As usual, the unlikely combos and the chance associations keep me interested. In this case, a group of papier mâché puppet heads on sticks (the sticks upright in empty bottles of fruit juice or cheap vermouth), and a book dropped off in the same premises by someone. The book, Dans le secret des princes, published in nineteen eighty-six, has a professional journalist asking questions of the man who headed France’s counter-espionage from nineteen seventy to nineteen eighty-one. To say le comte Alexandre de Marenches had a surfeit of self-assurance is a vast understatement. To say his world view rested on sharp distinctions, ditto.When boiled down to their essence, said sharp distinctions amount to the usual: what I do is right and permissible because I do it for the Right Cause. What the other guy does is wrong because…etc.
Of course, the man grew up and lived within circles of like-minded people. Whatever episodes of self-doubt he ever experienced don’t find their way into the official narrative. I read some of his pronouncements and my eyes switch to high-beam in amazement. For instance, you must never, ever hire a professional hit man for an assassination. Mark that down at the top of your list of DO NOTs. Why? First of all because most of them aren’t all that good and Lord knows a botched assassination is one hell of a mess. And second, if they are any good, these people have no moral fibre and will keep coming back for more money with threats of spilling the beans about the assassination. This will not do, of course, because then you’re stuck finding a strong, loyal and honorable member of your staff tasked with killing the assassin. Which is a bloody waste of everyone’s time.
Fascinating stuff, all about the Free World in its noble fight against…you know, the bad guys who want to grab Africa’s germanium, titanium, magnesium, mercury, molybdenum, cobalt, columbium and what have you for their military industry. Us good guys can’t allow that to happen. Our bombs are right,since they defend our right to Africa’s germanium, titanium, magnesium, etc.
The title to this post: part of the lyrics from the song Oh Lucky Man, from Lindsay Anderson’s film by the same name. Sung by Alan Price. On youTube, if you’re interested.
(Writing? Some. Synopsis? Slow.)
The puppet heads? Here: