Opinion » Maxed Out

So begins the European Spring?



In faraway cities, in faraway lands, people rose up on the weekend and said, in very dissimilar languages, "Enough is enough. Take your austerity and shove it where the sun don't shine." Or words to that effect.

The Other People, the people in powerful positions, political leaders, captains of industry and bankers, warned these people who spoke that woe would befall them. They told them their worlds, in fact the whole world would collapse. They warned them such a catastrophe would take everyone down with them, perhaps the entire civilized world, as we know it. They told them to go home, take their bitter medicine, go back to sleep and let the people who knew best, the Other People themselves, keep doing what they'd been doing, which is to say, screwing them. Oh, and try not to notice what they'd been doing isn't actually working.

Well, occupy that, motherf....

Perhaps thinking the Mayan's were right and it didn't really matter how they voted since the end of civilization is only a few months away anyhow, the people in France and Greece voted out the status quo and voted in chaos, or at least socialists, the same thing in the view of the Other People. Thus begins the European Spring. C'mon baby, let the good times roll... even if it's downhill.

In France, Francois Hollande defeated Nicolas Sarkozy to become the country's first socialist president in more than a decade. He beat him with a campaign that promised "change now," since Barack Obama had already proven there is no change you can believe in. He also won because many in France were outraged when Sarkozy let German Chancellor Angela Merkel lead when they danced together at the last G8 conference.

"Austerity can no longer be inevitable!" Hollande exclaimed, only in French, to jubilant followers who had grown tired of persistent European Union demands they actually work for a living and cut their annual holiday allotment down to five weeks from the current 52.

In a show of enthusiastic support, the global money whores increased France's borrowing costs and drove the euro to a three month low. This was taken as further evidence by Hollande's supporters that the game is rigged, and the world's bankers won't really be happy until they've reduced everyone except themselves to slaves.

Not unexpectedly, in Greece the outcome of the election was considerably less clear. In Greece — perhaps because it was the birthplace of democracy; perhaps not — political power has been held by New Democracy, a centre-right party, and Pasok, a centre-left party. As in physics, the positively-charged proton party neutralized the negatively-charged neutron party, resulting in an inert element known as business as usual, generally described by Greeks on the street with a shrug of the shoulders and a drag on a cigarette.