Did I laugh out loud as I read the latest learned pronouncement by an editorialist*, a few minutes ago? The rift threatening the Left, he explains, is between the militants and the people. The militants don’t understand that the people like the Prime Minister and the uber-Liberal young twerp who made it straight to a ministerial job without once having to bother with getting elected first.
I almost laughed out loud because of a phone conversation I had yesterday. During which a dear friend told me about her latest surrealistic meeting in Paris, attempting to close a deal with a television group on a documentary in the making. At this latest meeting, the group had invited a celebrated radio personality for an “outside opinion”. The personality (paid for his contribution, of course) arrived and slathered out vast word combos, all of them paraphrases out of the current Latest in the Parisian jargon. “How was his scarf,” I asked (fashions in the latest proper knotting of a scarf feature prominently in People-type photo reports over here). “I don’t know,” she answered. “He was wearing a navy blue businessman’s suit, white shirt and uneventful tie. The modest Protestant banker look.”
He did his number, she said. Fell silent (with a benevolent smile) when he realized she lived in the southwest and knew a thing or two about tear gas and intrusive Keepers of Public Order. Decided then and there her project had value after all, and left – no doubt, to collect his stipend.
I read the editorialist in that same perspective as my friend’s report on the Radio Personality – i.e. just because a bullfrog bellows through a megaphone doesn’t make the bullfrog’s message more significant.
Apart from which: antibiotics and cortisone take a lot out of a body’s energy levels. But they take a lot out of that of bacteria too. For which I say: hurray, hurray. (I hit the Animals category because bacteria belong to the zoo, don’t they? As for bullfrogs, I have full respect for their right to bellow – but why they need a megaphone…)
*Yes, in the Obs, I’m sorry to say. Thankfully, the paper version of the erstwhile Le Nouvel Observateur still carries a column by Delfeil de Ton. So all is not lost yet.