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Blogging is hard these days. I’m busy, I’ve had visitors and I’m experiencing a personal earthquake*. And when all this is going on in the fieldworker’s life, the presidential election is approaching.
However, contrary to what I expected after the previous stormy spring in Paris, not much is actually going on. I have a pressing feeling of silence before the storm, while a more sinister friend of mine made up the metaphor of the silence of the tiptoeing of slippers before the reverberation of the boots…. His dark vision is that France will wake up and go to work just as normal when the catastrophe hits, - and it will hit, according to him. On a far more positive note, another acquaintance said that Sarkozy was too extreme to be voted president of France. He guessed that he wouldn’t even to through to the second round.
As I’ve mentioned before, the most frequent reproach against Sarkozy I hear, is that he divides the population (the worst faut pas in the indivisible republic) – between for instance “the good and the bad” (editorial in Libération 18/04).
The adversary candidates Royal (socialist) and Bayrou (centrist), said on their last meetings that France could not have a president with a mask of fear and who’s project is himself (Royal) and someone who loves power more than he loves France (Bayrou). Heavy criticism of this sort is coming up from various angles in the press at the moment. I just can’t imagine that he will go through, and if he does, I certainly can’t imagine what will happen…
The situation is tense everywhere and quite unlikely people are appealing to voter utile (“vote usefull” – thus gathering around the one candidate on the “left” who has a chance to go through to the second round, i.e. Ségolène Royal).
Racist slur on the wall outside the café Nuits Blanches
The slam scenes seem as much waiting and seeing as the rest of society. Some people claim that opportunists are turning up with political texts just to jump on the bandwagon (slam is highly hyped at the moment, and there are presumably agents from record companies and other possible sources of employment present on the soirées). Personally, I haven’t noticed that the texts are more political now than they were when I started seven months ago.
The climate of fear has however killed off one of my favourite slam venues, the weekly night at Les Nuits Blanches nearby Gare de Lyon. After complaints about noise from neighbours, which is one thing, and the shockingly plain racist threat – written with adult handwriting on their wall – mort aux Arabes rentez chez vous (death to the Arabs. go home), they decided to cancel the event. The owner immediately related the threat to the climate of the election campaign…
Oh, how could I be so stupid to put on Gainsbourg for writing at such a time? At the momen I hit the keyboard with this very sentence, his Chanson de Prévert (YoutTube) hit like an aftershock…
Å jeg vil at mens du minnes
Denne sange som var din
Jeg tror det var din favoirtt
At den er av Prévert og Kosma
Og at hver gang Dødt Løv [feuilles mortes]
Minner deg om meg
Slutter død kjærlighet [amours mortes]
Ikke å dø
Kan man aldri vite hvor den begynner
Og hvor den slutter, likegyldigheten
Høst går til vinter
Og når sangen til Prévert
Viskes ut av minnet mitt
Den dagen har de sluttet å dø
Mine døde kjærligheter
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