Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Meanwhile in France...

(UPDATED with more accurate figures and links 5/17/07)

As we gather our belongings in preparation for our move into our new apartment, things have quieted down since Sunday's election where some 600 people were arrested and 730 vehicles torched during the first night of violence on Sunday in which 78 police officers were injured.

Here in the 18th authorities anticipated trouble but as far as we could see, there was none. Instead, protests and violence in Paris occurred mostly in central Paris and was perpetrated primarily by white college-aged males. Interesting.

The night of the election was odd in a few ways:

  1. Sarkozy's public celebration took place at Place de la Concorde, at one end of the Champs Elysees. From aerial and other TV views of the event, very, very few people attended.
  2. One of the most important people to miss the Sarkozy victory celebration was...ummm... Sarkozy himself. Instead, he went to one of the expensive tourist trap restaurants on the Champs Elysees for dinner.
  3. Why is it that the right has no taste in music? Bart and I were trying to remember Nixon's celebration and it probably featured Up With People or The Christy Minstrels or some other such rabble rousers. (OK, so I did some research here and there were 5 separate inaugural balls for Nixon that highlighted such notables as the Serendipity Singers, Lionel Hampton and Guy Lombardo. The Highty-Tighties played in Nixon's inaugural parade and the topper event on Sunday featured Billy Graham and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. woohoo!) Sarkozy's celebration had some weird group of people, all dressed in white, singing strange bad music. Johnny Halliday made an appearance but he's like 500 years old. According to a Guardian article, "Even Sarkozy, the bete noire of the banlieues, managed to find a rapper, Doc Gynéco, happy to share a podium with him and sexagenarian crooner Johnny Halliday." But ol' rapper Doc Gyneco, who even wrote a book earlier this year entitled "Great Minds Think Alive: Sarkozy and Me", was arrested for drunk driving in January and has not been seen in Sarkozy's circle of celebrity friends since.
Meanwhile, Sarkozy took a "much-needed" short vacation in Malta on a yacht owned by his billionaire pal Vincent Bollore, who Sarkozy insisted had no ties to French government contracts. But according to online French government records, Bollore's group has won state contracts worth up to 40 million euros in the past two years. All while Sarkozy was finance minister.

Handy huh? Sounds like Cheney and the rest of the Bushites.

Anyway - We'll be at an apartment with dial-up until we can get high-speed installed so we shall see whether I can post using dial-up. :-)