Sing along if you can remember: Oh! Oh! Les Champs-Elysées…

A firsthand account of what is going on right now in France with the “yellow jackets”. A great read.



‘What’s gone so wrong with France suddenly? What’s the story with the Yellow Vests?’ Outside of La Hexagone I’m pelted with such questions, as if coming from Paris confers some sort of special insight. It doesn’t. After five months of increasingly violent protest, no one, including the actors themselves, really knows where the roots of the phenomenon lie, and where it’s leading – especially not the actors.

That said, a few things are incontrovertible.

To begin: what was once an amorphous tent of a movement with ample room for discontent from left to right but mostly from the middle – the self-termed ‘forgotten little white folks’ – has shrunk to a hard, dark core, a mass made up of extremists, opportunists, racists, thieves and psychopaths. On November 24, 2018 close to 300,000 demonstrators flooded into the cold streets, 9000 in Paris (Le Monde). By contrast, last Saturday’s extraordinarily violent and…

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31 thoughts on “Sing along if you can remember: Oh! Oh! Les Champs-Elysées…

  1. A lot of people in the UK are fascinated by the Gilets Jaunes because so many people are angry at the way Brexit has been handled, delayed, the way they’ve tried to prevent it from happening and therefore nullify the result of the referendum…and yet nobody has really taken to the streets. As one of my British friends said to me: “This whole #GiletsJaunes phenomena seems to be taking on an almost philosophical quality, how admirably bloody minded – how very French – where does it go I wonder?”
    I thought that was so well put.

    • Very French indeed. Where is it going? In the wall? 😉
      And I have been very surprised how restrained the Brits have been, on either side, remain or leave. Theresa May(be)’s entire act has been a joke.
      Bon week-end.

  2. Thanks for this, Brian. It made me understand more what is going on in France. It seems the whole world is full of trouble everywhere. Rational thinking has flown out the door. Humankind is really loosing it! Meanwhile Mother Nature is doing her utmost to kill thousands in the worst floods in a long time, in our neighbouring countries.

    • Yes, I’ve seen some news about Moçambique and Zimbabwe. Poor buggers really didn’t need that on top of Mugabe.
      As for the yellow jackets… yes, rational thinking has flown out the door.
      Pas oop! That’s how wars start.
      Are you going to the Bush this week-end?
      (Did you see the full moon? When was it? Last night?)

      • In the past SA sent in our airforce and army troops to help out in Mozambique when such catastrophes happened. Now we don’t have an army and air force that can even look after their horses. Some private rescue groups went over to try and help. They just got back and said that the situation is dire. Not much help from anyone and those countries (Mozambique, Malawi and Zim) also have no emergency plans.Thanks to decolonization 😵
        Just came back from the bush and saw the full moon in all its glory!

      • Yes. “Decolonization”… Quite a theme in many western universities. With the “mzungu” always guilty. (And I remember how Kenya fared when they implemented Africanization…) I wonder how long that will last? It’s always so easy to blame the others for your own mistakes isn’t it? As a note, I didn’t see that in Asia. No resentment whatsoever. The West has been integrated to their own history. And it works.
        I am so glad you could watch the moon in the bush. Those are magic moments.
        Tot ziens Dina.

      • Our BLF(Black First Land First) party leader spews rethoric that the Syclone Idea,was all the making of the western world and a complot to wipe out peoples in Africa. The irony is they all live with western clothes, watches, phones, cars etc.You guessed correctly…we have elections coming up soon.

      • 😦
        Reminds of the Venezuelan Health minister, facing shortage of toothpaste. The first thing to lack in a “soviet” economy is toothpaste, strangely enough. She said that brushing your teeth 3 times a day was a capitalist propaganda and that once a day was quite enough. Now they don’t even have toothpaste left. 😦

      • Our government loves Venezuela and even wanted to send a group of our politicians there in solidarity to the ruling party. Now I ask you, with friends like that, who needs enemies?

      • As an afterthought, a British E-friend who lived in Kenya a while after I did, noticed my photos of the Nairobi-Mombasa roads, just after Independence, with a flawless tarmac. “Full of holes in my times” she said. 😉

      • I really have to laugh at this…seems we aren’t unique in that way. On our news last night it came out that heavily armed bandits go to construction sites and demand to get part in the construction. Engineers have fled from these scenes and a German company, building a bridge,has stopped their work and taken all their workers away.This is SA for you…never a dull moment and you can just admire the resourcefulness of these crooks!

      • We have applied for resedency twice already. The first application was ten years ago…we haven’t heard a thing about that one. We put in another application November last year. Still waiting! Namibia is also quite corrupt and if you are Chinese, you would be welcomed with open arms…I wonder why?

      • They’re spreading millions of dollars all across Africa, is why. As for Namibia, We have broached the topic of corruption, you may want to inquire… discreetly. (Better safe than sorry). You do have a house there.

  3. Thank you for reposting this. These are my exact sentiments. The gilets jaunes are a runaway train. They are causing so much disruption and so much loss of commerce for merchants along the Champs-Elysées and along the route of these Saturday (and now Sunday) protests. If you talk to 20 GJs, you get 20 different answers as to why they are protesting. I always loved Paris for its odd protests but this has gone too far. If you’re a “bad guy”, feel free to commit a crime in Paris on a Saturday afternoon because every person in police uniform is busy with the GJs. Enough.

    • Yes. Enough is enough. I cannot deny that France has serious… poverty issues. With median income at 1600 Euros and some studios in Paris at 700-900 Euros… One can do the math. But three-four months and not one single coherent platform? Waste of time. Thanks for your visit and comments. Be good.

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