Thursday, July 14, 2016

Bastille -Throwback Revolution and...

Madame Defarge is not here
   Olea Farms a major olive grower and producer celebrates the owner's French heritage and Bastille Day, July 14, with a gentle gathering amidst the olive trees and an oleander grove.
     A specialty is pomme frites done in their olive oil. They are the center piece of buffet that features locally produced nibbles and snacks, local being the Templeton and Paso Robles area.

    A lovely day and without the zeal and excess that followed original Bastille Day in 1789.
     Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, as was the chant of the French revolution remain noble objectives, but if you recall history things got a bit out of hand.
     Soon after the storming of the Bastille a revengeful blood lust led to the over use of "the national razor which shaves close," the guillotine. 
the incite ap
     Let me incite for a moment. If you recall Charles Dicken's A Tale of Two Cities think of Madame Defarge as a surrogate for Donald Trump. She was full of resentment and enmity toward the royals and the aristocracy and fueled an anger that grew uncontrollable. The symbolism of "the spilling of the wine" for the blood that was to flow. She led and became the symbol of an unlimited hatred and evil. It was the psychology of the "mob rule" personified. 
     Trump may or may not be a racist, bigot and xenophobe. One can make a case either way, but it is clear that his language and "thoughts" fuel racism, bigotry and xenophobia. There is much about him that earns the label of mob leader.
      As noted previously, Trump has rallied a federation of angry people. Not all, but some of that number are racists, losers, many with no appreciation or knowledge of history, nor a respect for diversity. And there are the mouthbreathers, perfect kindling for a mob fire. 
    It would be illuminating to read a Dicken's description of Trump and his followers. Short of that there is Defarge and the mobs of Saint Antoine, and those echoes and footsteps of lurking evil and the night of the shadows.
     We can hope the Dickens classic is not a foreshadowing.  No, we choose to go with the self applied filter and simply enjoy a gentle afternoon in the groves. We forget, selectively, even the struggles of a divided nation at the birth of our own revolution. But we will cast a wary eye on Cleveland, and we will listen to and watch the foot steps from there to November.
     But for now, Cheers !

     See you down the trail.


  1. Olives. They go well with vodka!

  2. Replies
    1. Perhaps Bernie. On the issues that seems a good fit, in the early days of The Terror he was opposed to the radical right including the Herberists that among other things wanted to dechristianize France. The Sanders tie then is a bit of an irony. Possibly Elizabeth Warren. Robespierre was a great advocate for the poor.
      Of course all of this in a world that permits us to mix fiction and reality. Robespierre lived. Birthed by nature and not Dicken's pen.

  3. I never understood why the French celebrate Bastille Day since the only prisoner released was a distant relative of the King, arrested for not paying his bills and stiffing the very people who set him free.

  4. Without offense to those of French blood, it's been my impression they like a party and to make an affair of it. After all, we had begun our Fourth of July a few years earlier.

    1. I had a boss a decade or so ago who used to go to Paris (from Arizona!) to get in on the Bastille Day celebrations. And his name did not indicate a trace of French in his ancestry. He would more likely turn up in Jerusalem. But that's just my opinion.

    2. He must have liked a good party.

  5. My most memorable Bastille Day was in Berkeley, 1969, when I was held at gunpoint by a National Guardsman as I crossed a vacant lot in search of a cigarette machine. Another story, that strangely ended happily, but I could clearly sense the spirit of that old tricoteuse, Mme. DeFarge. Fortunately, so could the Guardsman, who directed me to a cafe away from the demonstration.

    1. A powerful memory from a turbulent time in our own era. Good for the Guardsman and happy endings.