Friday, March 31, 2006

teo torriate

In the great debate of A Day at the Races versus A Night at the Opera, ADATR is winning out, even though ANATO has the groundbreaking "Bohemian Rhapsody." ADATR is just stronger musically and lyrically it is astonishing--you can tell that this was written after Queen's Japanese tour, because the words are so much more evocative and beautiful. And this album is just completely capturing my mood right now. The one song on here that seems to be kind of weird is "White Man" which I can neatly bypass on iTunes, so even that's not so much of a problem. The first song I ever learned to play on guitar is on this album: "You know, I never could foresee the future years. I never could see where life was leading me. But will we be together? Forever? What will be, my love, I just don't know...don't know." Good memories.

In other news, there are riots in Paris again. This time it is disenchanted students who are protesting a new law that lets employers fire people under 25 within two years of hiring them with no reason and no severance package. What makes this protest interesting is that leading it are kids who are 17-19: high schoolers, essentially, who are fighting for their rights once they get out of college. They are, according to all I've been reading, incredibly well-organised, and have a specific goal in mind. This is opposed to the riots from last fall, which was mostly a cry for recognition and help from minorities who have been consistently shut out of jobs, education, etc. These new riots are for middle to upper class people (kids who are planning on going to university) to be treated fairly in their career-type jobs. Which is interesting. I mean, if I lost my job at 26 with no reason, sure I'd be mad, but I would probably say "Better me than the 32 year old with two kids." What strikes me the most about these riots is how young the protesters are, and how organised they are. I mean, I know the French have protesting down to a science, but schools all over the country are being shut down due to strikes. Could you imagine something like that happening in the states? If we could convince, say, half of the high schools and universities in the US to strike or boycott until the minimum wage was raised or teachers were given better working conditions--or anything, really--the whole country would come to a standstill. It would be amazing.

Unfortunately, the 17 year old spokesperson for the new revolution says that the earlier protests are starting up again, and this is diluting the strength of the nonviolent sit-ins, building takeovers, strikes and hunger strikes. Protesters with no interest in the new law are burning cars, repeating earlier demands that the minister of the interior be sacked. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I'd kind of like to go to Paris and watch, but I don't have the time right now. It would be interesting to talk to some of these kids and hear what they have to say. I don't know why I feel this way about these protesters and not the earlier set, except maybe I feel like I could talk with people who are organised as opposed to people who are indiscriminately burning cars.


Chris said...

Wow it would be interesting to talk to those kids. It is interesting to think that they are so young. Stil mhmmm.

Laura said...

I had no idea they were organized. When I think of organized I usually don't think of riots - and yet that could just be the way it plays in American media.
I think it's great that young people are standing up to try and defeat an unjust law like that. You shouldn't be able to fire anyone without a reason. I mean younger people are probably a little more resilient, but only because we assume they have their parents to fall back on. It's all part of corporate business having more rights than people - which is true here and apparently it's spreading.