Thursday, 29 March 2012

Before the event.

France in general and Toulouse in particular are strange places to be at the moment. Another under-age, cold-blooded murder this morning in the news - this time in the north, in Dieppe - and ever more hand-wringing, criticism of video games and the usual section of society believed to have been responsible. There is so much mistrust and it's very, very worrying, for it only seems to be getting worse. You read reactions in the press and it's all 'Round up the usual suspects', even though no-one has the courage to say so overtly. At the same time, Sarkozy continues to climb in the polls, Hollande loses ground and the candidates' manoeuvring continues. This election is going to be very tight, at least in the first round. French society is provoking public opinion in the manner of Napoleon's army's border occupations a couple of hundred years ago: they would amass at a border and wait for the other nation to attack in panic, opening the way for generous reparations once the (almost) inevitable victory over the 'agressor' was in the bag. Will the French public react like an unsettled, nervous army? We'll see. If they do panic, the price may be high. Or maybe not; maybe they'll finally get the president they secretly really want...

Thursday, 22 March 2012

I love you all.

I would have thought that this blog's secondary title: 'Words and pictures from Toulouse' would have been responsible for the traffic surge I've had these last couple of days. But no! My traffic sources inform me that my magnet is not Mohammed Mehar but…Pamela Anderson! Good on you, surfers! Good to see that certain priorities are still maintained. Tits before Jihad! Just the way it should be. No picture, just the one in your minds.

That's all, folks...

Well, he's dead, shot by the police in a five-minute fusillade in which about 300 rounds were fired. Back to the presidential election campaign…

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Macabre House Hunting: Stunning view of serial killer's bathroom.

Just after posting my last epistle to the online Corinthians, I receive a real estate e-mail alert: a flat (OK, apartment…) for sale in…Côte Pavée, not more than 500 yards from our naughty little serial killer, the chump that he is…France has always been very taken with social mixity (except in areas where politicians live), and the fact that you have people like that in an otherwise impeccable neighbourhood tells you all you need to know about how misguided, ignorant and naïve this country's social policy has been since, ooh, nineteen sixty-two, I'd guess. I'm going to stop and let everyone else fight this out, for there be plenty of political capital to be gained, ooh-aah; providing everyone plays their hand cleverly…

Living the dream in Toulouse, France.

As I write this, police are besieging a council flat in Côte Pavée, Toulouse's equivalent of Beverley Hills/Upper East Side/Hampstead/Blankenese etc etc ad nauseam, waiting for the moment to wipe out cuddly little scamp Mohammed Merah, who has murdered seven people in the last week, including three children aged between five and eight.

I found about about this psycho just before picking up the Fingernails from school on Monday afternoon, having opened up my computer on returning from work and finding some concerned e-mails from family and friends. Police cars swept around the building as we waited for the doors to open. On Tuesday morning we were welcomed by journalists waiting in front of the main doors (there's also a journalism school just round the corner; I've already been interviewed a number of times by students), their presence diluted, if you like, by several heavies with walky-talkies. No-one talked of anything else for the little time they spent dropping their offspring off. Mrs. F's younger, child-free colleagues don't seem overtly bothered, but for anyone who has ever been responsible for creating  further life, there's no other topic of conversation, however reluctantly embarked upon. As far as that goes, this cretin has achieved his goal: he's being talked about more than he could ever have imagined. Apparently, he was rejected by the army and the French Foreign Legion. Sorry, but that latter is going it some; the FFL has long been known as an organisation lacking in probity as long as it swells its personnel to do the job it was created for. Basically, we have the King of Losers who finally found means to make everyone else pay for his own shortcomings. Quite how the rest of the French presidential campaign will now play out is anyone's guess; all major candidates are playing very coy as to how to proceed, and rightly so.

This dead man walking lives two miles from Château Fingers.

You've probably encountered this news report on the radio or TV, so I won't be telling you anything new. I just jotted this message down in case there were any people still under the misguided impression that living in France was just one milk 'n' honey-lubricated blow job. No ha-ha funny picture today;  you'll understand why, I'm sure.