Feb. 6th, 2017

dhampyresa: Paris coat of arms: Gules, on waves of the sea in base a ship in full sail Argent, a chief Azure semé-de-lys Or (fluctuat nec mergitur)
Gather round. It's time for me to go tl;dr about the Paris Commune.

A lot has been made of the Paris Commune, for various reasons -- mostly because it's where Marx derived the term "communism" from -- and it's been romanticised a lot. I'll say upfront that I'm not exempt from said romanticisation, but I'll try to be as objective as possible (keyword being "try"). I don't doubt there's much better historical scholarship on the Commune than what I'm about to write, but I've got a book of collected and contextualised first-hand accounts ("La Commune de Paris racontée par les Parisiens") next to me and I'm ready to roll.

So let's roll! )

No lie, "The Paris Commune survives somehow" is right up there with "Carthage wins the Punic Wars" as far as my favourite alternate history scenario go.

* Louise Michel's really rad. She asked to be shot along with the rest of the Communards -- "Puisqu'il semble que tout cœur qui bat pour la liberté n'a droit aujourd'hui qu'à un peu de plomb, j'en réclame ma part" ("Since it seems every heart that fights for liberty is today given only lead, I demand my share") -- was deported to New Caledonia, sides with the Kanaks against the French government, returns to Paris accalimed by the crowd (shouting "Vive la Commune!" and "Down with the assassins!") and becomes an anarchist. She never stopped fighting. Podcast on Louise Michel (in French).

(I'm also really fond of La danse des bombes, a song based on a poem by Louise Michel.)

dhampyresa: Paris coat of arms: Gules, on waves of the sea in base a ship in full sail Argent, a chief Azure semé-de-lys Or (fluctuat nec mergitur)
Les Franglaises

They translate famous English songs into French literally and it's fucking hilarious. There's more going on, because there's a narrative in between the songs.

Also, I appreciate how LGBT friendly it is (they do Blur's "Boys and Girls" for example) and that one time one of the guys takes "You can leave your hat on" as a list of instructions.

It's also really affecting somehow? Like, their rendition of "The show must go on"* is really powerful for me. (At around 57 minutes in.)

Full disclosure: I saw the comeback Le Viens-retour live and while that one was better, they're broadly similar. Some of the songs are here/not here and stuff was re-arranged. I think the cast is different too. (Favourite missing bit: the translation of Edith Piaf's "Jene regrette rien" into English as "I don't regret nothing. Oh, and the stage being on fire. Well. More on fire.)

Favourite parts are Claire and Sylvain's rivalry thing they've got going (especially the western showdown starting at 1h18 and especially the bit of that set to "Gimme a man after midnight") and "Hôtel Californie" (1h29).


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