Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Striking students. Sadly, I've nothing funnier to add to that

As I’ve noted before, one of the joys of living where we do is never wanting for entertainment. From here we can see such wonders as the Cathedral light show, bike races or, famously, Napoleonic disco zombies.

One of the more frequent sights out my window are street protests, a sight Le Monde tells me is likely to become even more common in the days to come.

Today it was the students. Now, I don’t want to get into the ins and outs of why they’re striking, as I’d probably get it wrong anyhow, but I really must ask: what vital service are students providing that their striking would be a threat worth taking seriously? I was on “strike” for the first two years of my undergraduate degree, and no one - not even my professors - ever noticed.

In any case, what I’ve observed about these manifestations is that they all, without exception, feature a pickup truck bearing a small rock n’ roll combo, belting out rousing tunes custom composed for the occasion.

On the road again...

Given that I was ill yesterday, and am therefore still a little giddy from lack of food, when today’s parade of discontent passed, I was left wondering how these guys come up with their songs. Is there a “Defending the social-contract in three-chords” songbook? Or are some gallic Lennon and McCartney spending their nights hopped up on bennies, churning out new lyrics for the cause du jour?

“Jacques, mon ami, what rhymes with Sarkozy?”

“Solidarité? It is close enough, no?”

“Ah, but we used that for the electricians strike, just last week. Our fans demand more of us!”

“I am not a machine, Jean-Paul. This is an art! One cannot just rhyme “revolution” with “etudiant” and call it poetry! There must be passion!”

"Do not be so hard on yourself Jacques. We cannot write an opus like "No to the reform of municipal blue-collar pensions" every time."

All right, I obviously need some lunch.

1 comment:

Victor said...

In French, the word "grève" means both "strike" and "beach". I think that explains a lot.