It’s often claimed that French farmers are quick to take to the streets – in the best French Revolutionary tradition – whenever they feel their interests threatened. And that is true, and has been for decades. But it’s only recently that video technology has evolved to the point where the blog-reader can be taken along for the ride almost as if s/he is right there.
L’Express writer Aurélien Chartendrault (Now, doesn’t that name convince you right there that we’re talking about things French? That’s a “he,” by the way.) hitched a ride yesterday on the tractor of farmer Nicolas Combes, one of 1,200 farm-vehicles invading Paris’ city streets in a protest-action of around 10,000 corn and grain farmers unhappy about the prices they’re getting for their produce. The resulting video is below; in it, M. Combes gets the only speaking part and uses it mainly to go on about how he feels he can barely make a living anymore, and apparently also about some pointy-headed officials who are trying to get him to farm without using pesticides.
But here it’s best to leave all that stuff aside – indeed, best if you can’t understand French, although his enunciation is perfectly fine and without accent – so you can just concentrate on the sensation of riding through the Parisian scenery in a tractor-convoy.
What comes next? Inevitably something like “Grand Theft Tractor,” in a Paris setting – soon available for PSP, Wii and the XBox 360!