Maîtres mots

  • Il y a longtemps que notre pays est beau mais rude.

       --Newspaper editor Olivier Séguret, 25 January 2012

    The USA are entirely the creation of the accursed race, the French.

       --Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966), writing to Nancy Mitford, 22 May 1957

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French Freedom of Speech

Today the cheminots are:

  • "À nous de vous faire préférer le train!"
    "Voyager autrement"
    "Avec le SNCF, tout est possible"
      --Former ad slogans of the SNCF (French national trains), each in turn quickly dropped

Fun French words

  • ouistiti

    (literally: marmoset)
    Etymology: onomatopoeia from the sound a marmoset makes. Actual meaning: this is what you say in France when you want people to smile for the camera.

    Selon une étude réalisée par le fabricant d’appareils photo Nikon, le « ouistiti » utilisé en France au moment de se faire prendre en photo est le petit mot le plus efficace pour s’assurer un joli sourire.

Who's en colère today?

  • Private sector

    First strike in 43 years at an aeronautics company in Toulouse, Latécoère

    Public sector

    The SNCF (toujours eux), regional train employees in the Lyons area guaranteeing unpleasant travel from the 17th-21st December
    Also yet another strike by Sud-Rail, a particularly truculent SNCF union in the south of France, this time five days in January: 6,7, 21, 22 and 23. "We have no choice." Right.

    Marseilles trams on strike until February

Go back to school in Paris!

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“The CPE was passed by a duly elected legislature.”

The CPE was passed weirdly for an important law. No discussion with the trade unions and the representation of the real society before; lack of debate in the national assembly in a kind of take-it-or-leave-it-in-block vote (article 49-3). So the discussion went in the street. De Villepin ought to have been clever.

Honestly, I think a lot of it is just that everyone likes to feel part of something bigger than themselves.

So true. A replacement for religion, perhaps.

Bon soir!

It is time to put an end to this charade. We are not slaves! We are humans and we have the right to enjoy the benefits of our civilization. Just because Chinese are working 15-20 hours oer day bcoz they are slaves it does not mean that we will have to do the same for 1 euro per day like in china.

This revolt shall expand all over europe!

That's not true, the CPE was NOT passed by a duly elected legislature. Actually the PM wanted to avaid to have debate in the parliament and used an article called 49.3 allowing him to impose his law as long as the parliament doesn't vote a No Confidence (very improbable as it means that new election might be called, leaving incertainty for the majority).
Fortunatly, if MPs did not have the courage to say it loud to the PM (for instance it's well known that the minister of employment was not fond of the CPE even), then the citizens tell them... and about 24 months before the next presidential election, politician will better be careful because they propably remember what happen to Juppé in 1997!

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Today's quotation

  • In Paris, the purest virtue is the object of the filthiest slander.

      –Honoré Balzac (1799-1850), in Scènes de la vie privée

    À Paris, la vertu la plus pure est l'objet des plus sales calomnies.

Le petit aperçu d'Ailleurs

  • Annual Geminids meteor shower (shooting stars!) coming this weekend, if it's not too cloudy out at night.

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