an Australian expatriate in France
Monday, May 26, 2014
The great ship France seems to have collided with something big and nasty. On the radar screen, it looks like this:
Outside, everything appears to be eerily calm, although a thick fog hides the horizon. No shouting. No cries. No panic. Curious leaflets, washed off the vessel in distress, are floating on the still waters.
Suddenly I heard beautiful music wafting across to us. It was slow and solemn, and seemed to last forever.
The captain, appearing briefly on the bow, astonished us all by crying out, as if in a terrible nightmare: “Full steam ahead!”
Commenting upon the short and uninspiring performance of François Hollande at the start of this evening’s TV news, a journalist evoked a leader who has “run out of cartridges”, meaning that the French president has no more solutions to propose to his disillusioned citizens. I’m wondering what kind of ammunition the journalist had in mind when she decided to use this metaphor. Cartridges for an offensive firearm? Or a defensive weapon? Or rather for a harmless gun of the kind that's used to fire smoky distress signals from the deck of a sinking vessel?