Le Pen and Le Fall

Montpellier is an amazingly beautiful place; The old city is is near perfect, the buildings, the fountains, the tiny alley-ways. It’s nearly too perfect to provide interesting blog-material. In fact while sitting on the edge of the fountain, “Les Trois Graces” facing the Old Opera House, a strong cafe in hand i imagined that this here may be the summit of western civilization. All the other places can be plotted on the way down, if not somewhere else entirely.

Speaking of the fall of civilization, i was on my way out of The Mothman Phrophecies (which i thought was ok) when i got a call from Nils. We chatted for a bit and then his voice changed.

“Well i’ve got some really really bad news.”

“What?”, i was a little perplexed, we had already covered all major areas of conversation: health, sex, drinking, weather.

“Le Pen won the first tier”

“No Shit, really?”

This is huge news here. On the rest of the way home, i passed by the ex-pat bar and heard quite the commotion inside. I stopped to investigate. In between shouts of “Booo!” and “Faciste!” was Le Pen on the tv giving his acceptance speech. I pushed my way in to watch, and firstly, dude is that guy old. Secondly, dude is this guy hated. I suppose it’s as if a more right wing Pat Buchanan won the republican primary. But it’s even weirder because Le Pen faces a conservative Chirac next wednesday. So it’s as if Buchanan won the democratic primary, and then faces Bush in the final. I fell into conversation with three young’uns from Toronto, and a Frenchman, and as usual i ended up sighing and shrugging away the political faults of the Bush administration. It started with someone bringing up the fact that Le Pen wants to reinstate the death penalty, and then of course came up our president’s affinity for chairs with built-in wiring.

“I heard Bush had the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders go to the last one. Is that true?” asked one of the young Canadians.


So it is with a bit of schadenfreude that i greeted the news of the victory of the right-wing loony. Your unwashed masses are no better than our unwashed masses.. ok. The unwashed masses here in the big city are pissed. Refreshingly so. I heard from no less than five people say in earnest that it was a very sad day in the history of France. No more than 10 hours after the results were announced there’s anti-Le Pen graffiti all over the city. I guess there were demonstrations in several places in Paris last night. One passed loudly by my window at about 2 am. I’m curious to know if all of them went and actually voted that day.

Everyone’s convinced that there’s pretty much no way he’ll win the final next week. But still, everyone i knew was convinced that there was no way Bush could win. Anyway good thing i’m on my way out on my own volition. I’d rather not get deported, it just seems an un-classy way to make an exit.

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