Yes I'm experiencing reverse culture shock. The posters encapsulate the French election, in which Segalene Royal, the Socialist candidate, was too weak to offset the advance of the globalisationist/reformer in the Bush tradition Sarkozy. Le Pen the fascist brought up the rear. At Le Sorbonne, I noticed that there are still Socialist Youth, though it seemed kind of an elite school. Isn't it usually students who champion the rights of those not so privileged, who are too busy working?
A bartender told me "Bush..Sarkozy..they are the same" and then did kind of a universal "up-the-ass" gesture. I was also told that French people are very worried with the introduction of Diebold voting machines. "You know what happened in the United States!"
I didn't see many Americans in the first place. The dollar is too weak so thankfully we booked hotel/air and paid in dollars, then lived on street food, especially Moroccan (which is certainly nothing to complain about!), rode the subways and took videos and photos.
I posted this at Docudharma website when I got home (writing on 10/6)
French People Are Terrified of Diebold Machines (+)
Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 16:15:49 PDT
I was just in Paris and talked to quite a few bartenders and so forth. Suffice to say the American dollar is barely worth the paper it's printed on, so we may have spent most of our time in the more dodgy areas of town.
That said, I believe we interviewed quite a cross-section, in our pidgeonish Franglais. I was repeatedly told variants of the following:
1. Bush and Sarko (Sarkozy) are the same. (usually followed by an obscene gesture)
2. Sarko won because a weak candidate ran against him. (followed by a warning not to do the same in US)
3. Diebold voting machines are stealthily and gradually being installed in France. (followed usually by the comment, "We don't want to happen in France what happened in US" = stolen election(s).
4. Unions are getting weaker and demonstrations and strikes are ignored in US and France and anywhere else they're tried, because of globalization.
There were Chinese products everywhere, and a few suspected sweatshops, lots of immigrants "sans papiers" (& a demonstration planned to try to get preschool services for their children). Alot of things seemed familiar (though we are still having "reverse culture shock" upon returning to America).
We were staying in the area of Paris that was formerly known for incidents such as the "storming of the Bastille," which was inspiring, but I have no doubt that something of the like needs to be done periodically, whenever the rich get too uppity.