• Lost Austria and crazy France

    I've never heard about Austria. Of course, as historian, I know its history place. The Empire(s), Vienna, Mozart, Franz Ferdinand of Austria--and Hitler, if we want. But since, nothing. Anyway: Austria seems blocked between the strong Germany, the rich Swiss, the sexy Italy and the threaten East-Europe. And even the name "Austria" doesn't feel nothing: no nice beatches, no beautifull girls, no good weather, no pleasant langage--at least, if there is, nobody knows.

    I'm from the "digital generation". My education is partly a mix of newspapers, information websites and TV. If I don't care about something, it's mostly because I don't hear about it. And really, I don't care about Austria. However, I've been there, in Krems to be precise. But the only things I remember are my team and the last point against the irish team (a legend now). Nothing about the city, the country, the langage, even Austrians.

    Fortunately, Austria got some crazy stories. Three the last ten years, at least. Enough to remember to the world that Austria didn't disappear, I would say.

    The first time was the election of the nazi politician, Jörg Haider. It was in 2000, I was young, not really interesting. I re-discovered that story few months ago, for my studies. But anyway: Austria was under the spotslights. The second was, more recently, the discovering of the incredible story of Natascha Kampusch. She leaved in captivity during 8 years. It seemed amazing. But it was finally almost nothing compared to the 24 years of Elisabeth Fritzl. Of course, that was the third about Austria.

    What's wrong in Austria ? I'm wondering. Are Autrian people crazier than the rest of the world ? Maybe. But, regarding to the Autrian students I know here, they seem normal. They are not skinheads, they don't wear the nazi star on their arm, they don't have knifes between their teeth, they don't look like criminals. Of course, criminal never look like criminal.

    Never ? No. Josef Fritzl really look like a criminal. Worrying face, threaten eyes, wrinkled skin. Police couldn't get a worst picture of him. But it's the only picture journalists got, then it's the only picture that TV, newspapers and internet websites are showing. The story was amazingly crazy; we just needed the picture of THE Criminal, of THE Monster. We have it: now we can imagine the hell known by his daughter. Definitely, the legend is on the way. As an famous Autrian newspaper wrote last week: from now, in Austria, nothing will be like before.

    And then, French press woke up. By French press, I mean Le Parisien--a kind of popular dish towel always running after crazy stories. The AFP and Libération already told about her: it was in March and the story stayed quite confidential. It was before. After Le Parisien's article last week, French TV's ran until Lydia Gouardo's place: she got long reportages and even an "exceptionally long interview" at TF1, the first channel. Understandable: her story is almost the same. She was not locked in a secret room, but the father didn't need the protection: everybody in the village--neighbour, mayor, police--knew the situation, everyone knew that she got 6 childrens with him and she was beaten by him. And when she tried to escape, the social services brought her at home. After saying everything was okay. She leaved in this situation... 28 years.

    Unusefull to try to discover what's wrong in Austria, we should first discover what's wrong in France. Not about French people. But about French social workers who didn't see the traces of beating on her, the results of the sexual agressions (6 childrens, God!). And what about the neighbourhood ? What about the mayor, and even the police ? And more, what about the French press ? Without Elisabeth Fritzl, they would probably never tell again about Lydia Gouardo.

    The worst attracts the worst. We will probably hear about Fritzl and Gouardo during few days, few weeks, maybe months. And perhaps about other poor women, with destructed life because of their fathers. Just to be sure that people are understanding that the worst exists, in that crazy world. Sure, it's even worst than food crisis or than situation in Tibet.

    When press is doing Emotional, instead of Information. Please, just go back to Information. World won't be better; but world won't by worst as well.


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