A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
For most North Americans Europe is a gigantic theme park off the coast of Great Britain. It has wine, cheese, art and architecture, and even though it’s full of arrogant foreigners, we love to go there. Of course, nobody west of Cape Cod actually cares what happens in Europe unless it happened in World War II. However, every once in a while, European events do break through the MSNBC/FOX stranglehold on news — especially if they affect North American vacation plans. That’s what happened last week.
Ireland Legalizes Same Sex Marriage.
What a blatant cash grab! The Irish are the biggest tourism whores ever. Not content with marketing shamrocks, shillelaghs, leprechauns, Bono and the colour green, now they’re after the international DINK (double income/no kids) community. Make no mistake: those DINKs have money and the Irish want to get their hands on it. To hell with the dying Celtic Tiger. The Irish are going to create a wedding bells/honeymoon destination without any heterosexual limitations ’cause there’s a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow. If you thought the line for The Blarney Stone was long before … this summer, DINKs will be everywhere — on tour buses, hanging out in the pubs, peeking out the windows of the Bed & Breakfasts. Personally, I think it’s brilliant, and when Irish TV starts broadcasting Gay Divorce Court, I’m totally watching.
French Government Makes It Illegal For Supermarkets To Destroy Edible Food. They Must Donate It To Charity.
This is one of the meanest moves in French history. In a nation of culinary snobs, forcing the poor to eat leftovers has got to be the ultimate slap in the face. Whatever happened to LIBERTÉ, ÉGALITÉ, FRATERNITÉ? Basically, it’s, “Here’s the deal, mon frère: we’re all equal, but your Coq au vin is cold!” It’s like a modern Marie Antoinette saying, “Let them eat day-old cake.” And we all know what happened when the original Marie stuck her nose into French cuisine — heads did roll. I don’t expect the Parisian mob to be shouting “Aux barricades!” any time soon, but there will be repercussions. Rumour has it that Le Metro workers might go on strike this summer, and French waiters aren’t going to be quite so jovial as they have been in the past.
And that’s the news from Europe, North America — see you next year.