Thursday, June 08, 2006

Wrong side of the tracks

Amid the general newsthrob and gossip burble gushes word that the French government and their state railway have been fined a landmark $80,000 for their role in transporting Jews during the second World War. SNCF, a militant faction of the original cross-European train network that still holds French commuters in a death-grip, was found to be complicit in "crimes against humanity" in a case some believe marred by lawyers' incompetence:

"I'm amazed by the ruling. I can't understand it," a lawyer acting for SNCF said.

Nonetheless, the trembling question of reparations is once again buffed into life, especially given Berlin's controversial memorial proving to be, as the Combined Jewish Philantropies warbled, "a tourist magnet". Suggest-meisters here at Dante's Handcart are stiff believers that, while pretty, simple fines fail to satisfy the public lust for comeuppance. Instead, we would like to see each juicy SNCF train equipped with a memorial carriage filled with bronze Jews, to symbolise in a deeply symbolic way the whole palaver. It'd be nice to see indie rock mongeese Silver Jews perform at an inaugural ceremony, but perhaps that's just being greedy.

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