Friday, November 9, 2007

Slogans

There is a kind of poetry to the slogans of street demonstrations, even if it's often the infantile poetry of the nursery rhyme. Here is a current sampling, as reported in Le Monde:

"Facs ouvertes aux enfants d'ouvriers,
facs fermées aux intérêts privés"
.

"Lutte sociale, grève générale,
derrière la réforme se cache le capital"
.

"Medef, Medef,
la fac n'est pas ton fief"


"Cécilia, on est comme toi,
on en a marre de Ni
colas".

"Ils privatisent,
on s'organise"
.

"Pécresse,
traîtresse"
.

"On veut étudier
pour pas finir policiers"
.

The insistent, if sometimes wrenched, oom-pah rhythms and moon-June rhymes are of course made for the megaphone and the synchronized heartbeats and footfalls of a crowd on the march. None of it yet rises to the level of the more surreal slogans of May '68: Sous le pavé, la plage ... Now there was a slogan à faire rêver. Of course it was wall art, not suitable for marching--the fruit of a mature manif, on its last legs, battle-weary, and ready for retirement to the dustbin of history.

9 comments:

dominic said...

In 68 some stupid psychoanalysts talk of "infantilisme" as you allow yourself pretending doing politics!Not very brilliant sir ,but very american.But forget your idea that capitalism is winning........

Anonymous said...

I am often struck by the atmosphere "bon enfant" and infantile of protesters in France. Like children defying the father figure.

Unknown said...

Oh oh oh… Du calme! The infantile poetry of the nursery rhyme is not an insult, it's a description of a literary technique exemplified by the nursery rhyme as well as by the slogan (wether it be political or commercial). It's funny, easy to remember and one hopes it grasps a bit of truth.

dominic said...

Utiliser freud a la place de Marx est simplement une grave erreur methodologique!

dominic said...

Utiliser freud a la place de Marx est simplement une grave erreur methodologique!

dominic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Mon cher Dominic,
En fait, j'utilise Lénine, La maladie infantile du communisme [de gauche], ouvrage canonique et essentiel de la tradition révolutionnaire, que vous semble méconnaître. Pour vous renseigner, voir:
ici

Anonymous said...

I quite like

"Cécilia, on est comme toi,
on en a marre de Nicolas".

By the way, as a professor in a French university affected by the current student action, I can tell you it is not serious for the moment. Our department (UFR) is only just getting round to having an "emergency" meeting next week some time, to discuss the situation, though the last time they had emergency meetings virtually every day.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the on-the-scene report, Alex.