Tag Archives: Jean-Luc Melenchon

Sunday song, funny side of election

14 Apr

“They tell me that Francois has his fly open, (ooooh!!!)
That if Nicolas loses he will retire (noooo!!!),

Blabla Halal you are  blablabla Halal.”

Who dares to mock with Nicolas Sarkozy,  the fly of Hollande and a highly sensitive topic, halal  ?

On You Tube, on the channel nakoneczny3, an energetic duo posts, every Sunday, a new song. And this is not a band funded by National or Left Front to make fun of the presidential favorites.

Their name is  Sunday song  (La chanson du dimanche).  Founded in 2007, in the manner of  French chansonniers the pair puts together many different musical styles to sing about various topics:  from love, GMO (GMO man, you make the water that isn’t wet, you make women that don’t die…) to purchasing power (If  I  had  a high purchasing power … I would buy a flat screen/ My life would be so much easier) and, of course, politics.
In their recent tune, Blabla Halal, the duo sings about the heated debate over Halal meat as an example of the insignificant issues that are taking over the presidential campaign.

Even though Clément Marchand (guitar & vocals) and Alexandre Castagnetti (keyboard & vocals), didn’t want to focus on politics from the beginning, the 2007 presidential campaign gave them enough  song  material. Back then, they sang about Nicolas Sarkozy and Rachida Dati  (Hold me tight, Nicolas,Rachida/Hold me in your arms, Nicolas,Rachida/I need you Nicolas, Rachida/You’re there for me, Nicolas, that’s love) and about voting options  (If you vote for a fascist, you vote Sarkozy/ You vote trivial, you vote Royal/ You vote for the hatred, you vote le Pen, you vote for  the wimp, you vote Bayrou)

Initially a mere funny experiment, Sunday song became quite popular in France through the video-sharing and social networks web sites-now they are on Facebook, My Space , Twitter and Sound Cloud– and their analyze the current French presidential elections.

With humor, sometimes bitter,  always ironic, they tackle social themes in „Money people (“Peuple de l’argent), talking about the „exile of the rich, fleeing France, scared by tax threats from presidential candidates,  or in “Quinquennial”  joking about the five-year presidential term of the candidate-president Nicolas Sarkozy, represented in the song as a….student.

„You didn’t do your homework, Nicolas?/ -I didn’t have time, we have too much homework!/-You have to work more, mate.” 

Even though they don’t explicitly support any of the candidates, it is quite easy to guess that they won’t attack Left front in their songs. Last month they performed as part of a gig at a Paris rally for far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon. Moreover, in the middle of two election turns, Sunday song  play a live show on the 3rd May in Bataclan. Tickets are sold for 19 euros for the registered voters, for those who can’t vote-minors or strangers- and for all the Jean-Lucs.

It must be comforting for Jean-Luc Mélenchon to know that, even if he doesn’t get to the second election turn, he gets a free entry to the concert.

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Riposte laïque: when secularism strikes back

9 Mar

Riposte laïque (Secular riposte)  is a web site founded in 2007, that claims defending the ideas of secularism without belonging to any political party or faction. Even though one of its founders, Pierre Cassen, is a former Trotskyist, some of the contributors have more right background. Moreover, some of site contributors seem to be tightly-bounded to Bloc identitaire, a French political movement belonging to the far-right political milieu. Majority of their articles focalizes on Islamic threat, these days especially on the halal meat polemics.

CC: Riposte laïque site

Robert Albarèdes is one of the most active contributors on the site Riposte laïque.  Politically active for more than 30 years, he if one of the site co-founders. Nowadays that retired literature professor “cultivates his garden” (reference to Voltaire’s Candide that he appreciates a lot is not random) in his house in Provence and writes for Riposte laïque on the topics he is passionate about. For him, as well as for the other site contributors, secularism is a French national symbol.

1. Could you say that there is an opinion proper to the whole team of Riposte laïque?

Riposte laïque is a free media, in the way that every contributor is personally responsible of his content; we don’t have a common policy. However, we have a common idea that unites us all, and that is the secularism and its importance in the French society. Except for that, our contributors, permanent or freelance, can be from the far-right or the far-left party, nobody cares. We are all different, each one of us has different sensibilitie and idea about politics. Yet, our writing about the secularism issues isn’t positioned on the right or the left angle of political scene.

2. In your opinion, what would be the biggest issue related to secularism at the 2012 presidential election?

Secularism is one of the pillars of our society. It’s a connection between the different layers of society and it should be threaten as equally important as crisis, unemployment or European integration. We consider that today there is an interior and an exterior threat to secularism, the first one coming from the religions inside our country, the second one from European institutions. I think that the “importation of Islam” in France by immigration  is a way to destroy secularism , to abolish the 1905 law and prepare the field for the European federalism that will reintroduce the Churches in the public sphere. Yet, the candidates apparently don’t think that secularism is that important these days.

3. What do you mean by that?

My personal opinion is that the candidates are using the concept of secularism in a completely random and inappropriate way. Moreover, their proposals are anti-secular, especially in the cases of Mr. Hollande or Mr. Sarkozy. They manipulate public opinion. These two biggest parties want to eradicate the secular system. Secularism, shouldn’t be misused in that way.

I find that Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (leader of the party Arise the Republic, former fraction  within the ruling Sarkozy’s party) and Madame Marine le Pen have the most coherent proposals on secularism. My opinion is based on statements written on their websites or pronounced during their public speeches. However, Jean-Luc Mélenchon (leader of Left Front) and Nathalie Arthaud-leader of Workers’ Struggle , a party with a long secular tradition-also defend the concept of secularism.

4. Riposte laique has been often criticized for its authors’ radical opinions on Islam and immigration. What is your response to this kind of criticism?

On the site, we defend firmly our positions on secularism. Of course, that provoked a strong reaction of those who don’t agree with us. Let me recall you that Rousseau and Voltaire were also criticized in their time because of their positions. The freedom if speech if one of the fundamental human rights. That means that we accept to be criticized, but we also give ourselves the right to criticize the others. That is a democratic debate that takes place on the internet.