okay, okay. i was indeed locked up in austerlitz, but it wasn't *that* austerlitz. it was the Gare d'Austerlitz metro station, and a tip for all of you visiting paris: avoid metro stations with "gare" in the title. so anyways, i will explain in one hot minute how VilePinHead got me locked up in austerlitz, but before that i must say that shit is going down fo'reals fo'reals in france. yesterday was the big protest day against the CPE, and about 3 million people were protesting. check it:
do also note the commie reds.
and in the last blog i talked about the skirry CRS riot cops in their body armour, looking like they're up for some hard core rollerblading. this is what they look like, with a touch of nazi too i might add:
i also have to note that they are, on some level, seriously stylin', aside from all the skirry nazi-looking tendencies. there's been multiple unpleasant encounters between protesters and the CRS, and tons of insults thrown around against the CRS (band of pigs, chickens, etc), and people talk about beating down the pigs.
so here's the thing i want to weigh in on...when i was at the GOP protest in 2000 in philly, there was this insane police presence, like seas of blue everywhere. and it's always the same thing, it's The Righteous Protesters versus The Cops. so after one long day of protest, my friend dylan and i were trying to find our way back to the tent city where we were staying in kensington, but we were a bit lost. we came upon 3 cops who were talking, and we looked at them like "are they going to beat us" all the while they were clearly looking at us and thinking either "are we going to have to beat them" or "are they going to shoot us?"
so we asked them how to get around, and we stayed awhile and started chatting with them. it was an amazing experience really, because we found out that the city was so freaked out by the amount of protests that they hired all these auxiliary cops from all over, and these guys we were talking with, they didn't have jobs, so even though they supported a lot of the protests, they were happy to get a job. and there's the thing; dylan and i were attached to the Empty the Shelters contingent and were working on poverty reform; and here these guys, The Enemy, The Cops--they were just trying to feed their families. that really made me think a lot about that juvenile "kill the pigs" kind of discourse that i threw around as a teenager, and that i hear so many folks throwing around now. so i was talking with a friend last night about this too, and he pointed out that when you think about it, there's a very fucked up class dynamic at protests, because a lot of protesters are "bobos" (bourgeois bohemians, or trustifarians) or upper/middle class, and they are hurling insults at the cops, who are most generally from lower class backgrounds. and that is not so good, i think. discuss.
okay, so back to pony trapped in austerlitz. yesterday was the big protest/general strike day. i have to say, the french know how to strike. they don't fuck around. there's even a high school where all the teachers and administration made their students go protest instead of going to class. this must have something to do with all the french revolutions (there's not just one...there was like 6. we'll talk about that some other time...)
so general strike. about 1/3 the usual metro trains, and pony, who is damn smart, decides to go hang out with folks on the north side of paris, which is pretty far away from where pony lives. um, its the distance between little 5 points and alphertater. or maybe coney island and washington heights. pony then, in its ongoing intelligence, hangs out there until midnight. surprise surprise, not a lot of trains at midnight when the trains people are on strike. i managed to get a train to about halfway home, stepped off the train in austerlitz, and that is the end of the train day. what's more, the austerlitz station is a pain in the anus, it is huge and changing trains there takes way too long. so at midnight:30 they decided to lock up all the exits, which leaves pony wandering around for a long time looking for a way out. i totally support the train people for going on strike, so i'm blaming vile pinhead instead for me getting trapped in austerlitz. i did finally get out and got to walk home.
so finally, my parents get here tomorrow. this is the neighborhood that their hotel is in:
that should be interesting. paris is definitely the city of lights.