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French Riot Police revolt over beer and wine ban
April 26, 2011 9:40 AM   Subscribe

"I don't think the chief of police drinks water when he's having a meal." Members of the Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité, the French riot police, are up in arms about a new regulation forbidding them to drink alcohol during the workday. The ban is said to be a reaction to widely publicized photos of riot police drinking beer while policing a high-school student demonstration in Perreux-sur-Marne.
posted by escabeche (107 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh but where does this end? Next thing you know our surgeons and pilots won't be able to imbibe on their breaks.
posted by Octoparrot at 9:53 AM on April 26, 2011 [5 favorites]


Duh. What part of 'no drinking while on duty' do those policemen not understand?

Those pictures are an embarrassment and the officers in them should be disciplined, HOWEVER it's a bit over the top for the Départment to pass this new rule -- it is France, after all, not Freedomvania.
posted by vhsiv at 9:53 AM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I also don't drink water when I'm having a meal. Neither do I carry a baton or a shield or tear gas. Also: I am not tasked with protecting the public good and preserving the peace.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:54 AM on April 26, 2011 [16 favorites]


I carry a perspex riot shield at family meals but only 'cos uncle joe is one bad masticator.
posted by longbaugh at 9:55 AM on April 26, 2011 [5 favorites]


They could all just go on strike.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 9:57 AM on April 26, 2011 [8 favorites]


Those shoulder-pad riot guard things are awesome. Where can I get a set?
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 9:58 AM on April 26, 2011


Seems like a silly ban. Just because you are armed, driving and working under intense situations like riot control doesn't mean that you can't drink. For all we know, the beer and wine could make the CRS more friendly and relaxed. Now that I think about it, it makes much more sense making beer and whine drinking mandatory.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:59 AM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


YOU CAN HAVE MY BEIGNETS WHEN YOU PRY THEM FROM MY... Oh, wait. You said "Beaujolais." Nevermind.
posted by zarq at 10:00 AM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


A new regulation?
posted by rocket88 at 10:00 AM on April 26, 2011 [5 favorites]


I think it's fine that the police are drinking and eating as long as the protestors get to carry guns and launch tear gas.
posted by DU at 10:01 AM on April 26, 2011 [24 favorites]


I'd be more afraid of French riot police if they DIDN'T drink with lunch.
posted by three blind mice at 10:01 AM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder what a state does when their riot police start rioting...
posted by lemuring at 10:05 AM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


FRENCH POLICE PROTEST NEW ANTI-TERROIR TASKFORCE
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:05 AM on April 26, 2011 [23 favorites]


Way to go, guys, now the Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité will just go back to doing speedballs on their cooffee breaks....
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:06 AM on April 26, 2011


Yeah, I agree that this is unreasonable. Everyone knows of CRS's sterling reputation for sane and proportional response.

two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed bun
posted by leotrotsky at 10:06 AM on April 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


I also don't drink water when I'm having a meal. Neither do I carry a baton or a shield or tear gas.

Apparently, your trips to Red Lobster are very different from mine.
posted by Greg Nog at 10:09 AM on April 26, 2011 [23 favorites]


This Republican Securities Company.. their officers are drinking with federal bail out money?
posted by Ahab at 10:13 AM on April 26, 2011


Duh. What part of 'no drinking while on duty' do those policemen not understand?

Was that a rule? As I understood it, they were ordinarily permitted to have a beer or two during meal breaks.
posted by pompomtom at 10:14 AM on April 26, 2011


I can't even drink at work, and all I do is sit at a desk.
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:15 AM on April 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


Mad policeMen
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:15 AM on April 26, 2011


Astro Zombie: “I also don't drink water when I'm having a meal. Neither do I carry a baton or a shield or tear gas.”

Greg Nog: “Apparently, your trips to Red Lobster are very different from mine.”

Mine, too. Love that free water! Can't get enough of it!
posted by koeselitz at 10:17 AM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, the riot police baton and decanter set.
posted by clavdivs at 10:17 AM on April 26, 2011


Ban a glass of wine with lunch but only if you make 100mg MDMA mandatory for duty
posted by jtron at 10:18 AM on April 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Come on guys, have you ever tried to start a riot sober? It's not as easy as you might... wait, that's not -- what's their job? Oh. OH.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 10:19 AM on April 26, 2011 [5 favorites]


How about this: Police get to drink beer, as long as they don't beat up students.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:21 AM on April 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


The most hilarious thing about this is not the drinking per se, but the fact that, a beer comes with their packed lunch.
posted by ob at 10:22 AM on April 26, 2011


Those shoulder-pad riot guard things are awesome. Where can I get a set?
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed


I saw someone wearing protective motorcycle gear that looked something like that.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:29 AM on April 26, 2011


There is a time to laugh and a time not to laugh, and this is not one of them. - Inspector Jacques Clouseau
posted by tommasz at 10:30 AM on April 26, 2011 [6 favorites]


Chief Inspector.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:40 AM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I gotta move to France. Priorities, people!
posted by incessant at 10:47 AM on April 26, 2011


This is challenging for me to respond to, being an American. We have weird ideas about how one ought to proceed with regard to intoxicants in general, and there's a very long tradition of what we might consider excessive laxity surrounding alcohol imbibing in Europe.

On the other hand, how could this possibly be considered okay or responsible?
posted by clockzero at 10:50 AM on April 26, 2011


Also: I am not tasked with protecting the public good and preserving the peace.

Neither are riot police, though.

Another question - if the French riot police revolt, and decide to protest or riot... who will meet them in the streets? Will anarchists riot in solidarity?
posted by entropone at 11:00 AM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cultural differences. I'm European (not french) and I don't see much of a big deal. In my country most workers are allowed a set amount of beer during breaks, except in certain sectors requiring fine motor skills.
posted by Catfry at 11:01 AM on April 26, 2011


This is like banning the Met from murdering people!
posted by Artw at 11:01 AM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


except in certain sectors requiring fine motor skills.

Like riot control?
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:12 AM on April 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm sure their union will put a quick stop to this.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 11:14 AM on April 26, 2011


God, how I love the French.
posted by freakazoid at 11:18 AM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


More like jobs involving driving or surgery.
posted by Catfry at 11:18 AM on April 26, 2011


What about painting?
posted by gagglezoomer at 11:20 AM on April 26, 2011


Catfry, how can I move there? That sounds awesome.
posted by Carillon at 11:22 AM on April 26, 2011


Si vous touchez mon vin de déjeuner puis je finirai votre vie, sale hippie.
posted by longbaugh at 11:30 AM on April 26, 2011


hippie sale, dammit!
posted by longbaugh at 11:32 AM on April 26, 2011


Duh. What part of 'no drinking while on duty' do those policemen not understand?

Was that a rule? As I understood it, they were ordinarily permitted to have a beer or two during meal breaks.


During meal breaks, sure. But while they're standing on the street in riot gear working a high school demonstration?

I don't care if they have a beer or two with their lunch, but those photos show something else entirely going on.
posted by hippybear at 11:34 AM on April 26, 2011


If a hippie is touching your wine during lunch, it's probably because he thinks you'll share a glass with him during the meal, and he'll get you stoned after eating.
posted by hippybear at 11:36 AM on April 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


> More like jobs involving driving or surgery.

How about judgement?

You know, being able to determine if that person is pointing a gun at you or a camera, or if you realize that while they are being upfront in your face, doesn't mean you have to beat them back to show respect because they are just angry at the circumstances and not you.

Or if lethal force is necessary to deal with an individual, or maybe if this thing in your hand is a taser not a pistol?

Yeah, I'm totally ok with people being to get their buzz on before they have to make those decisions.
posted by mrzarquon at 11:36 AM on April 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Aw, man! Now they're going to be all "on their toes" and "competent" and shit. Dammit, I'm going to have to reassess all my riot-in-France-y'all plans.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:39 AM on April 26, 2011


Aww man, if the riot police are going to start showing up drunk, I'm going to have to start showing up sober, and let me tell you; rioting sober is such a drag.
posted by quin at 11:40 AM on April 26, 2011


I think the mentality was that the amounts we are talking about (1 glass typically) wouldn't be enough to influence judgment more than, say, sleeping badly or getting a raise would.

I must say, I'm just an average guy, I did not follow the developments in these policies, but after my initial comment I have googled a bit and it turns out there has been a significant change in the work regulations the last decade and now a majority of work places here prohibit all alcohol. I just happen to be in a sector this hasn't happened in yet. Seems like we are slowly turning towards the American viewpoint, as this article also seems to demonstrate. I don't know what I think about that.
posted by Catfry at 11:44 AM on April 26, 2011


I noticed that (in my admittedly non-scientific experience) American working hours are much, much longer than French ones, and Americans are often more tired than French people. Alcohol consumption when one is overtired does have a greater effect, and when one has been tired for decades because of one's schedule, it's difficult to remember that one glass might not have the same effect on someone who's not so chronically sleep-deprived.
posted by Fraxas at 11:52 AM on April 26, 2011


Do French police carry sidearms or tasers?
posted by geoff. at 11:55 AM on April 26, 2011


Plus American cops put all other cops to shame in the crazy explode-at-any-moment rage-monkey stakes.
posted by Artw at 11:55 AM on April 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


They could all just go on strike.
I'm sure their union will put a quick stop to this.

The CRS don't have a union, and aren't allowed to go on strike. They're categorized as part of the military, who, in France, don't have the right to form unions (and thus, they don't have the right to strike). City and national police, who aren't military, have the right to form unions (and so, to strike), and they're the ones showing solidarity and giving a voice to the CRS.

Btw, to make things even more confusing, gendarmes, military police, are military... and don't have the right to unionize or strike. Sarkozy recently axed a few groups as part of budget cuts, which they couldn't protest, having no voice. This sudden "no, you can't have a beer at lunch" rule is felt as part of a larger campaign against the voiceless military-categorized police forces in France.

And FWIW, they're only allowed one beer or glass of wine at lunch. And everyone, everyone, in France knows that, and has known it since time immemorial (because practically every French person does the same at lunch). We have open bottles of wine and champagne hanging out in our office kitchen pretty regularly. No one is drunk or even tipsy - a single glass doesn't do much. But I do see how riot police drinking at lunch gets iffy. Still, though, once again, it smells more of Sarkozy grandstanding than anything else. Presidential elections are next year here in France too.
posted by fraula at 11:55 AM on April 26, 2011 [10 favorites]


The caption under the Guardian photo is the best.
posted by nickmark at 11:58 AM on April 26, 2011


On the whole, I'd rather be in front of a French cop whose had a beer for lunch than one who hasn't. I know which one's going to be more tense.

But, yes, I guess they should be learning from you Americans: sober, and shooting guys in the back on a train or taking out hits on people who complain about police brutality. When will the French get with the American apogee of civilisation?
posted by rodgerd at 12:00 PM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


But, yes, I guess they should be learning from you Americans: sober, and shooting guys in the back on a train...

"sober" in giant quote marks.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:05 PM on April 26, 2011


I think this is a riot!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:14 PM on April 26, 2011


Do French police carry sidearms or tasers?

Beretta Model 92G (and G-SD) and 96G (and G-SD). The G is for Gendarme.

They have also carried an X-26 "pistolet a impulsions electrique" (PIE) since around 2006-7.

Do I win anything for knowing that?
posted by longbaugh at 12:18 PM on April 26, 2011


French police don't appear to be anymore civilized. Maybe they hadn't had their beers that day?

I also don't support the current trend in America to militarize and isolate the police forces from the people for whom they are to protect, because more and more they become an occupying army and not local citizens working together to ensure the safety of their community. That is supposed to be the difference between a police force and military force.

But the conversation is about if enforcers of law should be allowed to drink during lunch or while working, and since that is something hard to ensure everyone is following (do people really only have one beer, do they make sure they have eaten something first, is the one beer only 4% and not 9%?), I'd say the trade off for getting to have the power of being an enforcer of the law is you don't get to drink during lunch. If you want a job where you can drink during lunch, then go work somewhere else.

This isn't like the stupid American laws where if you can't pass a piss test because you smoke pot on the weekends they will fire you.
posted by mrzarquon at 12:21 PM on April 26, 2011


Do I win anything for knowing that?

A pack of smokes and an extra scoop of slop at lunch. But watch yourself. No one likes a snitch.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:23 PM on April 26, 2011


During meal breaks, sure. But while they're standing on the street in riot gear working a high school demonstration?

The Figaro article I read about this (caveats: paywall, French) seemed to imply that the police were drinking beer which had been included in their packed lunches - not so easy to have a sit down meal when you are getting ready to police a demonstration.

The bottles they are holding contain 275ml of Kronenbourg 1664 - which has a strength of 5.2% alcohol. To give some idea of the strength of this consider that the maximum permitted blood alcohol level for drivers in France is a (relatively stringent) 0.05%. If I feed these figures into a blood alcohol content calculator then it looks like the policeman would need to gulp down 2 or 3 such bottles in quick succession to get near this limit.

Drinking some wine or beer with lunch during work is considered pretty unremarkable in France to the point where many French would probably wonder what the fuss was about here. It is worth bearing in mind that we are talking about drinking along with a meal, that the meal will commonly last for nigh on an hour and that water and coffee will also often be drunk.
posted by rongorongo at 12:25 PM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


French police don't appear to be anymore civilized. Maybe they hadn't had their beers that day?

Oh, it's not like other countries don't have cops that are terrible, arrogant abusive assholes with contempt of the people they are supposed to serve, but in the US it's really, really heavily ingrained. i don;t think you see cops that are bigger assholes outside of totalitarian states.
posted by Artw at 12:33 PM on April 26, 2011


As an Italian, I have to say I'm a little astounded at the comments. Most people in France, as in Italy, will drink a glass of wine with their meal. I mean it. It's absolutely normal and, as far as I know, has not caused any particular problems anywhere. Even during pregnancy! Shocking!

I live in the US and I'm a hell of a lot more mistrustful of sober policemen here than I would be of had-one-glass-of-wine-with-lunch policemen in Italy, which are ostensibly all of them.
posted by lydhre at 12:37 PM on April 26, 2011


I'm more concerned about American cops on steroids than French riot cops having a beer on lunch break.

Best option: riot cops lighting up a joint on duty. If a full-on riot breaks you, they could probably form up a shield wall and throw down. But how likely are they to start cracking heads for inadequate reasons? Passez Le Vert, mon ami.

side note: Paris does seem to have a whole lot of riots
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 12:41 PM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Apparently the Police Nationale use the SIG SP2022 and the same model of Taser.

The more you know!

A pack of smokes and an extra scoop of slop at lunch.

I once picked up a pack of 200 filterless Gauloise back when I was smuggling tabs and booze under the (misguided) impression that it would make me look cool. In reality I looked like a total tool and it took me about a month to give away the remaining packs after realising how awful they were. Even homeless guys turned them down for fuck's sake.
posted by longbaugh at 12:42 PM on April 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is like banning the Met from murdering people!

I think the police in England were banned from drinking on duty in 1848 after a whole number got drunk in a church and beat up some Chartists who were protesting. The last 163 years of police "misjudgement" has taken place (mostly) sober.
posted by Jehan at 12:51 PM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


After having read the history of Gauloises very quickly just now I see that I have Orwell and Camus to blame for putting that shitty brand in my dumb teenage mind - thanks fuckers.

Going even further back, Goscinny and Uderzo may have apparently implanted the brand in my mind with the Asterix books. I WAS A CHILD! This would be why I grew up to have a terrible smokers cough and may become Asthmatix.
posted by longbaugh at 12:52 PM on April 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


My friend who works at a hospital in France has informed me that they have alcohol available in the cafeteria, which doctors can drink.

I worked somewhere where theree were 5-6 people, and when we had a group lunch, the wine snob in the company would bring in 3-4 bottles of wine for us to share (and finish) over lunch. I rather enjoyed those days, though I was not totally efficient in the afternoons.
posted by jeather at 12:53 PM on April 26, 2011


I think the police in England were banned from drinking on duty in 1848 after a whole number got drunk in a church and beat up some Chartists who were protesting.

Nice to see The Times hasn't changed it's opinion of Police violence in 163 years.
posted by longbaugh at 1:07 PM on April 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


As an Italian, I have to say I'm a little astounded at the comments. Most people in France, as in Italy, will drink a glass of wine with their meal.

Stop at an autobahn rest stop in Germany around say 10am. Euros to Berliners you'll find several long-haul truckers drinking half-litres of the local Export with their breakfast. They will not get tanked; they will have a beer with their breakfast.

Ask me whether I'd rather share the highway with them or the stone-cold-sober cellphoning-in-traffic overstressed masses I have to share the Crowchild Trail with here in Calgary to pick up my daughter at school. I'll buy a second beer to whichever German trucker answers first and then race 'em to Berlin.
posted by gompa at 1:07 PM on April 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


Ask me whether I'd rather share the highway with them or the stone-cold-sober cellphoning-in-traffic overstressed masses I have to share the Crowchild Trail with here in Calgary to pick up my daughter at school.

Is it possible to prefer that neither be on the road?
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:09 PM on April 26, 2011


No!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:10 PM on April 26, 2011


Sorry -Non!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:10 PM on April 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is it possible to prefer that neither be on the road?

Sure, but only if you're commuting back and forth from Unicornville to the Rainbow Factory. Otherwise, as some famous French drunk once said, hell's gonna continue to be other people. With driver's licenses.
posted by gompa at 1:11 PM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Stop at an autobahn rest stop in Germany around say 10am. Euros to Berliners you'll find several long-haul truckers drinking half-litres of the local Export with their breakfast. They will not get tanked; they will have a beer with their breakfast...I'll buy a second beer to whichever German trucker answers first and then race 'em to Berlin.

This reminds me of W.H. Auden's famous poem "Der Schnitzel-Wagon".
posted by longbaugh at 1:22 PM on April 26, 2011


I've never seen a drunken cop.
I hope I never see one.
But I will tell you, if I'm stopped,
They'll probably beat me to death when I insist they take a Breathalyzer test before complying with their orders.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:30 PM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nice to see The Times hasn't changed it's opinion of Police violence in 163 years.

They were probably using the Peterloo massacre as a baseline. Of course, they might have also been trolling some of their readers, knowing that lots of people read for the foreign news (which was supposedly pretty good and current).

posted by Jehan at 1:36 PM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Stop at an autobahn rest stop in Germany around say 10am. Euros to Berliners you'll find several long-haul truckers drinking half-litres of the local Export with their breakfast. They will not get tanked; they will have a beer with their breakfast.

Ask me whether I'd rather share the highway with them or the stone-cold-sober cellphoning-in-traffic overstressed masses I have to share the Crowchild Trail with here in Calgary to pick up my daughter at school. I'll buy a second beer to whichever German trucker answers first and then race 'em to Berlin.


It's that kind of attitude that leads to this brutally realistic simulated trucker mayhem.
posted by Copronymus at 1:40 PM on April 26, 2011


Are Gitanes regarded any better than Gauloises? I smoked Gitanes in my gotta-look-cool days.
posted by desjardins at 1:42 PM on April 26, 2011


Well you didn't look cool because you're not Alain Delon or Steve McQueen.
posted by longbaugh at 1:52 PM on April 26, 2011


Kevlar koozies for everyone. And God forbid should someone spill their beer during riot suppression. And c'mon...is there anyone here in the states who think their police force is totally sober all the time?

Everything in moderation.
posted by Kokopuff at 2:04 PM on April 26, 2011


Some of my clients are considered to be "always on duty" and none can drink alcohol while on duty, creates problems, especially when they are required to be armed while in the jurisdiction by general orders.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:15 PM on April 26, 2011


Well you didn't look cool because you're not Alain Delon or Steve McQueen.

Well, that's not fair. How many people have ever been Alain Delon or Steve McQueen? At most, five.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:17 PM on April 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Foutez la gendarmerie!
posted by cereselle at 2:19 PM on April 26, 2011


"I can't even drink at work, and all I do is sit at a desk."

Which really is probably foolish. A single beer, especially a 275ml-5.2% beer, spread out over the course of a day or half a day isn't going to significantly impact the decision making abilities of anyone. Heck the average person could probably slam it and still be effective at a desk job. But as always it's easier for authority to prohibit things than to police moderation.
posted by Mitheral at 2:24 PM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Les mals lieutenants
posted by Flashman at 2:40 PM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think the only civilized way to drink at a desk job is by downing exactly one glass of good bourbon each Friday afternoon and then running out the door, briefcase in tow, tie loosened.
posted by gagglezoomer at 2:42 PM on April 26, 2011


Dear US commentators who seem to think that "Europe" is a kind of laid back wonderland where people "repose" in the afternoon to enjoy their "vin" - Europe is not a museum. It is an actual place where actual people live, buoyed by hopes and burdened by hardships very similar to your own. It is not some magical place that exists solely to validate your ideological and political longings and leanings.

Also, the CRS would sweep the streets with your cops. They are vicious.
posted by eeeeeez at 3:51 PM on April 26, 2011 [6 favorites]


Europe is not a museum. It is an actual place where actual people live, buoyed by hopes and burdened by hardships very similar to your own.

LIES!!!
posted by hippybear at 3:56 PM on April 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


buoyed by hopes and burdened by hardships very similar to your own

Donald Trump is trying to buy Europe, too?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:09 PM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Americans are not all anti-alcohol, jeez.

I'm an American and I can drink at work. We have a fully stocked bar in the middle of our office!

Of course, I'm rarely armed with anything thats not Nerf.
posted by wildcrdj at 5:43 PM on April 26, 2011


MetaFilter: rarely armed with anything thats not Nerf.
posted by hippybear at 5:46 PM on April 26, 2011


The flaming nerf of gin.
posted by clavdivs at 5:51 PM on April 26, 2011


I'm not allowed to drink on my luchbreak (this dosen't mean that I haven't) and the worst that'll happen if I do is that a book'll be misshelved.
posted by jonmc at 6:37 PM on April 26, 2011


This makes me recall the one (one! 1!) time of year which I allow myself a nip at lunch-time - the annual ladies-at-work Christmas luncheon.

I swear, you have one glass of white wine with your pasta alfredo and the looks that go around the table vary from "she's a drunk!" to "she's a total drunk!".

Never mind that the worst effect of six ounces of wine could possibly produce are maybe a typo in an email (quickly corrected!), or some unforced jollity.

Bitches, I need that glass of wine to cope with sitting at a meal with you hags for an hour. Note that when I eat alone I don't need to drink.
posted by contessa at 6:42 PM on April 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm not allowed to drink on my luchbreak (this dosen't mean that I haven't) and the worst that'll happen if I do is that a book'll be misshelved.

THAT RISK IS UNACCEPTABLE.

[cowers in the corner, rocking PTSD-style, reliving the many times when last minute research was obstructed by misshelved books].
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:47 PM on April 26, 2011


Dear US commentators who seem to think that "Europe" is a kind of laid back wonderland where people "repose" in the afternoon to enjoy their "vin" - Europe is not a museum. It is an actual place where actual people live, buoyed by hopes and burdened by hardships very similar to your own. It is not some magical place that exists solely to validate your ideological and political longings and leanings.

Favorited with extreme prejudice.
posted by jason's_planet at 7:11 PM on April 26, 2011


It is not some magical place that exists solely to validate your ideological and political longings and leanings.

Of course not! Those places are Unicornville and the Rainbow Factory.
posted by axiom at 8:22 PM on April 26, 2011


eeeeeez: “Dear US commentators who seem to think that "Europe" is a kind of laid back wonderland where people "repose" in the afternoon to enjoy their "vin" - Europe is not a museum. It is an actual place where actual people live, buoyed by hopes and burdened by hardships very similar to your own. It is not some magical place that exists solely to validate your ideological and political longings and leanings.”

Hear, hear. Though you should probably be telling this to the police force that puts on airs of being genteel old-world gendarmes politely sipping their drinks on the thoroughfares whilst taking what opportunities they can to beat students and foreigners.

“Also, the CRS would sweep the streets with your cops. They are vicious.”

Well, I'm American, so I tend to disagree. Then again, I've never lived in the Paris ghetto, so I guess I don't quite know the extent of the viciousness.

lydhre: “I live in the US and I'm a hell of a lot more mistrustful of sober policemen here than I would be of had-one-glass-of-wine-with-lunch policemen in Italy, which are ostensibly all of them.”

This has nothing to do with the issue at hand. How, pray tell, would you feel about Italian police wearing full riot gear, warning people to stay in their homes because it's "dangerous!" – roaming the streets openly swigging beer from bottles as they stride to the line to drive down striking students? Hrm? Context is everything. This has nothing to do with American prudishness and everything to do with the arrogance of the CRS.

One might note, incidentally, that it is the French people who are up in arms about the videos of riot cops with billy club in one hand and beer in the other. The wine-loving French people who were more than a little disturbed that a force that had basically declared martial law in a district by ordering the populace off the street still found time to down a brew or three.
posted by koeselitz at 8:31 PM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


gompa: “Stop at an autobahn rest stop in Germany around say 10am. Euros to Berliners you'll find several long-haul truckers drinking half-litres of the local Export with their breakfast. They will not get tanked; they will have a beer with their breakfast. Ask me whether I'd rather share the highway with them or the stone-cold-sober cellphoning-in-traffic overstressed masses I have to share the Crowchild Trail with here in Calgary to pick up my daughter at school. I'll buy a second beer to whichever German trucker answers first and then race 'em to Berlin.”

The CRS is not made up of truckers from autobahn rest stops.

More's the pity.
posted by koeselitz at 8:36 PM on April 26, 2011


Dear US commentators who seem to think that "Europe" is a kind of laid back wonderland where people "repose" in the afternoon to enjoy their "vin" - Europe is not a museum. It is an actual place where actual people live, buoyed by hopes and burdened by hardships very similar to your own. It is not some magical place that exists solely to validate your ideological and political longings and leanings.

No, but you mime it perfectly.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:13 PM on April 26, 2011


Europe is not a museum.

No. But it is where The History comes from.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:29 PM on April 26, 2011


The thing is... plenty of studies show that even 1 beer is enough to affect your judgement and coordination while driving, or doing anything else. It may not be a huge problem, but it seems like a no-brainer that people who get to, you know, carry weapons in public to be used against the public (for the common good of course) should not be taking anything that intoxicates them to any degree while working.

Just because "everyone does it" or "it's always been that way" doesn't make it okay.
Let' see some real honest studies and statistics about incidents of excessive violence and/or poor decisions by french police that can be attributed to alcohol - if it's really an issue, that shouldn't be hard to come up with.

Cigarettes used to be the cure for everything.

Opium products were the cure for alcoholism (and other stuff).

What the "safe" amount of alcohol for driving is understood to be is has been declining, at least in north america, on a constant basis - to the point where drinking and driving is just a no-no in any amount, pretty much.
posted by TravellingDen at 9:33 PM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why do the police forces only hire drunks? Thats my question!
posted by hal_c_on at 10:15 PM on April 26, 2011


Europe is not a museum.

No. But it is where The History comes from.

Umm just the white european history, actually.
posted by hal_c_on at 10:17 PM on April 26, 2011


Europe is not a museum.

No. But it is where The History comes from.

Umm just the white european history, actually.


Well, I was quoting a white, European comic
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 11:07 PM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


On the whole, I'd rather be in front of a French cop whose had a beer for lunch than one who hasn't.

And I'd rather be in front of a French cop who'd had a skinful, than an American cop who hasn't had any.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:32 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


PeterMcDermott: “And I'd rather be in front of a French cop who'd had a skinful, than an American cop who hasn't had any.”

And I'd rather be anywhere than be brown and poor and in front of either of them.
posted by koeselitz at 7:28 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


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