Re: [OPE-L] [Jurriaan] Derrida's ghosts

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Mon Nov 07 2005 - 21:12:22 EST

---------------------------- Original Message -------------------------
Subject: [OPE-L] [Jurriaan] Derrida's ghosts
From:    "Jurriaan Bendien" <>
Date:    Mon, November 7, 2005 4:38 pm

>France burns and Derrida's ghosts are discussed. Paul Z.

Well - bit of blog - I rang my sister tonight, who happens to live with her
French husband and two kids in a village on the outskirts of Paris, and I
asked her about the car, and the car was fine, they could park it inside,
and they had shuttered some windows. Chirac had been on TV yesterday, but
he seemed a bit nonplussed about it all, sort of like, how could this
happen in patrie de la France? At night, she could hear the sirens and
explosions, it woke up her 6 year old son, who was read a story, and put
back to bed. In the adjacent village, a school had been burned down, and
in the province, a man had died after being beaten up. This evening,
Villepin was on TV, but "he talked rather formally, rather than directly
in the language of the people". There was "little specifics in what he
said". "There is this mentality in France, that the state should do
everything and solve problems, and less an idea that people have their own
responsibility for their kids."  There were now about 9,500 policemen on
active duty, but they hadn't brought out the army, and there were no
orders to shoot on sight. Things seemed to have calmed down a little.
"It's clear that they can repress all this, but whether fining and jailing
the offenders solves anything, that is the question, I'm afraid that
probably it doesn't." Villepin did talk, however, about pumping more money
again into the Banlieus, building new dwellings, and returning more power
to the mayors. My sister said "each year, they raise the resident's taxes,
yet also reduce municipal services at the same time; since recently, there
is no longer any police stationed in this village". I asked Sis how she
felt about it all. "Last night we were a bit nervous. You feel uncertain,
should I send my boy to school?" but he went to school anyhow. She mused,
"it is good, that it is being brought into the open, because you know, the
racism is real, and now they're talking about it on TV, I never heard them
talk about it before, so clearly." I asked, whether there would be some
neighbourhoods that she would regard too dangerous to visit, and she said
"sure thing". She added, "it's a difficult change in mentality
for the French... the paradox is, that the rampaging kids are burning down
stuff in their own neighbourhoods, there was this story of a guy who
worked as a cleaner with a $2,000 euro car, that he needed to get to the
other side of Paris and feed his family, but they burnt his car, so the
whole thing is rather indiscriminate, unfocused... yet, you can't help
feeling that the whole rampage is being organised, I don't know by whom
though." We chatted a bit about family stuff, and she said, her son
was now correcting her own French, and was doing very well at school.
"Marveilleux. A bit different possibly from many of the Africains and
Arabes in the Banlieus, a lot of these kids live between two worlds, they
get one story at home, and another one at school, and maybe they identify
with neither very much. It's a complex situation, yes."


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