So, recently the RATP (the company that runs the subway system in Paris) started a new publicity campaign, called Aimer La Ville (“Loving the City”). Part of their campaign involves making subway-riding more pleasant by encouraging the riders themselves to be more pleasant. Thus, I’ve been seeing the following stickers around various subway trains:
What you’ll also see if you read those blogs (and if you can read French) is that lots of people are not at all pleased with the implication of this publicity push: the problem isn’t with the métro, it’s with YOU. Also: rather than improve the system’s service, we’ll just cajole you into being more docile.
So it should come as no surprise that some people were inspired to respond with parody. Nonetheless, I was impressed with the quality of some of it. Today, on the way to work, I saw a sticker that perfectly duplicated the rainbow-gradient design and lettering, spoofing the sticker that usually says “when the buzzer goes off, I don’t try to jump on.” Instead, the sticker said, “quand j’entend le signale sonore, je pousse des vieux!” (when I hear the buzzer, I push old folks!) The duplication was so well done, I had to read it twice before I realized that it was a joke.
Well played, well played.