Professor Froward's Slough of Despond

Proud purveyor of flawed generalizations and vacuous tautologies.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

How many fingers, Winston? runs a Reuters report on rioting in a suburb of Paris:

Hundreds of French youths fought with police and set cars ablaze.


[Police] were unable to give figures for the number of protesters hurt.

"Protesters"? It's a riot. Some of them seem to have started the day as protesters, but after they started rioting, they were rioters. That's what you call somebody who's rioting: A rioter. Why the confusion? Because they were "protesters" in the same sense that people who machine-gun little kids are "activists":

Firefighters intervened around 40 times on Friday night in the northeastern suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois where many of the 28,000 residents are immigrants, mainly from Africa...

How delicately put that was. The reader need not be told that "suburb" in France is a euphemism for "immigrant ghetto, generally with astronomical unemployment and crime", and "immigrant from Africa" is a euphemism for "Muslim". Clichy-sous-Bois described as "a suburb of high-rise social housing": "Social" housing? What's that? It's "social" in the European sense: The "-ist" is silent.

And what was the riot about?

...two teenagers were killed and a third seriously injured on Thursday night when they were electrocuted in an electricity sub station as they fled from police investigating a break-in, media reported.

The rioting grew out of "a silent march in honor of the two dead teenagers". Words fail me here. They really do. What are the kids being "honored" for? For acting like idiots and getting themselves killed — when there happened to be police nearby. Because the proximity of cops makes the decedents "victims", you see, and the only way to make it right is to set fire to a convenience store.

UPDATE 10/29/2005: It gets better. This from the BBC:

Thursday's violence broke out after youths attacked firefighters who had been called in to help the two victims, who were aged 15 and 17, and a third youth who received serious burns.

You read that right: Three "yoots" did something stupid and got hurt. Firefighters tried to help them. More "yoots" blamed the firefighters for the problem they had come to fix, and tried to prevent them from fixing it. Got that straight?

This stuff makes Lord of the Flies look optimistic.

Oh, and... "victims" again?