It’s a long story, but I’m back in Bern, working at the same job as last year and sleeping in Stella’s spare bedroom.
The most absurd thing just happened, as I was going out this evening with Stella and a bunch of our mutual friends. This evening there was a massive street protest all though downtown Berne–about nothing. Well, actually, it was against a new noise bylaw. Several thousand people were parading through the streets singing and setting off smoke bombs. And of course, taking the opportunity to get extremely drunk, dance on the roof of the tram terminal (I kid you not), use the city as a trash can and piss everywhere. It wasn’t a rally at all–although there were banners with words like “Resistance,” “Revolutionaries” and “June 2nd Movement.” It was one of those parties where everyone gets so drunk, so early (there were people stumbling around and pissing in the street before it was even dark) that you just knew at some point something was going to happen and it was not going to be funny anymore. And that thing happened as I was leaving…it started to rain. The cops reopened the top stretch of the street, down by where the march had started. Then some idiot got hit by a car and, in a drunken stupor, got up and stumbled cheerfully the rest of the way across the street. The city smells of piss and weed smoke and looks like a scene from the movie “Project X.”
In Montreal, people are taking to the streets with smoke bombs and clanging pots and pans to protest a rise in university tuition and a law that prevents more than 10 people from gathering at any one time.
In Spain and Greece, people are taking to the streets to protest crippling cuts to health care and education in response to a foreign-created, so-called crisis.
In Egypt and Tunisia, people took to the streets to protest bad government. In the US, to protest a bloody and unaffordable war.
In Switzerland, a bunch of overpriveleged brats took to the streets because some old fogies asked them to turn the sound down after 1 a.m.
Am I a curmudgeon? Or is that just depressing?