May 1968 has become as celebrated for its sayings and its slogans as its events. Here is a selection, in French and then in English translation, of some of the most characteristic maxims, aphorisms and platitudes from the pamphlets and graffiti of the Paris of 40 years ago.
Some are predictably left-libertarian. Others are funny and anarchical. A few look forward to the Green politics that hardly existed in 1968.
* Il est interdit d’interdire.
(It is forbidden to forbid.)
* Soyez réaliste, demandez l’impossible.
(Be realistic, demand the impossible.)
* Ne travaillez jamais.
* Je prends mes désirs pour des réalités car je crois en la realité de mes desirs.
(I treat my desires as realities because I believe in the reality of my desires.)
* L’ennui est contre-révolutionnaire.
(Boredom is a counter-revolutionary act.)
* Nous ne voulons pas d’un monde où la certitude de ne pas mourir de faim s’échange contre le risque de mourir d’ennui.
(We don’t want a world where freedom from dying from hunger comes at the risk of dying of boredom.)
* Le patron a besoin de toi, tu n’as pas besoin de lui.
(The boss needs you. You don’t need him.)
* Travailleur: tu as 25 ans mais ton syndicat est de l’autre siècle.
(Worker: you are 25 years old but your trades union belongs to another century.)
* On achète ton bonheur. Vole-le.
(They are buying your happiness. Steal it back.)
* Sous les pavés, la plage.
(Under the cobble-stones, the beach.)
* La barricade ferme la rue mais ouvre la voie.
(Barricades shut down the street but open the way.)
* Le réveil sonne: première humiliation de la journée.
(The alarm clock rings: first humiliation of the day.)
* Imagine: c’est la guerre et personne n’y va!
(Imagine: there was a war and no one turned up!)
* Cours camarade, le vieux monde est derrière toi.
(Run comrade, the old world is behind you.)
* Elections, piège à cons.
(Elections, traps for idiots.)
* Dieu, je vous soupçonne d’être un intellectuel de gauche.
(God, I suspect you of being a left-wing intellectual.)
* Les murs ont des oreilles. Vos oreilles ont des murs.
(Walls have ears. Your ears have walls.)
* Ne vous emmerdez plus! Emmerdez les autres!
(Don’t screw yourself up any more! Screw up other people!)
* Vous finirez tous par crever du confort.
(You will all finish up by dying from comfort.)
* La forêt précède l’homme, le désert le suit.
(Forests came before man, the desert comes afterwards.)
* Je suis marxiste, tendance Groucho.
(I am a marxist, Groucho tendency.)
* A bas le réalisme socialiste. Vive le surréalisme.
(Down with socialist realism. Long live surrealism.)
L’ennui est contre-révolutionnaire.
These are so great. French, y’all.
Je t’aime ‘Cours camarade, le vieux monde est derrière toi’ et’Vive le surréalisme.’
Alexis Pauline Gumbs (via feministquotes)
this so hard.
and its industrial complex
My thoughts are with the folks in Va Beach whose homes were destroyed today, who suffered injuries and other traumas today, who will suffer from the long term effects of breathing in smoke from burning jet fuel and carbon fiber, and who have to continue to put up with assholes who still proudly proclaim how much they “<3 jet noise.”
It really hits close to home for me, not only because it happened in my home town, not more than four miles from the house I grew up in. My grandpa’s brother, a Royal Air Force pilot during WWII, intentionally crashed his aircraft into the sea after being shot by German planes in order to avoid crashing into a village and risking civilian casualties. He is considered a war hero for sacrificing his own life in order not to risk destroying the lives of civilians, while today’s two Virginia Beach pilots are being praised for ejecting themselves in time to destroy only five apartment buildings.
It just creeps me out to hear that the default banter on all the local news channels is about how awesome and important the military is, how this proves that they need even more resources, when all the while, folks are forced by economic necessity to live and/or stay in housing beneath the fighter jets’ flight paths, forced to put up with roaring jets flying low overhead all day and all night, forced to put up with the environmental damage caused by fuel and noise pollution, and forced to accept the risk of jets crashing into their homes. Good ol’ Governor Bob McDonnell couldn’t shut up about how awesome and great and brave and smart the military is, and hardly spared a thought for those whose lives have been and will forever be affected by the crash.
It just grosses me out.