I am currently living in the south of France, between two towns, Carcassonne, where I spent most of my life & Toulouse, the French city I adore & work in.
At the moment the French president Sarkozy is trying to pass a law which entails the legal retirement age to be 62 (or 64, can’t remember) instead of 60, & the French are doing what they do best… I mean other than drinking wine, and making cheese and whatnot, the French are known for their notorious ability to go
on strike, and to drag that strike on until you decide that you want to kill yourself because the smell of the garbage in the street, the petrol being cut off and transportation be fucked up to an extent beyond all belief. So because of this strike I am sitting in a bus that is replacing a train because the train station has been evacuated to protect it from demonstrators… So I will get home to Carcassonne in a good two hours, instead of an hour train ride or a 45 minute drive on the high way.
And why? Because people decided working an extra two (or four) years was a big no, no.
Now it’s not that I don’t follow politics, or that I am not passionate about things but to be honest I don’t really care. Yesterday I was at the farmers market, getting my onions, being all French and whatnot… And there was a demonstration, a peaceful one at that, but everyone demonstrating couldn’t have been older than 17. Holding up sign “Police everywhere, Justice nowhere” . Fine, sure, that is most likely true, but what does this have to do with retirement? I remember being in high school, when strikes were going on, going to demonstrate was a way to get out of class walk in the street for half an hour then spend the rest of the day with my friends in town, ask me today, what one of those strikes were about, I would be incapable of telling you… So I conclude that the underage demonstrators are just looking for a good reason to ditch.
“Dad, it wasn’t my fault, I was out in the street, fighting for the cause, it’s not ditching when you are standing up for what you believe in.” And that could work on parents, maybe not mine, but on some parent out there.
Now for the demonstrators that aren’t 17, but older and actually have to think about retirement… Is it really that bad? Having to work a few extra years? I understand everyone doesn’t have the means to go after their dreams, some people need to work, because they need the money & wether you are having fun is quite irrelevant… But is it so bad that two (or four) extra years will actually kill you?
Is it so bad that you must ruin my life & make me get car sick in a crappy ass bus, next to a dude wearing way to much after shave that makes me want to puke more? Huh? For the past two weeks, I have had limited subway access, almost no town buses, garbage piling up in the streets, and people shouting constantly… I just want to be able to wonder freely within the streets of Toulouse without having to worry about some public place being evacuated by men with machine guns. I want to be able to go home for the weekend without having to sleep off the bus ride (we are caught in traffic behind a tractor I might add).
To calm you & myself down (because as a reader, I can only imagine how enraged my article has made most of you) I give you the listening styling of Mr. Bob Dylan:
Will this actually calm anyone down? Maybe, maybe not.
Something a little more recent?
(I am sorry aboutthe quality, but I will NOT put up those cheesy videos with the slideshow of cliché pictures & lyrics). This is a good song, written for the "Whip It" OST, good movie, good OST, which will probably be subject of my next article.