Long day today… We got two flat tires in the middle of the freeway and spent almost the whole day at the garage trying to get that fixed. Oh well, at least, the Sens won the game !
While waiting at the garage, I read The Sun, a rag with a lot of bullshit in it. It’s cheap (25 cents) but it’s bad. Really bad. The Sun pet themes are usually : war is good, high taxes are bad, gay marriage is evil, gas is too expensive, anyone who doesn’t speak English or isn’t of English background is a terrorist or an illegal immigrant etc. Come on, I’m talking about a newspaper which call “youths” “punks” ! Anyway, I usually laugh at this Manichean philosophy and throw the paper in the garbage. But today, an editorial caught my eye :
Newly elected president ready to re-educate his nation
By RACHEL MARSDEN
You know your country’s a mess when you have an election and don’t bother getting around to talking about gays and abortion.
Meet France. A country so highly taxed that all the rich people move away, leaving so much rioting “riff-raff” that one of the presidential candidates — frustrated conservative turned president-elect Nicolas Sarkozy — openly fantasizes about clearing it out with a “pressure hose.”
Okay, let’s start from the beginning. Yes, France has a tradition of demonstrations. Yes, the name is demonstrations, not riots. I know people in North America tend to think “demonstrating” is to gather ten of your friends and to walk in circle with a few hand-painted placard, but it’s not the way it’s done in Europe. Deal with it. I took part in countless demonstrations back when I was living there, and I swear it’s pretty peaceful. Playing cats and dogs with the police is to be expected.
France is highly taxed ? Yes. True. It’s a society’s choice. Taxes for services.
According to the “journalist”, riots are linked to high taxes. Interesting point of view. Maybe one should explain her that… Oh well, I just give up on that one. Let’s just say I’ve never seen a single citizen demonstrating because of high taxes. They usually run away to Switzerland…
Exactly a year ago, I wrote in a column suggesting that rioting protestors could drive further right. Thankfully, they were too busy trashing to pay attention.
Uh… Yeah, right, trashing Paris. Honey, you want to see a city trashed ? Try Bagdad. Or Kandahar. Come back to me and say what you think…
Yacht to talk about
Sarkozy has already upset his country’s socialists when he took a three-day, post-victory vacation aboard a yacht, on his own dime.
As a political strategist, I am appalled that there isn’t a single photo of the trip showing Nicolas Sarkozy with his shirt off. It’s a lot more difficult to slap the “fascist” label on a guy when he’s shirtless and hot.
And why is he back in town, anyway? He should have been sipping umbrella drinks on that ship until the morning he has to punch in at the Elysee. Because that’s what people do when they work hard — they get to go on vacation and rub suntan lotion on their bods.
Shallow, shallow, shallow. You basically have nothing to say so you try to make stupid jokes to entertain the readers.
What better way to teach Paris‘ socialists and immigrants about the benefits of capitalism and hard work? It’s not like Sarko hasn’t already tried. He campaigned on the idea of lifting the maximum 35-hour work week, and of having universities institute more vocational programs. The response? Protests and riots.
Oh, interesting : who doesn’t know about hard work ? Socialists and immigrants. The later often have to work shitty jobs in order to survive and the first ones spent more times doing the night shift in factories than you spent trying to write this paper, trust me. Oh, and nobody riot against vocational programs in universities…
As interior minister, Sarkozy sought to decrease the country’s unemployment rate by encouraging selective immigration of skilled workers, rather than “those that nobody else in the world wants.” His immigration bill, approved last year, requires newcomers to learn French and assimilate into the culture.
Much debate ensued. And by debate, I mean protests … and riots. Yawn. The man is trying to make you employable, you morons.
Who are you calling morons, you stupid b*** ? Nobody rioted, one more time. Sarkosy wants a ministry of French Identity. I have a problem with that and so did a lot of people. See, we had almost the same under the WW2 government. History, remember ?<
Don’t like the idea of berets, escargot, and having to learn what those funny things over French vowels are for? No problem — Sarko says feel free to go back to Algeria.
So many stereotypes packed in two lines… don’t know where to start ! Maybe I just shouldn’t start…
Sarko may be the first French president in recent history to understand that some Islamists can be a bit problematic. His suggestion of putting cameras in mosques is a notable departure from the weapons-for-oil deals made with Arab countries by his predecessors, Chirac and Mitterrand.
Putting cameras in mosques ? What, you think people are gonna plot in mosques, that Sarkosy will tape the whole thing, send it to Bush and bomb the place ? Are you stupid ? Alright, let’s put cameras everywhere. You never know, you might catch a couple of teens making out…
In his first post-election speech, Sarko said that that Kyoto and global warming are his top priorities. Hey, don’t you have some neighbourhoods to pressure wash? If not, go lie down on a yacht until the feeling passes. Preferably “sans chemise.”
(end of the torture)
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not patriotic and I do criticize my birth country. No problem with that. What stroke me was the ignorance and the arrogance of the journalist.
One of the first thing I learned when I started traveling, and later when I moved to Canada, is that every country has its challenge, its strength, its weakness and its heritage and tradition. I wouldn’t go to the USA and start bitching about fast foods and the lack of regional cuisine. I wouldn’t go to Latin America and tell people they’re naïve to believe in God, so far from Rome. I wouldn’t go to China and praise capitalism and individualism. I wouldn’t laugh at a pilgrim on his way to the Mecca, Lourdes or Jerusalem.
France does have challenges ahead and I’m the first one to admit it. But I don’t take criticism from a trashy newspaper. Period. It’s not even a matter of left-wing or right-wing cause both can be arguable and it’s ultimately a personal choice. But ignorance and short-cuts, I can’t take.
Some days, just don’t piss me off…