Category Archives: Rant – Râlage

Be careful for what you wish for, Your Grace.

Handsome Harry has a problem: he hates belonging to the most privileged people in the world and says no Windsors currently wants to be king so now let’s have a quick look at the terrible fate that awaits him and his kin.

Being the monarch is a tough job, but someone has to do it, even if reluctantly. In a magazine interview, Prince Harry has suggested that none of the royal family actually wants the throne.

‘Tough job.” There are a lot of tough jobs out there: teaching, working in A&E, driving a bus, collecting bins, cleaning the streets and being a King apparently. Although, I highly doubt those jobs pay over £3 million every month like being a King does. I can’t speak for other professions, but as a teacher, I can expect a good £1.400/month if I take on some responsibilities in addition to my teaching. And that’s a good salary!

Yes the “tough job” Harry is describing currently pays about £40 million/year and, unlike the rest of the good working people of England in their tough job, the Windsors are in line for a raise of £2.8 million/year which adds to a 57% pay rise since 2012. So let’s admit the £40M stand, that’s £3.3 million/month. For the rest of the tough jobs, it’s bleak I am afraid but let’s try to empathise with the fate of the royal family.

Let’s not forget that the Windors’ tough job comes with free accommodation in the centre of London and a myriad of palaces paid off and maintained by the taxpayers. Weddings needn’t be paid for, nor need your birthdays or any other major life events for that matter. You are provided with hundreds of personal servant as well as bodyguards who parade at great expense everyday, a plethora of carriages – some in pure gold and a fleet of cars so large that even your crown has its own.

The question then begs: why? Why do they get to be given so much? What does the tough job involve to come with such perks, money and yet be such a drag?

“We are involved in modernising the British monarchy. We are not doing this for ourselves but for the greater good of the people,” he said.

My, that modernisation must be a heck of a job, whatever that means in actual fact. Marrying “commoners”, perhaps? That’s modern, ain’t it? No, that’s just because all your parents and grand-parents are cousins and you desperately need to avoid the fate of the Habsburgs or yet another inbreeding-related endemic like hemophilia and mental health issues that came after Queen Victoria and King Christian IX decided they wanted the whole of Europe’s rulers to be their grand-children.

So is it having a beard and playing football with kids in Africa – between two safaris, a hunting trip and some strip snooker in Las Vegas? Charity doesn’t pay (ask Doctors Without Borders), hunting is archaic, and the playing naked and drunk in Vegas is only seen as ‘modern’ by penniless chavs on their quite unenjoyable stag night.

Maybe I am being mistaken on what he means by modernising the monarchy but I don’t see why it justifies a rent-free life at Kensington or Buckingham Palace in addition to the 3.3 millions pounds you get every single month.

“Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? I don’t think so, but we will carry out our duties at the right time.”

First, his father begs to differ.

Second, “we will carry our duties”, yes you will! That’s we pay you for so if we say “Dance monkey!”, you dance and you don’t get upset because comes to think about it, you have no other purpose whatsoever. Your tough job is not a job, it’s birth right that some people in a far past and who are as much related to you as to me gave themselves after they actually served a purpose. Their life was Games of Throne without the dragons. Whereas yours is a apology of privilege-born blasé laziness. Your academic degrees were given to you, your record in the army is anything but grand and the only reason why you can afford to do so much charity work is because your nan is the Queen so she gets paid £3.3 million/month.

Now, if you really do resent the “tough job” to the extent of going public with it, then remove yourself from the line of succession, give up your privileges, give the money back and live a normal life. But do not publicly go to tell the rest of us who struggle to meet ends and must go by in the shittiest jobs that you don’t want to be something you will be if and when your father, brother, nephew and niece were to die.

Be careful for what you wish for, Your Grace: do not lead your people to actually ponder a world where you don’t exist and where you have no use, for you will be surprised of how extremely livable life is without tending and pandering to the most outrageously over-privileged people the Earth has ever accommodated.

Your tough job…I’ll do it! Let’s swap. Not for a day but forever. I’ll give the 10-, 12-, 15-hour working days, the screaming kids, the insulting parents, the down-looking management and the pay squeeze and you give me the free money, the palaces, the never-ending holidays, the cooks, the fitness trainers, the countless servants and I will do the “tough job”. For that money, for that comfort in life, I will sit on that throne and smile until my teeth come off and the best dentist that ever that was gives me new ones…for free.

As an atheist, I will even graciously bow and blow smoke up the Archbishop of Canterbury’s arse if asked. I’ll do anything so my future can look as worry-free, secured and bright as yours looks everyday. I will do your tough job, Your Highness. Anything, so the only three things I can worry about is: my hair falling, the colour of my ties and who I am dating that doesn’t draw too much of my nan’s wrath.

And, my Lord, I think you’ll find millions of people would do your tough job if they could considering the life it comes with. I am not saying we would forever like it but for £3.3 million/month, I’ll do it for a couple of years then, once I am rich beyond my dreams, I’ll pass it on to the next volunteer and so on and so forth.

Maybe that’s it, maybe that’s modern monarchy.

 

When the Guardian turns into the Mirror…

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Really? “The worst idea ever?”…

The worst? Ever?! Really?

Worse that the war in Iraq or the referendum on Brexit or Donald Trump or any leader elected by the French since Mitterand left?

Really? It’s worse than that?

Raw & Rant – When the police refuse to police.

New section: the raw and the ranting.

My car was vandalised overnight. Stone through the passenger window, glove box opened, a couple of things stolen among which sunglasses adapted to my sight, a little bag full of mini perfume samples, some carwash tokens and an unfinished packet of biscuits…All you need for a perfect Saturday evening, ain’t it?

So that’s stressful enough when someone rings a bell at 9am on a Sunday but you think it’s some Jeovah witnesses and you are readying yourself to have a good time proving them what a loads of bollocks they are saying. No, it’s your lovely neighbour who points out to the shattered glass on the floor and feels sorry for you.

I call my mother, in Paris, and whose car it is, and she says I need to go to the police station and lodge a complaint. That’s where things get a real turn for the worst. Police station after a ride sitting on broken glass, I call on the intercom,  say why I am here, a woman takes more than 5 minutes to open the door just to tell me to come back tomorrow because they don’t deal with that kind of problems on Sundays.

Usually quick to react, I am flabbergasted. I just respectfully bow and ask her some questions I already know the answers too: should I make a list of what they stole? should I take a pictures? I already did. My heart is screaming that something is wrong with she is doing but my brain doesn’t register. It’s overwhelmed and I am in full anxiety mode which, weirdly, makes me very poised and clinical, but unable to think properly.

I return home and realise the extend of what happened after I called the insurance – what a nice, lovely man he was! So I call  the police again and tell them my car was vandalised, went to the police station when I was told it wasn’t the right time to lodge a complaint and should come back the next day. I ask for a police station that is actually working and with, at the least, a smidgen of professionalism.

The guy doesn’t answer my question as to where I can go and start telling me that on Sundays, it’s not the police station but the patrols that take complaints. So what? I am supposed to be standing on the pavement all day waiting for a police car to pass by – which never happens in my neighbour, considered posh. He says they will see the damage on their way. But it’s raining and two hours have past since I found out so I cleaned the car, covered the window and swept the glass of the road and pavement in a street with a lot of people are walking with their little animals…and dogs.

He tries to focus on one detail I said about the absence of cars passing by. “It’s not because you don’t see them that they…” I cut him short. “This is not the point. I asked you something simple, you still have not answered and it’s the emergency number. Some people need you, obviously you don’t think I do so have a nice day. Good bye.” I hung up as he’s speaking.

Now, thieves will be thieves. It’s rarely people leaving a fantastic life in a stable environment. I know it sounds rosy and rainbowy and carebeary but I can’t help but feeling some empathy, somehow.  A packet of biscuits and some perfume samples? Was the trouble really worth it? Did you really sleep well after you broke someone else’s car to get that? I guess the unknown person side of it makes it easier.

My problem is when the police will not be the police. “Not the right moment.” Can we be provided with a timetable of when we can report such and such issues? Vandalism on Mondays, assaults on Tuesdays, murders on Wednesday before lunch…

The media, the politicians are banging about the need for increasing security for the sake of us all but the feeling of insecurity doesn’t come only from terrorist attacks. Today, I am utterly stressed and my anxieties are through the roof because I wonder about my car which I use for a living. All the windows are open and the sightliest noise from the street makes me jump to see what’s happening.

I know it’s irrational but that’s the nature of insecurity. Sure, I wasn’t shot in the head by some mad men in the name of whatever ideology or beliefs but I have been spending the last five hours not knowing what to do with myself as the police is refusing to acknowledge that something happened. At least, until tomorrow because it’s Sunday. What does that mean for all the upcoming Sundays and Saturdays after 5pm. Should we all observe a curfew for our own sake and barricade ourselves and everything we had inside because anything can happen between now and Monday morning?

That’s insane but that’s insecurity for you: the biggest political gain for all parties today.

And it’s not the first time  not is it about Sundays. Years ago, on a Tuesday, when some people broke in the house when I was sleeping upstairs but left quickly after they realised the absence of car did not mean empty house, I went to the police. And during my statement, after a sleepless night of fear, the person refused to write down that I knew they were a group because I could hear different people walking on the glass downstairs.

“Broken glass doesn’t make any sound when walked on it”, she snided. I pointed out her job was to write down what I was saying, not to interpret it, surely not to counter it. I had to demand to see her superior and tell them she was questioning my version of the events for her to finally write down what I was saying. I felt like I was the criminal trying to lie my way into getting more that I should when I was just describing the scene as I experienced it.

The dismissal is not just limited to me nor is it to France. Friends of mine have countless stories about the police dismissing some claims and complaints and in England, after someone usurped my identity to steal £2000 for me, the police told me it wasn’t their job to investigate it, it was the bank. The bank was at fault because they didn’t check as they should so of course they would not investigate. Not matter my taking out the money-side of things and focusing on the usurpation as such and possible consequences, they would not take my complaint and I was left in limbo fearing of what the person would do in my name for months.

Today, I don’t feel insecure because of Daesh or Al Qaida or homophobic politicians lurking around the corner to make me an illegal again, I feel insecure because one of the few times I needed the police, they told me my issue was irrelevant and to come back later when more appropriate. Of course, this time, it’s just glass and some petty theft but still, it’s the kind of everyday crime that people must live with and unfortunately the police don’t consider important. It’s like they are all waiting for the next terrorist attack, nothing else matters. “If you don’t want to take my complaint because you have to be ready for the next Ben Laden, you’re wasting your time.”

Criminals will be criminals and that’s an issue but the real problems start when the people who must protect the everyday citizen against them refuse to act according to their mission of serve and protect and no, a patrol does not suffice, carrying a gun does not suffice, walking around looking threatening does not suffice, frisking some dark-skinned people does not siffice for it does not provide with a real feeling of security.

Today, my whole street is looking at my car, the glass in the gutter and worrying about their own possession. Maybe even their loved ones as we were told our neighbourhood was posh and trouble-free. This feeling of insecurity could be gone within a couple of minutes, provided the police agreed to be the police. They have not and my neighbours are appalled by crime but more so by their inaction.

Today, the police are basically making the feeling of insecurity even worse because the question now is : How bad must it be for the police to do something?

“If you want them to come because your neighbours are ASBOs, tell me you hear screaming, or you smell burning” a former roommate, who was a A&E doctor, told me. “If you have an accident, pretend one of your is badly hurt. They’d never move otherwise.”

That’s encouraging…

Do whatever but don’t force us to care.

In France, the Gay Pride is called “Marche des fiertés” – the Walk of the prides – which prompts someone on Twitter to say that in France, one is allowed to be proud of anything, except being heterosexual. The person is a proud member of the main right-wing party, of course, and belongs to a world chorus whining endlessly about their newly-born victimhood: we forbid their pride.

The fact is: you can be proud of anything you want, no one is stopping you but you can’t blame the rest of the world for not giving a pig’s bottom at you flaunting your privileges in the face of people who are still struggling everyday to be considered as normal citizens. At best! Homosexuality is still punishable by prison, torture and death in the world.

That’s what Pride Month is about and the marches that come with it: raising awareness and show that we are united and ever-ready to peacefully fight, along with millions of straight people, to be all equals.

So you are welcome to get your arse off your chair, to come and to join us. Even with a sign reading “I am proud to be straight” – if your commitment to your pride goes beyond the cheap 140-character Twitter rant, which I highly doubt. I mean, a pride is months of preparation, hours of setting-up, standing and waiting before you can eventually march.

But as I said no one is stopping you.

Men and their unsolicited…everything.

Need to rant.

What is it with men and their need to always force themselves on everyone? Whether it’s an advice on how to live our lives, taking over what someone is doing in the name of being “helpful”, or just plainly believing that their needs should be everyone’s priority…why are they like this?

Let’s start with an example: I am at the gym “reinforcing” as they say after some cardio. The gym I go to is specifically designed so there is no bench-pressing area, just some machines on which everyone can go more freely without having to put up with douche-bags with a penis and/or a brain the size of a bean. The motto is “health not showing off”.

Good! So I am lifting a bit and hating every second of it but the loud music in my ears and not wearing my glasses help me go through. They also make me blind and deaf to the world, which is a plus frankly. Suddenly, a shape is in front of me and I somehow manage to distinguish that its lips are moving. I stop, take my glasses, put them on, take off my headphones and face a complete stranger with a smirk. He has said something.

“Pardon me? I say.
-So…how much?
-What?” He bends over and sees I am lifting 15kg so he carries on with a smile.
“Come on…30…”, he winks.  I stare at him for a second and understand that he is that type of guy, the one who thinks he must help me aim higher…despite knowing fuck all about my life, what.so.ever!

I compose myself. “If I needed you, I’d have come with a lead…” On the headphones, off the machine and I leave this part of the gym. He has not understood. Poodles never do.

I have some ideas on the reasons of his behaviour: the meddling, the butting-in when no one has ever asked. Like most of men, he has grown to understand it is his duty. We all have the need to show we know better but as a man raised by a woman, I don’t have this need to interfere in strangers’ lives whereas my gender is on some kind of a constant mission to save the world, basically. “The man is stronger and he decides because he knows better” is the mantra for boys. They like to see themselves as wise and enlightened when they’re nothing but dogs who think it’s friendly to jump on you, lick your face and shag your leg – to say the least. They never see how much we  just want to kick them until they stop….to say the least!

When I talk about that moment with women, they are all with me. They know exactly what I am talking about and it’s usually the starter of hours of countless stories and anecdotes where the male stranger was here to grant us with its inherent knowledge and wisdom.

-The one who tells a woman he doesn’t know, as she is looking at a dress, that “it won’t look good on you, try that one instead” *Coy smile*

-The colleague you barely know yet says “You should try typing with all fingers, it’s less tiring.” *wink wink*

-The  one who says “You should go to the automatic cashier, it would be quicker.” *head tilt*

-The one who tells you “You should report that, that’s so sexist. Can’t you see?” *concerned face*

-The one who tells you about which brands to buy when shopping. *knowledgeable douche*

-The male stranger who told a friend of mine which tampons to buy! *the-I-choose-for-my-girlfriend-and-she-says-she-has-never-been-happier smirk*

These examples come on top of men who constantly feel like they ought to tell you how you should feel, act and react in virtually all aspects of your life. The truth is that the first thing that comes to our minds is “I know you’re terribly lonely and your mates don’t listen to you because they are too busy saving the rest of the world but please, do bugger off.”

When I mention this to other men, they all tell me we are being spiteful bitches. They are right! I was a right bitch to that gym toddler because like all other insufferable devil’s spawns, he was trying to force himself on me at a moment when I was not in any way in the mood or any disposition to have a anyone forcing themselves on me. Can’t they see that?!

“Yes but…”

Yes?! Wait a minute! You’re not blind, then?! You are totally aware than we are not always open to you barging in our personal space and life thinking you can fix what needn’t be fixed in the first place and yet, you come anyway?! Why?

“You don’t get it!”, I am told. I am being antisocial because, yes it was maybe not the right moment, but I should have made an effort because “he was just being friendly, helpful, caring and I reacted like a girl.” No wonder…

“Helpful”, that’s it. He saw me there, minding my own business and he thought I desperately needed his meddling I am asked to acknowledge as selfless help. And, unlike him, I should have made an effort to go with what he wanted and let him in because he was acting out of kindness. As should the rest of the world who obviously cannot go through life without the caring yet unsolicited help of a man. Sorry, “a gentleman” as men called themselves in that situation.

In a nutshell for those who still don’t get it: if one needs help, one asks for it. if not, leave people live their life without forcing yourself on anybody. If you have the urge to do so, refrain it. Then, if indeed asked for help, quit sulking because you were told off before and come and help, like any decent human being would.