Driving with the Frenchman has never been particularly challenging. He is, after all, very silly: he smokes constantly, in a striped jacket and hoodie, he walks down the street with a baguette in his hands. When he gets tired of it, he settles on an outdoor balcony to read Marcel Proust and nibble on a croissant. The cruelty begins sometime during the afternoon, then he goes to his mistress’s house for a quick banquet, after which he finally goes home to his family for onion soup.
He loves freedom in his life. But now he feels that freedom is threatened. The French government plans to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64, and this angered the Frenchman.
Personally, I think it’s fine to work until you’re 64. Especially considering that the Frenchman works only 35 hours a week. It’s just not a good deal. It’s a very good deal if you compare it to most countries in the world. Despite this, according to several news sources, more than a million people demonstrated in the streets and squares of France on the 7th of March this year. I totally understand that the French don’t want to work, because who the hell wants to work?
The work is horrible, a weirdo called “The Boss” asks you to do a lot of stuff with other weird people called “Colleagues”. In return, you get a salary that runs out very quickly. It’s terrible. A fate worse than a lifetime in Azkaban.
But that a Frenchman has the courage to complain, and a Frenchman who has so much, makes me angry. The Frenchman is Europe’s answer to the spoiled girls of the TV show My Super Sweet 16, who cry in disappointment when the luxury car they got as a birthday present turns out to be second-hand.
It’s a pretty good deal if you compare it to most countries in the world
In Eastern Europe, Ukraine was militarily invaded. According to the United Nations, at least 8,000 civilians died, and the elderly and children were blown to pieces. On the other side of Europe, about 200 miles to the west, a Frenchman is sitting in an open-air restaurant. He wants to read Marcel Proust but he can’t concentrate, he’s upset that he has the best deal in Europe when it comes to retirement. I’m not saying he has no right to be angry, work is not a cakewalk, but in the big picture he is still naive.
Among the many labor groups that have chosen to strike to block the new pension agreement are the waste handling workers. On the news on TV, you can see how the streets of Paris are littered with rubbish. Large rubbish bags piled on top of each other litter the alleys. Perhaps it is precisely the rubbish that will save the French? Perhaps they will now wake up from their naive society and understand that dirt, filth and rubbish in the form of work are part of our modern life. If not, they will end up drowning in their own shit.
Robin Leininger, Journalism student
“Falls down a lot. Internet fanatic. Proud analyst. Creator. Wannabe music lover. Introvert. Tv aficionado.”