As I am a bien-pensant
person, I didn't want to use the kids for my own benefit, so I proposed that they make every decision about a movie that I would make for them.
I'm thinking of the sort of bien-pensant
lefties who line up to sneer at TV programmes like Sunday night's heartwarming two hours of Our Queen on ITV, yet curiously ensure that their favoured professions of acting, broadcasting, journalism and politics are stuffed full of their own sprogs.
Was I wrong on the afterlife, as so many among the bien-pensant
brayed for me to admit that I was wrong on Iraq?
John Laughland's marshalling of facts can be uncomfortable, as when he highlights some of the absurdities in the trial of Slobodan Milosevic, and his bigger argument challenges bien-pensant
assumptions about international intervention in the acts of sovereign countries.
There is generous indignation in "The Sailor's Mother," as another traveller offers conventional bien-pensant
platitudes to a woman whose son has been blinded in the war: "Old England's gratitude/ Makes the maim'd sailor happy," and "Your grateful country .
Pulitzer Prize winner Quindlen had given voice to the Cultural Sputter of the bien-pensant
, a well-known reaction afflicting people of taste forced to live in a world of vulgarities.
And he is lionized in bien-pensant
circles in Western Europe and North America, almost as a secular saint in the mold of a Vaclav Havel or a Desmond Tutu.
In the course of his latest theoretical provocation, The Parallax View, for example, he puts in a good word for Stalinism, speaks up for revolutionary violence, defends the idea of the political Leader, and champions US fundamentalism against bien-pensant
liberalism (among other reasons because adherents to the former believe in struggle while proponents of the latter believe only in difference).