La mauvaise réputation

 ♫ Au village, sans prétention,
J’ai mauvaise réputation… ♫

BrassensAh ce bon vieux Georges… quand il était jeune, il avait lui aussi une mauvaise réputation. Et c’est une des raisons pour laquelle il dut quitter Sète, sa ville natale.

La réputation… Qu’est-ce que c’est au fait ?
C’est l’opinion favorable ou défavorable que l’on se fait de quelqu’un ou de quelque chose. La réputation c’est le fait d’être connu pour quelque chose, de bon ou de mauvais.
Et cette réputation (a tort ou a raison) nous suit et nous précède où que nous allions.

Bohémiens, Roms, Gitans, Tsiganes, Sarrazins, Sintis, Manouches, ces gens-là ont mauvaise réputation.
On les dit voleurs et sans scrupules. Où qu’ils aillent, on les regarde avec suspicion, avec haine même.

Mais il y a aussi d’autres communautés qui ont mauvaise réputation et qui font souvent la une des journaux.
L’on se défie d’eux. On les évite. On n’en veut pas dans son voisinage.

Il y a des groupes qui ont une réputation d’inadaptés, de fanatiques, de terroristes…D’autres sont vus comme paresseux, voyous, distributeurs de drogue…
Et les statistiques démontrent que la majorité des délits sont commis par un pourcentage disproportionné de personnes issues de ces communautés.
Ces gens-là font peur…

On ne peut évidemment pas mettre tout le monde dans le même panier, mais quand des individus appartenant à une certaine ethnie commettent des crimes a répétition, cela contribue à renforcer leur mauvaise réputation.
Et cette mauvaise réputation s’étend alors à ceux de leurs congénères qui sont respectueux des lois.

Cela veut-il dire que si l’on est suspicieux d’une certaine ethnie on est raciste ?
Oui et non.
Nous éprouvons une certaine aversion pour quelqu’un non pas parce qu’il est noir ou vert, mais par ce qu’il représente. Par l’image, l’auréole maléfique qui l’enveloppe.

Tous les serpents ne sont pas venimeux, mais ne sachant pas qui est quoi, on les craint tous et on les évite.

Si l’on se détourne des communautés ayant mauvaise réputation, est-on pour cela xénophobe ou raciste?
Si oui, et bien je suis raciste.


Et les dernières nouvelles de Trappes, dans les Yvelines ne font rien pour améliorer la perception du grand public a cet égard.


Coat of mail

Mvc-009sIn the old days a gentleman would have been well advised not to venture anywhere without a coat of mail, for he never knew when somebody would sneak up on him and thrust a dagger in his back.

Nowadays it is a rather unlikely event, but you probably have more to fear than yesteryear, for today’s assassins are stealthier and deadlier. They strike under the cloak of darkness and their weapon of choice is the Internet.

Today many people do their banking electronically and that’s where danger lurks. When you opt (as encouraged by the banks) for automatic bill payments, you basically authorize the bank to help itself to your cash. You are implicitly saying: take as much as you want my friend… And financial institutions are not shy about helping themselves.

If you are not watchful, they (like mosquitoes) will bite you repeatedly, and stealthily suck your blood like the little nasties. And you will feel the pain and the annoyance way after the facts when it becomes almost futile to complain.

Case in point: a few months ago I parked $10,000 in a bank. They told me that I also needed to open a checking account (a mere formality) with a minimum deposit of $100.00. Fine I said, no problem.

Imagine my surprise when two months later I noticed that my friendly bank was charging me a maintenance fee of $8.00 per month.
I gave them $10,100 to use as they please (to lend to some other suckers and charge them a hefty interest) and they had the gall to charge me a fee for authorizing them to use my money.
When confronted, the bank meekly agreed to remove the charges, but if I had not caught their shenanigans, tough!

I don’t think that anybody has more gall than banks!
And maybe not…
Some outfits will raise their rates without any warning and if you give them a blank check, they will happily take advantage of your generosity.
If you are using automatic payments, you need to scrutinize each bill and loudly complain if something doesn’t look kosher.

If you fail to do so, you will be fleeced without seeing a thing, and that’s what banks are hoping for.
Trust us my friend, they keep saying, trust us…

Well, like Ronnie used to say, “Trust, but be damn sure to verify!”

Like yesteryear you still need to wear a dense coat of mail.


Holy Shopping

Day in day out I am basically wearing the same clothes. Not by choice mind you.
It is not that I am hostile to fashion; it is rather that fashion is hostile to me.

My body happens to be part of a limited edition, and clothes manufacturers are not interested in accommodating such a restricted market.
Therefore, when I go on a buying safari I find it extremely difficult to find garments that will fit me.

And to add to my woes, there is the excruciating shopping steeplechase.
To maximize profits, store managers have dismissed qualified salespeople and left just a few zombies to man the cash registers.
Salespeople have become a vanishing breed and a customer is basically on his own when venturing in the jungle of a department store.

Personally I hate shopping like Republicans hate freethinkers, but unlike the Republicans I have many solid reasons to hate shopping.

Let me count the ways…

When you finally collar a salesperson (hopefully English speaking), he/she cannot devote too much time to you because they are needed somewhere else.

And when you find something that you like (but of course doesn’t fit), you feel compelled to bring back the stuff where you found it, and to neatly fold it back.
I have better things to do with my time.

Sophia LorenWhen miracle of miracles, you finally stumble upon something half-decent there are the unavoidable alterations.
The discriminatory surcharge added to already expensive items.
Is this a way to treat a guy willing to splurge on new duds? I don’t think so.

Women profess to love shopping.  “I just lôôôve shopping” they coo.
How could they love being treated like canine droppings and having to pay for it?
But women (it is a little-known scientific fact) are masochists and that’s why they adore shopping.

And that’s why alas, you always see me wearing the same old faded duds.
These clothes are not glamorous, but they happen to fit me and that’s all that matters.

Thinking of it, what I really need is a shopping assistant…

If you happen to have an hourglass figure, know all the words of La Marseillaise and can properly season “escargots”, give me a jingle, I might be interested.