Renault, Renault, Burning Bright

This news item is reporting that the damage caused by the French rioters is abating. The benchmark seems to be how many cars are being set ablaze each night.

What isn’t mentioned is how many inflammable cars are left. For the past two weeks, the numbers of autos which lit up the night was staggering. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if more than 10,000 cars have gone to automobile heaven by now, and I bet that people who own secure garages are making a pretty penny by charging some hefty rent.

The news report attributes the decline in civil unrest to a curfew and, less significantly, to ad hoc neighborhood patrol groups. It seems to be more reasonable to assume that most of the low hanging fruit has been torched, and now there are less targets of opportunity to be found.

One of my coworkers compared the tally of newly burned cars to the body count of Viet Cong dead that was reported every night on American television during the Vietnam War. He then openly speculated what he would do if faced with a riotous situation like that faced by the French. By day two of the riots he would have used a vacant lot on his street as a vehicle park, and organized his neighbors to stand rotating watches over their property. He couldn’t understand why every car owning French citizen didn’t do something similar.

“You’re an American.” I explained.