My older readers or the cinema buffs or fans of Truman Capote, or all three at a time will immediately recognize the line from Breakfast at Tiffany’s and relish the memory of a ravishing paper-thin-but-somehow-never-anorexic Audrey Hepburn dropping the cigarette holder (Oh how I love the très 60s emblematic dada of sophistication) and chirp forth (to William Holden ? Help ! My memory fails me)” Quel mess” as she adjusts her lipstick. Or, perhaps somewhere in this wide wide world someone must be behind Who Can Hold the Most Flamboyant Election contest and America came up with Popsickle sporting a last name with an almost infinite number of rhyming possibilities, many of them obscene, against the Grandmother who in all probability would have swallowed the big bad wolf and the virtuous woodsman too. Admittedly, the Brits kicked off the fight by flipping the finger to Europe, but it seemed all so so like tickling a dead man. You know, the warm-up session, testing the waters, so long, cheerio ! Now the French have entered into the fray in a French-ish sort of way, i.e. after everyone else (although…the Dutch will shortly choose between Lemon Popsickle and Whoever and the Germans, well, the Germans are another story but then again they always were) and presented in TV and radio debates geared to IQs of at least 150 with dissertations in geopolitics, but I stop here in my editorial peregrinations to get down to a basic question summed up in two words : So What ? I mean does anyone outside of the French really care about les élections in April and in May?Do the French even care ? Or is this looming event meant to give respite to Crossword puzzle doers and in terms of rousing public interest fall between the mating habits of the Finnish aardvark and the study of Allegory in 10 twelfth century Chinese poets ? According to my grandma’s down home wisdom “Empty vases make the loudest noises,” but let’s go with that and I will try to explain for hopefully humorous respite from a really wicked Sunday crossword, how the system works.
In its beginnings, it’s a lot like America: Les primaires (primaries) showcase the primates who battle each other for the females and to gain national prominence . You have a full spate of profiles, from the Wall Street trader types, to the overgrown boy scout, to a wannabe Lenin leading the people, to the farmer who gets off his tractor to lead the country. The far right Marine Le Pen would have added a welcome feminine touch, but given a number of things, proves Kipling’s point that the female is the deadlier of the species. (he was writing about cobras) The main difference is that shootout at OK Corral lasts a mere 6 months, proving that the French, inventors of haute cuisine, know what goes down the digestive tract best. It is also the moment for scandal seed planting. Primaries are open to anyone not in front of the Sunday television. Candidates are chosen
In the heat of the campaign, the seeds of scandal flower as deadly nightshade, wolfbane and anything that keeps away vamps, except of the callgirl type. It is the Great Coming Out period, when, for example, a gaffe and an indiscretion assume sociological, ethicial and moral dimensions, e.g. One candidate a lllllooooonnngggg time ago, hired wifey and sonny and sis to be his aids at public expense and I really mean expense, since for very dubious workload, they made more than most French people make at the end of their careers. He has since apologized, but the screw has been turned and his ratings which were supposed to save us from le Pen, have plunged. The Schnook of Revelations in the form of a left leaning weekly published what happened in the 90s when he hired wifey, and let’s give thanks to the Moral Brigade. I’ll never be a candidate because – now this is between you and me – I cheated on my 9th grade Math final.Shootout at OK Corral continues. The primates battle each other for the females except for Marine le Pen who for all I know may be battling for Pétain.
The proof of the pudding time – end of April for the first round. So we have about 7 or 8 survivors this time it will definitely be Le Pen, Fillon, Melenchon, Hamon, Macron, Poutout, and some idiot who wants us to go without clothes and a royalist, the last two are there to make a statement. The first round eliminates those who don’t reach 20 percent of the vote. In almost all cases, this means eliminating all but two candidates at the end of April and then the vox populi will choose the winner in May. It works, except in rare cases when it doesn’t and one can get 3 candidates, for example with 20 or over percent of the vote and all Hell will break lose.
Er back to my Flamboyant Election Contest….who is placing bets ?
Questions from the room ?
Enjoy life, it lasts longer than you think.
cerebrally with numerous mentions, either forthright or veiled as allusions, to the class struggle (I don’t mean the Harvard-Yale game, but the one that was supposed to have ended with the Soviets) and wait as patiently as a fisherman for the candidates to bite …the bullet. Not a real bullet, but those mediatic missiles that