Thursday, May 1, 2008

An Imprudent Attack

Jean-Marie Le Pen, not content to have repeated his infamous remark about the gas chambers, has launched an imprudent attack on those who liked the film Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis, the most popular film in French history. It's really a send-up of the people of the Nord, says the leader of the Front National. Since the film has drawn 20 million viewers, while today's annual FN pilgrimage to the statue of Jeanne d'Arc, place des Pyramides, drew only 1,500, this was perhaps another sign that Le Pen is losing his marbles. Even Marine said that the remark about the gas chambers didn't engage the party, and she didn't endorse it. Her taste in film may also differ from her father's.

Why May 1 for the FN's homage to St. Joan? It was the day she rode off to Blois in 1429 to join up with the remains of the royal army. One suspects the choice may also have something to do with the fact that May Day has long been a day to celebrate labor militancy, in commemoration of the Haymarket Massacre in Chicago, which actually took place on May 4, 1886.

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