Live Young Longer

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Paris: Demonstration over police killing of Chinese man turns violent

Usually the Asian community in Paris causes no problems. The Vietnamese have been integrated for decades, do excellently at school; many are also highly qualified. They also have a strong family structure.

The Chinese also tend to solve any problems they have inside their own community. There is perhaps a problem with Chinese immigration which is linked to sweat shops and also less integration into French life.

I do not know the ins and outs of the current incident. On the surface though it appears to be American style SWAT tactics on the part of the police which might stir up a completely unnecessary antagonism on the part of a community which is not part of the current French social urban  problem.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Spring is here. The sun is shining. Well perhaps not on everyone.

The year’s at the spring,
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hill-side’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in His heaven—
All’s right with the world!

Perhaps in Browning's world of 1841 'all was right with the world'. 

Might I recommend to M. Fillon to always carry two wads of cotton wool when being interviewed by journalists? Then if one of them turns out to be a harridan he could stuff his ears up. This would not only blot out the irritating questions and permit him to remain calm, cool and collected but might also give the offending journalist a case of the terminal jitters.

Listening to the news on France Info this morning one could be left with the impression it was the French who invented Summer Time during the petrol crisis of 1973 or thereabouts. Which just goes to show how young today’s experts are.

I can remember Summer Time during my youth. It was introduced in the UK in 1940 and abandoned (with great common sense) during the 1950’s. It had been introduced during the Great War as well.
Frankly I find it a headache as it messes up my sleep for a week; not to mention children and cows.
A pity we can’t live the year through with natural time.

Trouble in French Guyana! Was there not  a Dutch Guyana and a British Guyana at one time? Both colonies but now independent.
Oh well a colony by any other name etc……………

I remember when Mayotte in the Comores became a French overseas department there was this black teenager being interviewed. I have never forgotten her saying “now I am European…”.

Doubtless an ever expanding European Community but an odd sense of geography!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Disdaining modern politicians. The joys of being an old reactionary.

As I type this post I am listening to Bruce Springsteen singing old Pete Seeger songs.

When I was young, that’s late teens to early twenties I was not at all interested in the then modern singers of that period. With Youtube and advancing years I am taking much more of an interest in music I rather disdained. Certainly no Beetles or Woodstock for me at that time.

There is something I find rather strange though, that is old age pensioner type hippies. Long hair, usually done pony tail style and an earing or two. When I remarked on this to my son some years ago he couldn’t understand my question; he thought it quite natural. Then of course he didn’t know the time when old men, young as well, all had short hair, no ear rings, (associated with pirates or gypsies), and heaven forbid shaven scalps.

We had a fellow in the regiment who was fed up with always getting short back and sides so got an American style crew cut. The RSM made him wear his helmet all the time until his hair grew back.

In the Bahamas one would wear a jacket and tie to the cinema and stand up for the National Anthem at the end of the film.

In Saigon any young men with long hair were considered hippies therefore anti-war thus pro-communist and probably draft dodgers as well so were picked by the police and if lucky only got their hair shorn.

So now I am considered some sort of old fashioned reactionary because I still admire our old queen, believe in something that used to be called a family, and think that any youngster who doesn’t deserve a good spanking from time to time must be sick or bone lazy.

Now which of the French presidential candidates hold the same values I do?

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Can one be French if one is not a Republican?

I watched the TV debate featuring the 5 principle candidates in the upcoming elections for about an hour and a half before deciding my beauty sleep came before the fate of the French nation.

Well, I can’t vote anyway.

It was moderately interesting although none of them said anything that would have made me vote for any of them. That the 5th Republic has run its course must be evident to everyone except a few die hard followers of some Gaullist vision of France. Hamon did mention a 7 year non renewable term for the President which to me is common sense. No one followed up on the idea of course.
Mélenchon is always amusing but then so was Marchais the old line communist leader. Fillon didn’t shine. Maybe he has things on his mind. I can understand a wife buying her husband a new suit, so long as it’s not with tax payer’s money  but whoever heard of a man buying another man a suit. Most odd to me.

Macron reminds me of an old song from the war:
Yankee doodle came to town riding on a pony,
Stuck a feather in his hat and called it macaroni.
In political terms he’s still wet behind the ears.

If I had a question for any of them it would be:

Can one be French if one is not Republican?

I’m British and I like the old Queen. I spent all night at her Coronation sleeping in the street to get a good view. I wouldn’t refer to myself as a Monarchist though. It’s just a much better system than having the country led by the likes of Thatcher, Blair or Corbyn etc. I imagine there’s a number of British who are Republicans but that wouldn’t  make them any less British, just a little eccentric perhaps but that’s quite acceptable in the UK.

In France a politician must refer to the Republic or republican values at least once every 2 or 3 minutes when he’s speaking. Do the French have a monopoly of republican values whatever they are? Imagine being born in France and not feeling at all Republican. Would one be put down or put away? Is it in French genes? Can one get cured of it? Not being Republican that is. The English tried it for ten years in the 1640’s but luckily chose the Puritan Brand. That cured them of republicanism for centuries. Since the French Revolution, the one in 1789, they’ve tried 5 brands of Republicanism a couple of Empire, gone back to a monarchy twice and diddled with other obscure forms of government.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Only fit for the Knacker's yard

So the British parliament is one step closer to triggering Brexit.

I rather have the feeling they will do what they usually do and end up half in and half out.
They made a mess up over metric. I use Imperial weights and measures when speaking or writing English and metric with French. Reading British journalists trying to use metric is laughable.

I am against the breakup of the United Kingdom but Theresa May sounds utterly condescending towards the Scots and I’m quite sure that all the non English parts of the UK don’t want to be dragged down with the English conservative party.

In fact I feel May is turning into a “cheap and nasty” version of Thatcher. Cheap & nasty being a favourite expression of my no doubt long dead former art teacher.

The French of course have their own problems. Not being allowed to vote here (nor in the UK either of course) I can have no say.

It is more than probable that in this internet age old style politicians have had their day and will be put out to pasture.

I think I prefer the expression “sent to the knacker’s yard”, and for those unfamiliar with it, I include the following explanation.

Area of a slaughterhouse where animal carcasses unfit for human consumption are rendered into useful materials such as glue.

As an English colloquial expression, it is used to describe a person or object that is spent beyond all reasonable use, as in "He is only fit for the knacker's yard".