rlbourges

Reading the papers

In Current reading, Hautvoir, news coverage, proto drafts on September 4, 2015 at 7:43 am

the walk with the dog, the first morning coffee, some of the day’s headlines. I look at the tree leaves at my window. No one has informed the locust (robinia pseudo acacia ) that it is not a native of these climes. You find robinia pseudo acacia everywhere in Europe now but the species originated in North America.

Of course, no human can inform a tree of its foreign ancestry. Purists may choose eradication campaigns (and do). Unfortunately for the purists if the species has few natural enemies and better adaptive skills than a native plant, the imported one will occupy as much space as it can colonize. Some day, everyone may forget the plant wasn’t there in the first place.

Unfair example? Unsavory comparison? After all, there’s a general wringing of hands at the moment over the photographic evidence of a child’s death by drowning. His brother and his mother also drowned. In fact several thousand men, women and children have drowned in the same kind of desperate attempt to reach what they hoped to be more hospitable shores. For some reason, the photo of this particular little corpse at this particular time causes a jolt (do back to school days have something to do with it?)

Of the published commentary, one helps to sink the man even lower in my esteem. “The boy had a name,” he twittered, with a few more words of pseudo-humanitarian concern. So did all the others who died, Monsieur Valls. Some serious consideration given both to emergency measures and to underlying causes for the desperate surge, perhaps?

Back in the realm that occupies a good part of my brain time, both asleep and awake: I see Gérard Mordillat’s La Brigade du Rire is one of the titles in the French entrée littéraire. Whether I’ll read it or not depends a lot on its availability at the local médiathèque but the summary runs close to one of my favorite revenge fantasies, and this is   good enough for me this morning. Instead of the usual punishments meted out by revolutionaries, involving much blood and gore, the penalties imposed to some of the current public figures would be much simpler: they would find all their privileges abolished and be forced to make do with their minimum wage earnings. In this scenario, the IMF’s Christine Lagarde struggles with her “flexi-hour” schedule as a cashier in a supermarket, the inimitable French Minister of the Economy, Emmanuel Macron, spends his days castrating turkeys in a large slaughter house, Valls does fine tuning on castanets. France’s very own darling, Nicolas Sarkozy does clean up duty down in the sewer system. And so on. (François Hollande? Straightens out wood shavings – a tactician’s delight).

With these less than charitable thoughts, I move into this day. Perhaps I should find a confessional somewhere and report my evil thoughts to a man of God’s (whose own thoughts may be much more criminal than my own). Or perhaps one of the characters can take over confessional duties. The day will tell.

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