Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Autres temps, autres moeurs!

Is private life no longer taboo in France? Are the French becoming--horrors!--more American? More juvenile? One might think so upon learning that IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was mocked by humorist Stéphane Guillon immediately before DSK's appearance on RTL. Guillon's piece isn't particularly funny. Its humor derives exclusively from its amplification of DSK's randiness to Don Juanesque, not to say Gargantuan, proportions.

The subject of French political humor deserves a post unto itself. I may return to the subject. If only I could persuade someone with the funds to organize a colloquium at Harvard in which Jon Stewart and Nicolas Canteloup would discuss jusqu'où on peut aller trop loin (to borrow a phrase from Cocteau). From such a confrontation we might learn something important about the inner constraints and hidden sensitivities of the political cultures of our two sister republics.

Listen to Guillon (here) and tell me what you think. (Radical lampoon or alibi--discussion here.)


Unknown said...

Franchement, ce n'est pas très méchant (sinon le passage sur la collègue journaliste) ni d'ailleurs, très drôle. C'est surtout insolent. DSK aurait mieux fait de faire celui qui n'entend rien.

Unknown said...

Today, I found Guillon not as funny as usual (I'm a big fan), not because it was DSK and not because he mocked his inability to not cheat on his wife, just because I thought his paper was not a very good one (it happens, you can't be genius everyday).

As far as politicians' private life is concerned, yes, French people start to care more than they should about it, but I don't think it's comparable to the US where private life is a political factor.
In France, I feel that people care about it, exactly the same way they care about the private life of other celebrities, but in the end it doesn't influence their opinion of the person as politicians.

Leo said...

I found, as usual, Guillon's humour mediocre at best. As for the French caring more about politicians' private lives, it is a fact. After Sarko's marital antics it is now a staple of French political life.