Few things get the heart pumping of your Happy Valley correspondent more than la rentrée…that splendid combination of the first whiffs of fall air, and the return of horrendous traffic, as la Suisse Romande re awakes from its summer slumber.
But this year, the rentrée in Happy Valley somehow feels…well, rather different.
Rather morose, in fact.
Could it be the less than positive economic news shared by some analysts that Switzerland might be in recession? (Official numbers come out later today, but what seems to be a steadily increasing number of vacant retail spaces suggests that all is not well in Happy Valley.)
The Chinese equity market correction?
The imminent closing of Kader Attia’s show at the Musée Cantonal in Lausanne? (It’s worth seeing before it shuts August 30th, regardless of your political views.)
How about recent reports suggesting that some 45 000 email addresses in the Ashley Madison database have been found ending in .ch….including some linked to large Swiss corporations, as well as to organizations and authorities ranging from the UN all the way through to lausanne.ch?
Or maybe the fact that there’s daily news (or so it feels) of another wave of deaths of people fleeing the world’s misery zones to find a better life somewhere, anywhere, in Europe? Yesterday’s finding of 50 decomposing bodies — presumed to be migrants — in an abandoned truck on an Austrian highway is just the latest tragedy, it seems.
Your Happy Valley Correspondent would like to think that the last point might just be the one touching the most of us. It’s certainly the one making your Correspondent’s days feel less than rosy.
But where’s the outrage? is it just your Correspondent’s imagination, or have there indeed been few, if any, large shows of support across Happy Valley for bringing in at least some of the world’s needy, apart from the commendable efforts of organisations such as OSAR (Organisation suisse d’aide aux réfugiés)?
A huge demonstration at Riponne?
A Twitter campaign, however shallow that might be, to channel the public’s disgust?
Your Correspondent frankly is baffled.
Or have I missed something?
By the Happy Valley Correspondent