OtherWorlds: a mock saga - French valley 'baba-cool' intrigues by Jean duGard


In village valleys deep in the Cevennes mountains of southern France…renegades regale. ‘Baba-cool’ they call themselves; free spirits, emblems of the times: reborn in the revolutionary air of the 1970s and 80s. To the traditional paysans who inhabit these hills, they are larrikin lunatics. An intergenerational recipe ripe for squabbles. But this is a mere side-show. This obscure little valley legend is a microcosmic reflection of every essential element of our tragic and sage human comedy: birth and death, love and hate, good and evil, loyalty and deception, lust and revulsion, soft drugs and hard music, hubris and humility, anger, sorrow, insight and joyous transcendence, and eco-logical self-sufficiency half-a-century prescient. Only murder and blood-lust are missing. These sagas tell the tale of the times better than the mundane, common-place life-spaces of city-folk who did not challenge and disrupt and reinvent. Yet: only later, much later, when seen in context with the insight of hindsight, and the emotional pangs are long gone, is it astonishingly self-evident that there’s nothing for it but to mock these now mock sagas.