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News Clash

NASTY: Paris Trolling Macron In The Most Hilarious (And Disgusting!) Way Ever

This might be the most misguided publicity stunt since Geraldo opened Capone's vault

France is hosting the Olympics this summer. The sank over a billion into cleaning up the river. They never imagined how spectacularly a planned photo-op might backfire.

In hindsight, the big mistake was announcing it in advance. If Macron had simply said I’m planning a press event here at the bank of the river, he could have ducked behind a screen, came out in his trunks and jumped in the river to prove just how clean it was.

Since it’s been illegal to swim in the polluted river for a century, this would be a big ‘win’ for the politician who made swimming in the river possible again… right?

In February, city officials invited TIME to pass through the metal turnstile behind the cordon, and see up close the cleanup of the Seine—one of the world’s most iconic rivers—which stretches for 481 miles, from Burgundy through Paris out to the sea in Normandy. Indeed, the river has defined Paris since it was founded by ancient Romans. It was along these riverbanks that merchants in the Middle Ages first set up, creating a settlement that finally dwarfed once bigger rivals like Lyon and Marseilles. And it was on the banks, too, that the world’s finest architects constructed the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Louvre and Orsay museums—stunning monuments that draw millions of visitors each year to sail down the narrow stretch of the Seine that cuts through the dead center of Paris. Officials are therefore keenly aware of the deeper significance of cleaning up the Seine, seeing it as a way of connecting the modern city to its oldest history. “The Seine,” says Emmanuel Grégoire, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of urban planning, “is the reason why Paris was born.”

Once the €1.4 billion ($1.5 billion) project is finished—by next spring, if all goes to plan—Parisians will be legally allowed to swim in the river for the first time in a century. (Authorities banned it in 1923 because of high levels of pollution.) “Swimming at the foot of the Eiffel Tower will be very romantic,” Grégoire says, before guiding TIME underground into the giant—and decidedly unromantic—rainwater storage tank, crucial to cleaning the Seine.
[…] Yet cleaning the Seine might not be the final challenge for Paris officials. Parisians will need to feel safe enough to swim in the 26 swimming pools along the Seine that will open after the Olympics. Public confidence in the cleanup is not certain, given years of E. coli and enterococci bacteria in the water, and the possibility that a particularly heavy rainfall could contaminate parts of the river. — Time

Parisians see their river as little better than a public toilet. And for many, their opinion of Macron fits perfectly with that analogy… especially that he’s promised to swim in the river… at a particular date and time.

The public has reacted to that promise in a very specific kind of protest tailored perfectly to the event. They’re staging a s**t-in… a flash-mob of pooping.

Parisians are encouraging one another to drop a deuce in the river, upstream of where Macron will be having his precious photo op. There is even a website that will help people know how to time their *ahem* ‘protest movement’ at different points of the river so that their ‘message’ arrives at the moment of maximum effect.

Despite the water still being too dirty to swim in just weeks away from the event, President Emmanuel has vowed to swim in the river himself on June 23 to prove the initiative’s success.

When asked if he would swim in the Seine, Macron told reporters: “You bet I will.”

In response, creative frenchmen have devised a plan to soil their leaders’ plan – literally.

Parisians have vowed to fill the river with human faeces on the day Emmanuel and the French mayor Anne Hidalgo take to the water in what they dubbed a “s*** flashmob”.

The hashtag #JeChieDansLaSeineLe23Juin, which translates to “I s*** in the Seine on June 23” began trending at the end of last month and has since gained traction across social media. — Independent

Will Macron have himself a Sh***y Sunday swim… or will he chicken out and have egg on his face instead of… well, you know?

With opening ceremonies only a month away, it’s put up or shut up time.

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Wes Walker

Wes Walker is the author of "Blueprint For a Government that Doesn't Suck". He has been lighting up since its inception in July of 2012. Follow on twitter: @Republicanuck