Thursday, November 17, 2005

French Car-B-Que

Most posts I see about the French riots tend to spend a lot of time and space looking at the torching of cars (Car-B-Que as Captain's Quarters terms it) but fail to put this in context. In the November 12-18 2005 Print edition of The Economist (I do occasionally read print) they point out that in France there were 21,900 Car-B-Ques in the first seven months of this year, up (how much is not stated) over the previous year. They do mention that this shows that trouble has been brewing for awhile, but fail to try to relate it other than this leap in logic.

Captain's Quarter posted a Reuters story who repeat others car burning barometers mentioning a rise in Car-B-Ques in the Paris area from 84 to 111. Well at 21,900/210 days that is 104 cars per day and change! So 84 and 111 probably fall in the normal pattern, though I don't know how total French Car-B-Ques tracks against only ones occurring in the Paris area. I can't find a source for the Economist's figure and so far have failed (due to so many recent stories) to track it down in a web search. I have also tried, and failed, to find figures for the U.S.. Apparently it is untracked or just not reported on the web at this time. Since I can remember only a very few incidents reported in my local news (and I have lived over the years in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Salt Lake City, Sacramento, Oakland, Reston, Raleigh, Spokance and now K.C.) I doubt if the numbers for all of the U.S. come near 104 a day.

So what makes the French want to torch cars every day? Seems from the numbers that Car-B-Queing is as French as Burgundy.

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