The Burqa ban. One day, well, the Emperor's not exactly naked but he's racing around town with an erection and a massive sheet shouting at passing ladies "fucking put this on before I goo myself" and all of a sudden that little boy in the crowd, ladykiller Nicholas Sarkozy, is calling out for truth, equality, justice! He may well be dressing up a national security issue as feminist posturing. He may also just be opposed to the idea of an approaching majority indulging an inherently backward, sexist tradition in the name of religious expression. The clue's in the details. Women flouting the ban will be fined and made to attend 'citizenship lessons' whilst men forcing women to wear the veil will go to prison, implying a distinction between women's right to wear and the submission implicit in the wearing.
In a recent documentary, a Muslim woman spoke of the freedom from sex pesting afforded by wearng a veil, she could walk around without worrying who was perving at her. But the ban means men make the adjustment. If seeing a woman stirs you into such a froth you're either bent double with pre-jizz inertia or sent into an uncontrollable frotter's rampage maybe get some counselling? Just an idea. The knock-on effects of burqa-tolerance means it's acceptable to view women as complicit in their own harrassment. In other words, bollocks. Sarkozy's ban is progressive in a way our trembling MPs could only fantasise about.
Indeed, Sarkozy's balls. In the same week as the ban goes live, as it were, he is embroiled in another fracas with another journalist. Not for him the imagined fourth wall where public figures exercise restraint in the face of snarky interrogators, the very safety net enabling the snark in the first place. No, when a journalist asked Sarkozy if he feared Carla Bruni might fuck his children, the marauding vulva-on-wheels that she is, the French PM responded with "I should smash your face in". Imagine David Cameron doing anything other than taking an anxious, sweaty second to laugh along with the hack's bravado before guffawing some sort of witless concession to Sam's foxiness. Similarly, the day a fan shouted to Eric Cantona from the warm cocoon of the front row that his mother was indeed a whore, or some such, Cantona did the only reasonable thing any fucking hot football superstar and French taker-of-no-shit would do, he flew through the sky and scissor kicked him to the chest.
Take national treasure Serge Gaisnbourg. His notorious collaboration with daughter Charlotte is definitely quite odd, by anyone's standards but in any other country he'd have been exiled rather than revered amid the controversy. There's Camille, whose career after the mind-splittingly banal, Anglicised Nouvelle Vague has proven a lust for experimentation over the lucrative but dull chanteuse cliche and, of course, Bardot with her pet rescue beach buggy and a lip-liner style Eminem's wife could be proud of. The fact is French people are grumpy and mental and they have balls. If only Jean-Marie Le Pen would do the decent thing and take his particular strain of mentalism to somewhere a little less conspicuous, like Tonga.
On the day the OECD published its Society At A Glance report, with France scoring highest in the most time spent eating and sleeping - as reported in this week's Independent, it's clear the French have a firm grasp on the good life. The reason so many people don't like the French is they don't covet approval. It's kind of like why cats are better than dogs. Ok, So Sarkozy married a woman who's a bit of a twat, who laments her old life as a supermodel, wracked as she was with backstage angst at having to cover her copy of Notes From Underground with a copy of Vogue, so fervant was her forbidden desire to learn, kind of like a really stylish Yentyl The Yeshiva Boy. But on the other hand, Sarkozy's done very well for a man who looks like an actual raisin. He's French, this means if he wants to be an ugly politician, pioneer a feminist movement and marry a supermodel, he will do that, so, er, Je t'encule.
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