Saturday, May 03, 2008

May 1968 and...Tea?

A business that was attacked following the May 1968 revolution has released a tea to commemorate the historical event, "The tea, flavoured with lemon zest and rose petals, is packaged in a metal tin emblazoned with the image of a student with a raised fist." It is depressing/sinister, yet delightfully absurd, how revolution is turned into a commodity. But a revolutionary tea flavored with "lemon zest and rose petals"??? That is just wrong. You can read the whole news story at the bottom of this post.

Here is a partial list of slogans from the revolution, shared with me by my fellow Critical Studies/Experimental Practices student, Matt McGarvey. Some of these will be printed on the tea cannisters:

Freedom is the crime that contains all crimes. It is our ultimate weapon.

No forbidding allowed.

Down with journalists and those who cater to them.

Long live communication, down with telecommunication.

“The cause of all wars, riots and injustices is the existence of property.”
(St. Augustine)

Burn commodities.

Whoever speaks of love destroys love.

The young make love, the old make obscene gestures.

Zelda, I love you! Down with work!

Revolutionary women are more beautiful.

Embrace your love without dropping your guard.

If God existed it would be necessary to abolish him.

When examined, answer with questions.

Professors, you are as senile as your culture, your modernism
is nothing but the modernization of the police.

Terminate the university.

Arise, ye wretched of the university.

Those who talk about revolution and class struggle without referring
to everyday reality have a corpse in their mouth.

You are hollow.

The passion of destruction is a creative joy.


To which Fauchon would add: "Steep my tea!"


"You too can steep!"


May 1968 tea: A French revolution in retail

Published: April 29, 2008, 00:00

Paris: The times are changing in Paris, where a luxury foodstore is offering a "May 68" brand of tea to commemorate riots 40 years ago in which anti-capitalist students hurled cobblestones at police.

"Tea with a flavour of revolution", says the chic Fauchon in a statement announcing the launch of the collector item.

The tea, flavoured with lemon zest and rose petals, is packaged in a metal tin emblazoned with the image of a student with a raised fist and slogans from the riots such as It is forbidden to forbid and Poetry is in the street. The cost is 15 euros ($23.5) for 100 grams of tea.

All things related to the 1968 riots are fashionable in France in the build-up to the 40th anniversary, and the media is awash with programming on the student uprising.

There is a certain irony in Fauchon's decision to endorse the spirit of May 1968 with its commemorative tea.

The flagship Fauchon store in central Paris was attacked in May 1970, when the 1968 riots were still reverberating through French society, by a commando of Maoists who looted foie gras and other fine foods to redistribute them to the poor.

1 comment:

crdrue said...

Mmmm the flavor of revolution. I guess capitalism gets the last laugh, eh? In the last instance it conquers everything.