Monday 6 September 2010

Swollen amplifiers, torrential rain, ethnic cleansing...

I had a disturbing dream last night: Amy and I were driving up to the coast to catch a ferry in some version of our ambulance. We were off to England for a tour. In the dream I had a nagging worry that we'd forgotten to put the equipment in the van and eventually, in a weird approximation of the suburbs of Paris under torrential rain we stopped and opened up the back of the van to have a look. No equipment, just a folding keyboard stand and the outer casing from a Vortexian four channel mixer.
Tired, late and desperate, someone had to go back to get the equipment. I think it was me though I could have been someone else by this time, everything was uncertain.
The journey home was fraught with shadowy, half-realised adventures, all taking place in the pissing wet, and when I got there we lived in a sort of caravan affair raised up on spindly metal stilts. A flimsy set of steps led up to the door but I didn't go up because in the dream there didn't seem to be any point. And anyway the equipment was all stacked up outside.
The amplifiers had suffered in the rain - the cabinets swollen up into a giant loaves of bread with the speakers protuding like hair lips. Guitars, amplifiers, it was all roughly there, just a question of shovelling it all into the van and getting it to London - dry and warm, everything in perfect working order.
I think I woke up about now but I can't be sure.
I'm feeling insecure. I'm haunted by images of families being marched away from their homes at gunpoint.
It's been coming up for a while. I've long thought that Hitler made a big mistake in not getting the French onside - as a nation they're much more sympathetic to his cause than the majority of Germans ever were, and under occupation a lot of them turned collaborator.
It's been creeping up slowly. In the late eighties and early nineties I lived in a village just outside Dreux, the first town to return a Front National candidate to the French parliament. That was Marie Stirbois. Things change, I learned from literature dropped through the door that Moroccan youths were causing trouble on the streets of Dreux. They hadn't been, it was all quite peaceful until it was said that they were. Then it was different. By Christmas there were armed soldiers, machine guns at the ready, posted around the carousel in the main street. I didn't see any children riding on it that year.
Last year, in a village near where we live, the children of a group of families living in yurts were excluded from the only school in the area - a couple of fields were sold enabling the village bounderies to be moved so as not to include the yurts. The yurt people were not extra-terrestials, dangerous savages from some unpronouncable, far-flung country, breeding feral children - actually they were English, quite civilised by any standards. Their only crime was living in tents.
Now, with the expulsion of the Roma, France is embarking on a programme of ethnic cleansing. I don't really want to stick around to see what happens next.