the dissident frogman

20 years and 6 months ago

Roots of Evil, part <pick a #> ♠ Les Racines du Mal, partie <piochez un n°&#6

the dissident frogman

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A few weeks ago, I went to pick up my car that I had let in the expert hands of my mechanic for a much needed oil change.

Actually, I believe that when you've got that far, it's not exactly a change that is needed, but more of a refuel.
I know, I know, I should be more involved in the gender role paradigm placed upon me by society and therefore be so passionate about engines and machinery that I would spend just about every moment of my spare time with both hands and the head rummaging under the hood, instead of just being a passionate driver (Which I am indeed.)

That said, I'm also a soulful and impassioned heterosexual, yet I don't feel the need to learn gynecology.

What I like is to drive.

Now that you're thinking something along the line of: "Drop dead you sinister macho prick" (which I'm not, but I have a reputation of bad-ass to preserve, and it is in part the reason why you're here. So please stop complaining so hypocritically), let's get back to the story at hand.

While waiting for the car and the bill, I had a casual chat with the young fellow who performed the oil refuel change, starting the conversation with crucial questions such as "have you seen anything strange under that junker, besides the aridness of the oil gauge?"

I felt relieved to learn that it was not a junker ("I've seen things down here you wouldn't imagine Mister") and that in fact my car wasn't that bad ("It's a cool car though. Pretty comfy and a great mechanic") even if ("Well, most of these are owned by old farts usually, but you look young and edgy and cool").

Ha, hmm, well. <Deep breathe, straight and neutral face while biting the bullet>

So it appears that in the eyes of a young arrogant chap in his late teens, I'm a young, edgy and cool looking fellow, driving an old fart car.

It's fine. I'll take that glass half-full, thank you very much you little creep.

In the desperate attempt to avoid another cruel reminder of the 15 years that separate me from the guy I desperately try to convince myself I still am, no matter how tortured this sentence is, I decided to deflect the thread of the discussion towards Mr. Tact-is-for-sissies, and learn about his odds and ends, as far as the Social Life Saver Topic is concerned:

"So what about The Job®?

The guy proceeded to explain that he was following and apprenticeship, which means he was alternating weeks at my mechanic's, learning on the field and weeks at school in a "CIFA" ("Centre Interprofessionnel de Formation des Apprentis", which translates as "Interprofessional Center for the Formation of the Apprentices")

Although this course of study is frequently discredited by the Enlightened Masters of Knowledge stealing the tax payers' money working for the Ministry of National Edulcoration Education, it's nonetheless a pretty efficient way to train good artisans and qualified workers - Even though the aforementioned Ministry of National Eradication usually limit its own failure rate by dumping in that course the kids it failed the most to teach, which of course distorts the numbers on both side.

While for some kids it ends up being nothing but a temporary stay before they legally become unemployment statistics, a good part of them end up with a serious formation (I believe the percentage of success is around 72%), and that system actually beats the State's one in the technical field.

The reason is fairly simple: the kids are being taught by entrepreneurs and artisans, 4 weeks out of 5 (the fifth being dedicated to theoryӔ, at school.)
That means they learn with people who know about their work and who know what working is about - something that's definitely out of the understanding of the legion of incompetent slugs civil servants who entered the National Eradication system just because they would have had less privileges as unemployed workers, and probably more work and stress.

It turned out that the kid had just finished his first week at school. I therefore asked him what were his impressions:

"It's cool though. But the mechanics teacher is kind of weird."

"Weird? How's that?"

Well, we had him 4 hours in the week. He talked all the time but..."

"But?"

"... But he never talked about mechanics."

"That is weird indeed. So what did he talk about?"

"Well, the first hour, he told us that, in the future, if we see the garage we work in is doing well, we should ask an augmentation straight away."

"He told you that first thing?"

"Yep, first thing. he also said that he used to work at Renault but since his back hurts, he found a way to get out of there and find this place."

"Oh. Say no more. I bet he was unionized."

"That's right, he told us about that. How do you know?"

"Never mind. So what else did he told you in the remaining three hours?"

Well, he started by telling us the war in Iraq was illegitimate, that the Yanks went there to kill the Iraqis and steal their oil, and that they killed millions of them."

"I.beg.your.pardon?"

"Yeah. He spoke about the US over three hours. Honest, I didn't listen to all of it. I started to wonder when we would work on mechanics you know."

"I bet you were. But you mean he talked about the Iraq war for three hours?"

"Oh no, that was just the start. He told us about America after that."

"Is that so?"

"Yeah, he said there was no Social Security, no pensions and that when you go to the hospital's emergency, they first ask if you can pay, else, they turn you down and let you die in front of the door."

"Is.that.f*.so?"

"Yeah. And he also said Bush was an idiot, and at one point, he asked us: "what's the name of that town again, you know, the one where the rich live?", as he couldn't remember it. So some guessed and said: "Beverly Hills Sir?" and he said: "Yes! That's it! Beverly Hills!"

"Oh. Beverly Hills, sure. The rich and stuff. So what's up with it?"

"Well, he said black people can't go to Beverly Hills, because when they try, they're being shot down before they can reach it."


You have to remember that most of these kids are aged 16 to 18. They have little general culture. They rarely speak or read English, even when they have access to a computer and the Internet.

Therefore, they have very little chance to restore the truth.

I had to ask him:

"So what did you think about all of these horrors in the US of A?"

"Well, I think this is bullshit. I believe this guy has a problem."

"He sure does. And what did the other guys in your class thought about it?"

"There were some who believed him. But I think they're a bunch of morons. I mean, they wouldn't be shooting people in the streets just like that, would they?"


No, I don't believe they would. Even if it's what youre being taught, instead of mechanics.

But then, so many things are taught in France.

Article copy (alternate language)

Il y a quelques semaines, je suis allé rechercher ma voiture que javais laissée entre les mains expertes de mon garagiste pour une vidange fort nécessaire.

En fait, je crois savoir que lorsque vous êtes allé aussi loin, il ne s'agit pas tant dune vidange que d'un remplissage.
Je sais, je sais, je devrais minvestir beaucoup plus dans le paradigme du rôle des sexes tel qu'il mest imposé par la société et en conséquence, être si passionné par les moteurs et les machineries que je devrais passer tout mes moments de libres avec les deux mains et la tête à fouiller sous le capot, au lieu d'être juste un accroc à la conduite (Ce que je suis en effet.)

Cela dit, je suis également un hétérosexuel convaincu et passionné, et pourtant je ne vois pas lutilité d'apprendre la gynécologie.

Moi ce que jaime, c'est conduire.

Maintenant que vous pensez quelques chose dans la lignée : "Crève sinistre connard de macho " (Ce que je ne suis pas, mais jai une réputation de teigne à préserver, et c'est en partie la raison pour laquelle vous êtes ici. Alors veuillez cesser de vous plaindre aussi hypocritement), retournons au sujet en cours.

Attendant voiture et facture, jen suis venu à discuter à bâtons rompus avec le jeune gars qui s'était chargé du remplissage de la vidange, débutant la conversation sur des questions cruciales telle que "vous navez rien vu de bizarre sous mon tas de boue, mise à part l'aridité de la jauge dhuile ?"

Je me suis senti soulagé d'apprendre que non seulement ce nétait pas un tas de boue ("J'ai vu des trucs ici que vous nimaginez même pas M'sieur ") et quen fait, ma voiture n'est pas si mal que ça ("Cest cool comme caisse. Super confort et un bon moteur ") même si ("Bon, la plupart du temps c'est des vieux quont ça, mais vous vous avez l'air jeune et branché et cool ").

Ha, hmm, bon. <Profonde inspiration, air impassible et sans expression, tout en avalant la pilule>

Il semble donc quaux yeux d'un jeune type arrogant en fin dadolescence, je suis quelqu'un qui semble jeune, branché et cool, conduisant une bagnole de vieux con.

Parfait. Je peux maccommoder d'un verre à demi plein, merci beaucoup petit merdeux.

Dans une tentative désespérée déviter un autre cruel rappel des 15 ans qui me séparent de l'homme dont je tente résolument de me convaincre que je suis toujours, aussi torturée que puisse être cette dernière phrase, je décidais de détourner le cours de la conversation sur M. Le-Tact-Cest-Pour-Les-Chiens, et en apprendre un peu plus concernant ses tenants et aboutissants sur le Sujet de Sauvetage de la Vie en Société :

"Alors, et le Boulot® comment ça va ?

Il s'est donc mis en mesure dexpliquer qu'il était en apprentissage, signifiant par là quil alterne les semaines chez mon garagiste, apprenant sur le terrain et les semaines à l'école, dans un "CIFA" (Centre Interprofessionnel de Formation des Apprentis)

Bien que ce cursus soit généralement discrédité par ces Maistres Esclairés de la Connoissance volant largent du contribuable travaillant pour le Ministère de l'Edulcoration lEducation National, cela n'en reste pas moins une manière plutôt efficace de former de bons artisans et ouvriers qualifiés Même si le Ministère de l֒Eradication Nationale susmentionné trouve moyen de limiter son propre taux déchec en y déchargeant les mômes qu'il à le plus échoué à enseigner, ce qui, bien entendu, fausse les chiffres des deux côtés.

Alors que pour certains gamins cela ne reste rien dautre qu'un stade de transition avant de devenir légalement les prochaines statistiques du chômage, une bonne partie dentre eux s'en sort avec une sérieuse formation (Je crois savoir que le pourcentage de succès est aux alentour de 72%), et ce système surpasse celui de lEtat dans le domaine de l'enseignement technique.

La raison en est plutôt simple : les gosses sont formés par des entrepreneurs et artisans, 4 semaines sur 5 (la cinquième étant dédiée à la théorieӔ, à lécole.)
Cela signifie qu'ils apprennent avec des gens qui connaissent leur travail et qui savent ce que travailler veut dire - quelque chose qui reste hors de porté pour la légion dincompétent cloportes fonctionnaires qui ont rejoint le système de l'Eradication Nationale au seul motif que le statut de chômeurs offre moins de privilèges, et probablement plus de travail et de stress.

En loccurrence, le gamin venait juste de terminer sa première semaine à l'école. Je lui ai alors demandé quelles étaient ses premières impressions :

"Cest cool. Mais le prof de méchanique, il est plutôt bizarre."

"Bizarre ? Comment ça ?"

Ben, ont l'a eu 4 heures dans la semaine. Il a parlé tout le temps mais..."

"Mais ?"

"... Mais il na jamais parlé de mécanique."

"Bizarre en effet. Alors de quoi a-t-il parlé ?"

"Ben, la première heure, il nous a dit qu'à lavenir, si nous voyons que le garage où on travaille marche bien, on doit demander une augmentation tout de suite."

"Il vous a dit ça dès le début ?"

"Ouais, dès le début. Il a dit aussi qu'il travaillait chez Renault mais comme il avait mal au dos,il avait trouvé un moyen de se casser et de trouver cette place là."

"Oh. Nen dites pas plus. Je parie qu'il était syndiqué."

"Cest vrai, il nous l'a dit aussi. Comment vous le savez ?"

"Peu importe. Alors que vous a-t-il dit, durant les trois heures restantes ?"

Ben, il a commencé en nous disant que la guerre en Iraq était illégitime, que les ricains ils y étaient allé pour buter les irakiens et voler leur pétrole, et quils en avaient tué des millions."

"Excusez.moi ?"

"Ouais. Il a parlé des USA pendant trois heures. Honnête, j'ai pas tout écouté. Je commençais à me demander quand on allait faire de la mécanique vous voyez."

"Je men doute. Mais vous voulez dire qu'il a parlé de la guerre en Irak pendant trois heures ?"

"Oh non, ça cétait juste au début. Il nous a parlé de l'Amérique après ça."

"Oh vraiment ?"

"Ouais, il a dit quil n'y avait pas de Sécurité Sociale, pas de retraite et que quand vous allez aux urgences, ils vous demandent dabord si vous pouvez payer, sinon ils vous envoient bouler et vous laissent clamser devant la porte."

"Oh.p*.vraiment?"

"Ouais. Et il a dit aussi que Bush c'était un idiot, et à un moment il nous a demandé : "Cest quoi le nom de la ville déjà, vous savez, celle où les riches vivent ?" car il ne se souvenait plus. Alors il y en a qui ont deviné et qui ont dit : "Beverly Hills M'sieur?" et il a dit : "Oui! Cest ça! Beverly Hills!"

"Oh. Beverly Hills, bien entendu. Les riches et tout. Alors, quel est le problème ?"

"Ben, il a dit que les noirs peuvent pas aller à Beverly Hills, parce que quand ils essayent, ils sont abattus avant d'y arriver."


Il nous faut garder en mémoire que la plupart de ces gamins ont entre 16 et 18 ans. Ils ont peu de culture générale. Ils ne parlent ou ne lisent langlais que très rarement, même lorsqu'ils ont accès à un ordinateur et à Internet.

Ils nont donc que peu de chance de rétablir la vérité.

Il m'a bien fallu lui demander :

"Alors quavez-vous pensé de toutes ces horreurs ?"

"Ben, je pense que c'est que des conneries. Je pense que ce mec il a un problème."

"Sans aucun doute. Et quont pensé les autres dans votre classe ?"

"Il y en a qui l'ont cru. Mais moi je crois que cest qu'un tas de crétins. Jveux dire, ils ne vont pas tuer des gens dans la rue juste comme ça, pas vrai ?"


Non, je ne crois pas en effet. Même si c'est là ce qu'on vous enseigne, en lieu et place de la mécanique.

Mais bien sur, tellement de choses sont enseignées en France.

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the dissident frogman

I own, built and run this place. In a previous life I was not French but sadly, I died.

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80999

The Wise knows that Cities are but demonic Soul-tearing pits that shall not be entered.

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Comments thread (12)

891 - Papertiger

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so thats what an artisan does. I've been wondering... That teacher is hillarious. What I wouldn't give to slip under a crack in the system and be admitted to this class, ( that is if I possessed a conversational knowlege of French). I would age him that's for sure. After a semester with me he would beg for his Renault job back. Gray hair and a restored spine , thats what an American artisan in King Louis' court has to offer.

892 - SparcVark

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Wow. Just wow. How many inacuraccies can a man cram into a single lecture? Shot trying to reach Beverly Hills. Wow. I think this has been mentioned before, but I work in the healthcare industry here in the US (more or less), and it is hard to find a for-profit hospital. All of our clients are not-for-profit, and every hospital I could think of (including the hospital in my somewhat podunk hometown) were non-profits. (And Marquette General Hospital has an MRI facility and at least one neurosurgeon, for a population of about 22,000.) Also, to refuse care is illegal - we lost a client or two because of all the money they spent on charity cases. Long-term care can be a problem, but even the uninsured will be treated when they arrive. That aside, I think the apprenticeship system is sound, and I'm sorry to hear the Ministry of Education doesn't like it. For my job (systems administrator), I learned more of my skills working on-the-job throughout college than I did in class, as good as the classes were.

893 - Ms. Andi

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I had my car worked on recently. My mechanic and I had an interesting conversation. We talked about baseball. Golly, we Yanks are such simple folk.

894 - Guillaume

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Unfortunately, I had the same experience lately. I'm a student in a french engineer school, whose name I won't discolse until I graduate, and we have an 'energetics' course, where we're supposed to learn everything about the engines. The teachers, however - I nicknamed him 'captain planet' afterward-, spend the whole term telling us that the world was doomed because the American violated the Kyôto protocol, and if everything is bad in the world, it is because of the American, and, did I tell you that Bush is the worst moron ever? Which, engines? We are dealing with the problems of the world, little heartless student! Hopefully, I spent some time in the us this summer, where I could find some real infomration about the Kyôto protocol and its inefficiency, and, oh yes, a piece of information about the engines. During the test, of course, the questions were not about engines, but about 'global warming', and the teacher was essentially checking that you were thinking in agreement with the official party line. Strangely enough, we are not able to retreive our sheets... The more time I spend there, the more I question the usefulness of school, when you can go and find a more accurate lesson in any good american public library.

895 - Gnarf

Comment author avatar
Excellent! I had a IES teacher (Initiation of Econmy and Social). He spent one year explaining us that everything was cheated in newspapers, that we should learn to read what's hidden. And what was the hidden truth? Companies, stock exchange, business, liberalism, USA are pure evil. 1 year of brain washing.

896 - LaFéeC

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J'en reviens pas !! Franchement DF, qqun d'autre m'aurait raconté ça, j'y aurais pas cru.. C'est dingue, c'est scandaleux.. Par contre, je savais déjà qu'une bonne partie des profs d'apprentis étaient des syndicalistes qui voulaient pas bosser.. C'est affolant, je vais finir par faire des tas d'enfants que j'éduquerais moi même !! Sinon, quelle sera la relève ?! biseS Claire

897 - Papertiger

Comment author avatar
So many people witnessing simular teaching level begs the question, Is political leaning a requirement for a vocational teaching job in France? Perhaps some of you have taken a test to be a Vo/tec Teacher. Were any of you passed over after "failing" the anti American aptitude test?

898 - Nightfly

Comment author avatar
Sounds like American university in some ways. College-aged coworkers in my department have told me some tales. Did you know that Shakespeare's Henry V was about Bush going to war with Iraq to steal their oil? Or that Clinton's statements on Saddam re: WMD were legit, while Bush/Powell/Rice/Rumsfeld's well-nigh-identical statements on the same were false, simply because Clinton cared more? I'm told of wonderful places in my favored land, called "flyover country," where people actually learn things in school, and patriotism isn't the last refuge of the scoundrel, and folks actually care enough to help other folks without (or instead of) talking about it. I'd love to see it sometime. Until then, there's the dacha. Keep it up DF, sounds like you may have found an unwashed brain in your mechanic's shop.

899 - Valerie

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Oh, Diss. If it weren't so sad, it would be funny. But it's good to know that some young French people actually have enough sense to see the Big Lie when they hear it.

900 - Gina

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All I can say is Holy S...! A teacher's manual? That's not good, but it does explain quite a bit. There's many people here in the good ole USA that decried our "generation," but I've found that this said generation is now risking their lives in the current war. While in two different locations, it all equals to one war. And the voices I heard are all strong, and tell me they believe they are fighting on the right side. Say what you like. I have great faith in this "generation." I hope to see a few of them go for Congress or Senate. Hey, even President. They'd have my vote. They are true leaders. They go to fight, where they are ordered. And they get blasted for it. Compare this war to Vietnam? Please. Some of the vets from 'Nam were spit on. I bet a few of the anti-war people will do the same. All for following orders. And where is the sense of that? We need to finish whatever the hell we started. This ain't 'Nam. This is Iraq. And there is hope. I just hope the current Admin (read...Bush &ompany get a heads up) learn that. Too much money is going to US companies instead of Iraq companies. This wasn't a third world country, after all. Think about it. Think Cheney. If that doesn't do it, think Haliburton. Do a Google. Not right. The people of Iraq could reassemble quicker, cheaper, faster, etc....but no. And now we have attacks. Our guys are dying 1 or 5 a day without doubt. That's not right. My point? Iraq isn't America. The citizens of Iraq deserve a voice, deserve to re-define their country. It belongs to them after all. A lot of money is going to American companies. And that isn't right. It's time to let the people of Iraq help rebuild said country. They aren't happy, isn't that obvious? And as for the answers, I don't have them. But I don't think we are listening to the people of Iraq. If they want live under people who believe the women have no rights, the women should hide themselves or else it's their fault they get raped. Fine. Have at it. IMHO, I'm done. You can only go so far. We got rid of Saddam, and now they want him replaced by someone worse. And the people of Iraq seem to want it. Ok. Let them have it. And when they cry to us the Next Time about human rights....well, just ignore them. After all, we are the Great Satan.