Fathers believed that they had been called to take part in an event of both historical and spiritual importance. They thought that God had kept America secret and hidden until the day when it would provide mankind with one last chance for regeneration.

The Puritans insisted on individual effort and morality as the only way of achieving both economic success and personal salvation. They also insisted on saving money and sizing opportunities in what they considered as a hostile environment. Therefore, by providing a refuge from the corruption of Old England, America was to become a New World of opportunities, the last Promised Land for the new people of God who saw their voyage across the Atlantic as a new biblical exodus. Politically speaking, the Puritans also brought with them the foundations of new institutions: mixture of democracy and authoritarian theocracy. Their community was to be organized by contract between responsible individuals but under God’s eyes.

As soon as they saw the American coast, the Pilgrim fathers of 1620, while still on board their ship, the Mayflower- signed the first political agreement. The Mayflower Contract was approved by all the three men but excluding women and servants. The contract secured the colonies’ legal existence beyond the Royal Charter by insisting on the individual free decision to enter a contract with each other and with God. The contract also gathered very different groups of migrants. Thus, the colonists had organized a form of freedom both collective and individual from the American forms of government. Similarly, in 1629, before migrating to America, 20 Puritans, members of the Massachusetts Bay Company, signed an agreement by which they intended to protect themselves against any outside control.

John Winthrop, first governor of the new colony based in Boston, also insisted on the providential nature of the colonial experience: "we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us because we profess ourselves to be a people in relation with God". Winthrop decided that only church members would become citizens. Freedom, as expressed in the covenant, was restricted by a religious ideal, a theocracy that imposed the responsible and holy authority of a religious elite. In that context, political differences were unthinkable.

In 1635, when the minister of the town of Salem, Roger Williams, claimed the right to every man to follow his own conscience, he was banished by the General Court and forced to leave the country. He took refuge among the Indians, from who he bought land. He later obtained a Royal Charter for a colony he called "Rhode Island", granting freedom of consciousness to all. In the 1690’s, in Salem, after two young girls became ill, 400 people were arrested, 20 executed and 5 died in prison for disturbing public order conscience on suspected allegations of witchcraft. In protestant churches, it resulted in two opposite trends:

  • Independence, responsibility and contractual freedom
  • Intolerance and authoritarianism

II. New experience

A. Expansion and opportunities

In the New World, a relative material abundance and the spreading of wealth enabled a majority of white citizens to live in relative comfort in a land of plenty. American society was a fluid structure in which origins counted for less than individual achievement, except in the South for there was no privilege class and upward mobility was possible. America was a land of opportunities. Education was available to a greater number of people than in England.

Instead of Oxford and Cambridge, which opened to Anglicans only, several institutions were created in the early days of the settlement to answer the need of the population for further education:

  • 1636: Harvard College in Boston
  • College of William and Mary in Virginia founded by the Anglicans
  • Brown College outside Providence, by the Baptists
  • Princeton in New Jersey, by the Presbyterians

The new institution which started as training colleges for ministers evolved into centers of political reflection in which the 18th century’s ideas of national freedom and universal happiness soon influenced the cultural elite of the colonies. Several Founding Fathers of American democracy like Thomas Jefferson and John Adams attended these institutions. But the American colonists were often self-made and self-educated men such as Benjamin Franklin, the son of a Boston soap maker, who became a scientist, an inventor and a also a prominent statesman.

B. Tolerance

The American experiment very often started as a movement of emancipation from European religious establishment but the persecuted soon became persecutors. In 1639, Thomas Hooker was forced to move from the Boston colony to the Connecticut by the moral rulers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Tolerance spread progressively, simply because religious persecutions proved to be impractical. New settlement needed man power. They couldn’t avoid turning away immigrants for religious reasons. Trading companies soon found it easier to welcome all the "able-bodied", whatever their beliefs or origins. Therefore, away from the English model of Church State, the colonies started to elaborate the theory of the separation between the Religious Church and the Secular State. Yet, the religious factor remained an essential feature of a society, as demonstrated in the American motto: "in God we trust".

III. Democracy

Because of the new conditions created by the colonial experiment, both in the economic and social themes but also in the organization of the independent churches, a relatively high percentage of white adults male had access to political participation.

Most colonists were free holders and not tenants. Individual liberty and belief in equality were wildly accepted. At the same time, the colonists shared a colon frustration because they were forced to accept British legislation and taxation without being represented in Parliament.

Local organization was encouraged. Each of the 13 colonies was supervised by governors appointed by the King. The colonies’ charters made it possible for them to make laws if they did not contradict acts of Parliament. Because of the diversity of their charters and population, the colonies were strongly attached to their local independence from each other. However, they experimented the benefits of union on several occasions. Twice between 1640 and 1680, the King and the British board of trade invited the Northern colonies to form the United Colonies of New England, in order to put their forces together against the dangers of Native and Dutch invasions. Later, in July 1754, when Britain was at war against France both in Europe and in Canada, the colonies took the opportunity to draft a plan of union and presented it at the Albany Congress assembled by the British. But the colonies’ representatives finally refused to delegate their political power to a central body of government as B. Franklin had hoped it.

This early attempt at federalism ended in failure and the British government dismissed the Congress soon after the war. But the idea of a common central government became increasingly popular as criticism of British centralism took a more and more violent form. The settlers’ original dream of reforming old institutions and establishing a new civilization was both unique and dual. On the one hand, the Puritans, inspired by a fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible, wished to set up an authoritarian and Christian commonwealth. On the other hand, the Founding Fathers, inspired by the philosophy of the Enlightenment, dreamt of creating a perfect political and social model of utopia. In both cases, America wanted to become, in Shakespeare’s own words, "a brave new world in the face of the world".

Sommaire de la série From the Reformation to the birth of the American nation (1534-1776)

  1. The Reformation in the British Isles
  2. English Expansionism
  3. The Glorious Revolution of 1688
  4. The American colonies : Religion and Politics
  5. Birth of a Nation

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