It's been said that April is the cruelest month. The five CEOs of French companies who have been held captive in the last month might agree. French employees and union officials have evolved France's atavistic penchant for insurgency into the activity of bossnapping. Union spokespeople have said that these unfortunate measures had to be taken in response to announced staff cuts and plant closures. And it seems to be working: most French bossnappings have had the payoff of reduced layoffs or better severance packages. It is a new twist on the time-honored French tradition of striking and a general taking-to-the-streets. And as with all things French, it needs to be heavily steeped in the murky waters of paradox: the frustration of globalism directed at the singular head of the business monarchy. The poetic heaving of the brick-in-hand is significantly absent, bien sur, but at least Sarkozy might have to reconsider his comment: "These days, when there's a strike, no one notices." A recent BVA/Les Echos poll stated that 55% of French people believe that radical protest measures are justified, and 64% think actions like bossnapping should be depenalized because they constitute a last-gasp effort to avoid skyrocketing joblessness.
Cole Porter did once sing that 50 million Frenchmen cannot be wrong. Although I do also remember that Noël Coward musical: There is always something fishy about the French.