Monday, November 07, 2005

le violence en France

It seems that France is in trouble, and trouble deep. The apartheid the urban planners have created in the horrible concrete banlieux (suburbs) that surround so many French towns and cities is coming back to sting them where it hurts - in the urban centres the French love to dwell and drink their coffee and munch on their croissants. And with Nicolas Sarkozy as the man in charge of the problem calling the rioters 'yobs' and 'scum', it's hard to forsee a quick end to the violence. It seems that North and West Africans have no place in the fraternity and equality of la Republique Francais.

But one cannot anglo-mock too much: what is going on in France is only a more extreme version of what you can see up and down the UK at the moment. Disaffected youth with parents who dont care where they are, wearing hooded tops and amassing at night in large groups thanks to cellphone connectivity. On Friday evening as I waited in Finchley in a car I saw a confrontation between two gangs (about 40 people involved in total) - the average probably around 16 or 17. At least one kid was hospitalised a few feet away from me, for no good reason.

The West has managed to create a cold heartless and anonymous culture around itself; a whole generation of kids with no moral values or direction. Some might say this is what a largely atheistic society will always come to look like: directionless, random, violent, fearful. The last time I tried to intervene (a chap had his bike stolen by 12 year old urchins in Clerkenwell) I nearly got beaten up by a phallanx of malnourished estate-trash. The UK sometimes seems like it is falling into a Lord-of-the-Flies/J.G. Ballard hell: an anonymous landscape of retail sheds, traffic and violent yobs, with football the only vestige of a socio-cultural glue. Its not very loveable.


the flying monkeys 9:47 pm  

Both in political and aesthetic terms, this proves the existence or reality of the turning tide of moral decline and in fact reminds me of a story of a town in which all of the houses were painted in battleship grey. But one day an individual decided to paint his house a fire engine red colour. Aren't we all to blame!

felipe bachomo 10:25 am  

"LA"... violence is a feminine noun, thus one should a feminine article

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