Monday, November 14, 2005

The French fragmentation - a secession of a different kind

At first glance, these riots resembled the Watts
and Rodney King riots in the uS.

They're not.

First of all, they're taking place in many parts
of Europe and they seem to be generational, i.e.
their parents and grandparents are supporters
of the status quo and don't know what's wrong with
their kids.

There's more to it than that.

Bottom line: Perps are just "fed up and not gonna
take it anymore"...until they tire of it.

But my intuition tells me that cause and effect
is gonna be very tough to get right.

And I tire of the endless analysis, even my own.

Your turn.
It is the private complaint of everyone,
however, that the police have become impotent to
suppress and detect crime. Horror stories abound.
A Parisian acquaintance told me how one recent
evening he had seen two criminals attack a car in
which a woman was waiting for her husband. They
smashed her side window and tried to grab her
purse, but she resisted. My acquaintance went to
her aid and managed to pin down one of the
assailants, the other running off. Fortunately,
some police passed by, but to my acquaintance’s
dismay let the assailant go, giving him only a
A terrible chasm has opened up in French
society, dramatically exemplified by a story that
an acquaintance told me. He was driving along a
six-lane highway with housing projects on both
sides, when a man tried to dash across the road.
My acquaintance hit him at high speed and killed
him instantly.

According to French law, the participants in a
fatal accident must stay as near as possible to
the scene, until officials have elucidated all
the circumstances. The police therefore took my
informant to a kind of hotel nearby, where there
was no staff, and the door could be opened only
by inserting a credit card into an automatic
billing terminal. Reaching his room, he
discovered that all the furniture was of
concrete, including the bed and washbasin, and
attached either to the floor or walls.

The following morning, the police came to
collect him, and he asked them what kind of place
this was. Why was everything made of concrete?

“But don’t you know where you are, monsieur?”
they asked. “C’est la Zone, c’est la Zone.”

La Zone is a foreign country: they do things
differently there.

Well worth a full read.

Via Harry Hutton