Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Son Altesse Royale Is Not Pleased

Son Altesse Royale Charles-Emmanuel de Bourbon-Parme, supposedly a lineal descendant of the Sun King, asked a court to shut down the Jeff Koons exhibit at the Palais de Versailles on the grounds that it is "pornographic." "Would you want that in your grandmother's bedroom?" His Royal Highness asks a reporter in the video (visible at the link). The judge rejected the request, however. The prudish Robespierre might well have made common cause with the prince, but the Republic is now in the hands of sensualists and showmen, so it's unlikely that Koons will be banished anytime soon, especially since François Pinault is footing half the bill and Sarko-appointed Versailles director Jean-Jacques Aillagon used to work for him.

By the way, the prince is correct: Koons' work is pornographic.

Deus ex Debacle

The economic crisis has a rather ecumenical cast of republican characters suddenly finding religion:

La naissance du Christ parmi les plus pauvres, autant dire presque dans la rue, mais aussi de nombreux textes bibliques et écrits sociaux des Eglises chrétiennes, nous renvoient à des références éthiques essentielles pour affronter la crise. La pensée sociale chrétienne qui s'appuie sur ces références n'est pas une alternative à un quelconque système économique, mais un socle de réflexion qui a vocation à inspirer tout mode d'organisation durable de la société.

(signed) Guy Aurenche, Jean Boissonnat, Daniel Casanova, Jacques Delors, Xavier Emmanuelli, Jean-Baptiste de Foucauld, Sylvie Germain, Jean-Claude Guillebaud, Jean-Pierre Hourdin, François-Régis Hutin, Alain Juppé, Patrick Peugeot, Michel Rocard, Robert Rochefort, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, François Soulage, René Valette, Jérôme Vignon, François Villeroy de Galhau.

Which makes me want to reach for the well-thumbed Marxian bibles of my youth: the phrase "all criticism begins with the criticism of religion" comes to mind.

Times Have Changed

Time was, Yvonne de Gaulle refused to receive a divorced minister at her dinner table. But it's a new age. The president and his wife are vacationing in Brazil with Carla's real father, Maurizio Remmert, who had a six-year affair with her mother, Marisa Tedeschi, while she was married to "businessman and composer" Alberto Bruni. Benoît Hamon has accused Sarko of leaving a "vacancy of power" at home while he cavorts in Brazil. Sarko replies that those who accuse him of being a hyperpresident should be pleased that he's taking a few days off. No photo-ops this time, however: last year a horde of photographers was given carefully controlled access to the royal couple in Luxor. This year they are in the proverbial "undisclosed location."

European Elections

The PS faces challenges, described here.

New Unemployment Regulations Pending

Details here.