I admire France. Or should I say I admire the people of France; I like the way they deal with their intolerance of their politician’s actions.
When they were upset that their government wanted to raise the retirement age. What was their response? They shouted out their reluctance to such an increase. When their government didn’t want to listen and cited all sorts of reasons why the rise in retirement age would be beneficial, what did they do? They stood together and they gathered converging into the streets; they forged together and rallied against the government stopping shipments of fuel into the country with an energy strike.
France is a country that knows how to get its voice heard. It knows how to get the snake to pay attention by strangling it a bit, and then threatening decapitation. It brought the big oil companies to its knees just by coming together and doing something about it. Is it surprising? This is the same country that boasted the word revolution the loudest during the years 1789-1799, and devised the Guillotine. This latest protest only proves that time and time again, over the centuries, you can not take the fight out of France. I suppose once you take down an absolute monarchy, a regular government is more like a bothersome mosquito.
So what is our excuse? Why do we, as a country, sit idly by while our government says one thing and then does another? More importantly, why do we let our government get away with turning a deaf ear? It seems we stand by while they outsource jobs, sell premium government lands to foreign countries; or deplete our precious resources. Sometimes we are outraged enough to voice our opinions to the person waiting next to us in the coffee house line up. If we are really peeved we send around a paper petition, and pat each other on the back congratulating ourselves on being a peaceful nation. I wonder what other countries think of us when they see such actions. Are they looking through telescopes of their own? Would they care or only shrug shoulders and smirk, expecting no more from us?
Canadians just seem to look through Margret Atwood’s one way mirror into the United States, our noses pressed upon the pane and our breath condensing. For the most part it seems we are just content to act and respond accordingly to whatever our neighbor is doing. We seem to be lulled to sleep by the lumbering giant next door and its entertaining escapades. Until we are hypnotized lazy-boy tater tots, assimilating more of its culture into our own, becoming carbon copies of its broken shadows. It seems the mirror between us does not protect us from N1H1, or the economy viruses, that threaten to drown.
Nor does the window protect us from Hollywood actors who seek asylum from the dreaded ‘Star Whackers’ and the promise of free healthcare. Not that I can blame any man, woman, or child who wants free healthcare. Up here we think it is the bee’s knees, there are the long waits for MRI’s mind you, but when you consider the alternative I will gladly sit in the waiting chair with my volume of literature.
Three cheers for revolution, mirrors, and Viva la France.
(References made to Margret Atwood’s essay “Through the One-Way Mirror”)