Thursday, July 14, 2016

Only His Hairdresser Knows For Sure

Will Hollande boot Macron? Only his hairdresser knows for sure.

OK, it's a cheap shot, but I couldn't resist. With #coiffeurgate à défrayer la chronique, who needs Bastille Day? But the president, in the traditional 14 juillet interview, availed himself of the opportunity to lay down the law to his wayward Minister of the Economy, the ubiquitous M. Macron, whose Bastille Day Eve rally saw him bellowing "On to victory in 2017" without actually declaring his candidacy or specifying whose victory he had in mind--a fair sample of the political ambidexterity that has become Macron's trademark. Ni droite ni gauche, ni candidat ni ministre, ni loyal ni déloyal ... To which Hollande's response was less crisp than Chirac's famous rebuke to the young Turk Sarkozy when he was similarly straining in his traces: "Je décide, il exécute." Hollande instead meekly suggested that there might be limits to his patience without actually naming the person who is trying it.

All this is very amusing, but in the meantime the European left seems to be in utter disarray everywhere. Labour is on the verge of collapse, Renzi is facing a banking crisis in Italy, the Spanish left failed to meet expectations (h/t Sofia Perez), the German left is comatose, Tsipras has lost his luster in Greece ... I can't remember a more dismal scene.

10 comments:

TexExile said...

I've done some numbers on this, Art. If we assume that François Hollande's hair is growing at a rate of 4.05 yoctometers per femtosecond (about average for a caucasian male), we get a monthly growth rate of just under 1.06cm. So the president's haircuts are costing the taxpayer only €8976.38 per centimetre. Alternatively, we can look at the price per hair, since my guess is that the only explanation here is that the barber is cutting FH's hairs one at a time (méthode artisanale rather than industrielle). Assuming the high forehead doesn't reduce the follicle count too much, the pres should have about 90,000 hairs on his head. That comes to around 0.35 centimes per hair per day. Put that way, it sounds so much more reasonable. One wonders why that was not included in Stéphane Le Foll's talking points.

Art Goldhammer said...

Could you convert yoctometers per femtosecond into furlongs per fortnight for the metrically challenged?

Massilian said...

Sure. But do we really need all these european "lefts" ? What would we do if : "then there were none". "Left" doesn't mean anything precise anymore, certainly no clear vision and no program but just the "same vague policy but with the other guys in charge". So, the other guys are just the other guys. We just measured the benefits of "alternance". Among politicians, I can see reactionnaries, I can see conservatives, liberals, social liberals, then a misty void, and then a raft with a bunch of nostalgic "radicals". But I see no "left". And quite sincerily, sometimes I might become a little nostalgic of days gone by, but I don't regret the days of the left (ie : the Mitterand ere, before it is all legend and history). What make me sad is that we still seem totally unable to imagine a different way to run the planet. So far and worldwide, nothing lights the future...

bert said...

Stéphane Follicle's entire interview is already a classic.

bert said...

Bad news from Nice.

TexExile said...

Art,

I get 2.43522E-05 furlongs per fortnight, albeit assuming that the number of seconds in a week is 604800, which is, I admit, a bit rough and ready. I'd need an atomic clock and a specified fortnight to measure if I wished to be more precise...

Readers should not confuse the yoctometers we use to measure FH's hair with the yachtometers that we used to gauge his predecessor's leisure activities.

And let's all salute Le Foll for managing to keep a straight face while trying to explain this. I could never have managed that.

TexExile said...

And while I am at it, just when does FH find time for all these haircuts? And he is getting them during the working day or outside his 35 hours?

I have trouble enough finding time to get my hair cut every 11 or 12 weeks. We probably spend more on the time the president spends in the barber's chair than we do on the barber.

Bernard said...

Texexile's comments are truly enlightening and tasteful, having been posted exactly 7 hours and 18 minutes after bert's warning post. And I thought most people commenting on this blog were news junkies. I must have been wrong. Or maybe not.

TexExile said...

Bernard, I saw the news shortly after posting here, but your snide condescension is much appreciated. It so enriches the discussion.

brent said...

@ Massilian
I would agree that none of the established parties seem to have a clue about the rampant inequality, ecological disaster, global violence and societal meltdown that threaten our well-being throughout the West (and beyond). You look to the "reactionaries, conservatives, liberals, and social liberals," and look in vain for the "left": no solutions to these existential problems. But then you disparage the hate-quote "radicals"and are therefore unwilling to even look to see what they might offer. Were you to look to Mélenchon's eco-socialist manifesto, or Jill Stein's Green Party platform, you might not like what you see, but you would at least see serious attempts to reimagine social relations on a scale equal to the problems we face. These documents are not "totally unable to imagine" another way. But it's of course easier to sneer at them, and then decry the uselessness of the status quo parties. To use your metaphor, you isolate the radicals on a raft, and then watch passively while the established parties, the 'serious people,' sail the ship into the iceberg. But at least it's not those radicals who are doing the work of destruction.