Tuesday, October 31, 2006

"These are the things that happen"... when you let them

The civil war in France's streets finds a target that even the media cannot ignore, as the "gangs of youth" attack... the media.
From Yahoo! France, translated by myself:

A France 2 team assaulted in Clichy-sous-Bois

A team from the television station France 2 was assaulted at Clichy-sous-Bois, in Seine-Saint-Denis, by three hooded men armed with lead pipes, according to the administration of national police.
The assault took place around 3:30 pm in the neighborhood of Chene Pointu where 6 representatives from the station, of which two were interns, were in the middle of a report.
Two members of the team were beaten, among them the cameraman who was lightly wounded in the head and hospitalized. Two others took refuge in a firehouse. They were later taken to safety by police.

The team's car was damaged and the station's camera and two bags were stolen.
[Etienne Leenhardt,] France 2's adjuct director of information confirmed that a cameraman had been seriously injured and "hospitalized for several hours", without specifying further details of the assault.

"We try to do our job and, unfortunately, these are things that happen", [said Leenhardt.]
France 2's own website has a small notice of the assault, only this time the spokesman for the station mentions that the cameraman was "wounded to the head seriously enough to be hospitalized. He did not lose consciousness, but his head would was quite deep."
And so, with a gallic shrug of the shoulders, these are the things that happen, in France.
C'est la vie!


dag said...

When people speak and write in a passive voice they usually have no idea they do so. "Things just happen" to passive people who can't even think clearly enough in their common conversations to identify an actor, i.e. that there is a someone or something who/that makes things happen. Things happen-- because there is a cause or an actor. Only the most deluded of passivists wuld miss that, and willingly so, it seems.

Charles Henry said...

Yes, isn't it incredible: blows to the head with a lead pipe "just happen", like earthquakes shaking the hors-d'oeuvres off your tray or meteors smacking you in the forehead as you're walking to the cafe.

15 years ago I remember watching a television documentary on war correspondants, and was struck by their resigned calmness as they quietly described the nightmare conditions they had had to navigate through in Africa, the Middle East and other hot spots. One cameraman had lost his arm to a mortar blast, and he was the calmest of them all as he relayed horrible anecdotes about his job, with the aplomb of a surgeon remarking on a challenging operation.

15 years ago I never would have imagined the same "sang-froid" being invoked for reporting from battlefields in suburban France!