Viva La Revolucion!

If I told you that one of the following countries was experiencing massive street protests because the social security retirement age was being raised by two years, which one would you guess

A. U.S.

B. Germany

C. Canada

D. Japan

E. Britain

F. France

A. If you guessed U.S., you must not live in the U.S., because if you did you would understand that we don’t really know or care a whole lot about policy changes like that here. Touch our football or shopping or fad diets and you’ll reawaken the sleeping tiger. Screw with our retirement age? Meh. I’m not even sure what our retirement age is. I thought it was around 65 but Wikipedia is telling me it’s up to 67. Do you remember being up in arms when it went up from 65? Nope, unless you’re a member of AARP you didn’t know or care.

B. Germans are too busy being German to protest this sort of thing. Take away der creamy und vunderbar chocolates und keela techno beats und you have beeg problems. Other than that, they can’t be bothered.

C. Far too good natured and contented for this sort of trouble. The more familiar I become with Canada and Canadians, the more I like the idea. Canada is Europe without that Europey speedo and female armpit hair oddness, and America without all the gluttony and extremism. I’m beginning to think our northern friends might really have things figured out.

D. Come on.

E. The Brits aren’t built for protesting. They execute their agendas with stodgy-faced news, shark-tooth-sharp satire, and raucous parliamentary debates. But yelling and stomping in the streets? Very low brow. Quite bad form.

The correct answer, of course, is F; France. The Frogs are up in arms because President Sarkozy wants to increase the retirement age from 60 to 62.

From 60.

To 62.

french lady

Stupeed, fat, eegnorant Amereecan, you know nussing!

The maximum workweek in France is 35 hours with at least 5 weeks of vacation, but many employers give 8 weeks. A Frenchman works an average of around 300 hours less per year than his Yankee counterpart. So this is a leisurely breed. But when some meddling bureaucrat tries to stick his boney, cheese-scented fingers into the centre of their quality of life, our longtime surrendering allies become Korean in their determination and industry. After all, the French wrote the book on protests. After wine, cheese, and superiority, protesting is the top export of the region. They protest everything, and they do so beautifully.

When I read about the French of WWI, WWII, and the French of our present day, I just can’t believe these were the same people with whom Napolean conquered Europe, Asia, and Northern Africa. And surely the terrifying Gaulic tribesmen who dealt out horror to all-mighty Rome aren’t the progenitors of these waifish, snearing protestors (trying to imagine current day Italians as the heirs of the former hyper-organized rulers of the classical world is another post in itself).

frenchman

Hallo, Pierre, zoes filthy Jermanz are attacking us again, do you have time to go fight a war weeth me? No problem, when you get back from the Riviera zen. September wheel be fine.

But good for the French, I say. I actually enjoy a good protest. Nothing I love more than stumbling across a group of protestors on campus or in a city centre. I push my way right in there and yell and hoist people on my shoulders without knowing the cause. I just love the camaraderie. Camaraderie. French word.

Keep fighting, Citizens. Take what’s rightfully yours. You work like dogs and it’s time you rise up and put an end to zees madness!

Viva La France! Viva la Revolucion!

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8 Responses to Viva La Revolucion!

  1. Rebecca Bell says:

    the pic of the frenchie man is creeeepy. great accents, btw. well done. on my study abroad we were in florence for one day and there was a protest and every single museum was closed. i went all the way to florence, slept on a train, and i didn’t even get to see the david. those euro buggers.

  2. Davis says:

    300 less hours a year????? That’s almost 40 days. Work days. That’s 2 months. 2 MONTHS. That’s you finishing your work year on Halloween. Sheesh.

  3. Layne says:

    Excellent work. Jami and I were in Paris last week on a overnight layover so we decided to go see the city. Let me tell you. Paris at 2am is busier than SLC EVER IS. I guess their priorities are…partying. I can respect that.

  4. Azucar says:

    The first time I visited Paris there was a garbage strike. Mounds of carefully arranged refuse littering the sidewalks and a persistent odor of that je ne sais quois.

  5. Eliza says:

    fabulous post. such funny commentary on all those different cultures. love the accents in the captions too. and the whole 300 hours less is blowing my mind.

  6. Friends! Can I still read your blog?? Man, I’ve been quite the loser lately, not having DDDT in my life. I was on vacation for almost three weeks and then I was so behind that (I’m ashamed to admit) put catching up on the back burner. But I’m back. Oh yes, I’m back. If you’ll have me.

    This post was great. The accents are killing me. I love the image of you just joining in on a protest with the hugest smile on your face. Also love that you are trying to secretly be Canadian with your spelling of city “centre.” I passed a boarded up business the other day by the name of “Softwaire Centre” and it didn’t take long for me to figure out why it might not have thrived.

    Dude, by the way, two of our friends just moved to Albuquerque (dang you, SpellCheck! Let me spell it how I want!) and I was like, “Oh man! I have a friend that lives in Albuquerque!” Remember when blog-stalking someone makes them your real good friend? Plus then I remembered you moved anyways. Whatev…

  7. Braden says:

    Kook, excellent summing of the whole thing with the speedo/armpit hair formulation. However, I would suggest you be careful before moving to Canada.

  8. DeNae says:

    Well I am just offended on every level by this post. Offended by the stereotyping, offended by the fake accents, offended by the mention of armpit hair, offended at how easily offended commenters on my own blog have been lately, offended by the green color of this comment-type, offended on behalf of hard-working frogs who just want a nice split-level pad to retire to when they reach the froggy equivalent of 60 or 67 or whatever, offended that Canadians are so damned nice, offended that one of your commenters said ‘damned’, and offended that Braden says he’s just toooo busy to write 6,000 words on the subject of my choosing but clearly has all the time in the world to comment on his brothers’ blogs.

    So. Think I’d make it in France?

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