The Plastic Hippo

January 14, 2015

Hypocrite lecteur!

Filed under: Faith,History,Literature,Politics,World — theplastichippo @ 5:00 am
Tags: , , , ,
Via En Direct

Via En Direct

With hypocrisy now being delivered with the frequency of an atomic clock ticking out the seconds, there is no longer any need to rummage in dustbins looking for double standards. Breathtaking pretence and studied insincerity are spewing from the mouths of hypocrites like so many bullets from an automatic assault rifle.

The dreadful, horrific events in Paris during the last week have produced a reaction of disgust, solidarity and defiance from human beings who hold humanity as being more precious than barbarism. One and a half million people took to the streets of Paris to proclaim their belief in democracy and free speech; between 40 and 50 others gathered for a photo opportunity. It seems that our “world leaders” were keen to defend the right to free expression by exploiting the Paris murders to introduce further surveillance and censorship of the internet. David Cameron has ignored the actualité of French internet surveillance, the requirement for French citizens to carry ID cards and the fact that the gunmen were known to the security forces. The robust and wide-ranging measures already in place did nothing to prevent the atrocities. He, and other “world leaders”, seized the opportunity to turn a ghastly killing spree into a reason for further curbs on individual freedoms.

Bussed coincidentally to the only empty street in Paris to link arms, walk a few paces and then stop for a photo, our “world leaders” looked absolutely terrified as they nervously scanned the upper stories of Boulevard Voltaire fearing that the ateliers and attics might suddenly transform into a book depository in Dallas, Texas. Standing shoulder to shoulder with representatives from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain, our “world leaders” including Benjamin Netanyahu offered a bold statement of support for press freedom. It is unlikely that anyone mentioned Raif Badawi, the blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes for offending the House of Saud, or the three Al Jazeera journalists wrongfully imprisoned in Egypt or the journalists being detained and tortured in Bahrain. Fortunately, Benjamin left his artillery at home to deter any children in Gaza from whispering the word “genocide”.

Once safely back in the Élysée Palace and over a cheeky little Châteauneuf-du-Pape 1999, a few lucrative arms deals with our Middle-Eastern friends were probably signed. Hopefully, the 2014 vintage was not offered to the distinguished visitors. It has a nose that offers hints of gravy and merde and its aftertaste is rather bitter.

Jaw-dropping hypocrisy was not confined to those who rule but also to those that wish to rule. Having obviously never perused a copy of Charlie Hebdo, all manner of bigots, xenophobes and racists proudly shrieked “Je Suis Charlie” not to defend free speech but to direct hatred toward Muslims. They are unlikely to state “Je Suis Ahmed Merabet” or “Je Suis Lassana Bathily”. Marine Le Penn, the odious Farage creature and the deeply disturbing Pegida movement in Germany talked of “eradicating a cancer” and Rupert Murdoch condemned all Muslims for the actions of three psychotic criminals. Using his own bizarre logic, Murdoch is therefore responsible for the oppression and destruction of the Aboriginal peoples of Australia and leaving asylum seekers to drown at sea. Now, as an American citizen, he is responsible for the Oklahoma bombing, Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook and so many other massacres. Perhaps he thinks all Norwegians are guilty of allowing Anders Breivik to murder so many innocents. Interestingly, when a non-white, non-Christian slaughters people, they are described as Islamists imposing Jihad; when a white, Christian deals in casual mass murder, they are described as a disturbed lone wolf.

It may be of little comfort to the grieving families of the slaughtered in Paris, but if the dead satirists of Charlie Hebdo could hear the bells of Notre Dame tolled in their honour and the ringing endorsement “Je Suis Charlie” coming from the mouths of the hypocrites they lampooned, then they would probably die a second time only this time they would die laughing. Charlie Hebdo is often crude and even more often not actually very funny but the point is that it is there to rip the urine out of anything and anybody and is, therefore, vitally important. Of all the “world leaders” weeping crocodile tears, only one emerges with any sort of dignity. Deeply unpopular and staring at political oblivion, Francois Hollande might just have saved France from catastrophe.

A recent cover of Charlie Hebdo depicted Hollande and his astonishing talking penis in a very unflattering cartoon. He did not raid the offices, shut down the publication or arrest the editor. This week he committed one million Euros of French government money to ensure the magazine can continue. That, as they say in the 9th Arrondissement, is panache.

Paris is no stranger to scandalous publications. In 1857, Charles Baudelaire produced his first volume of poetry, “Les Fleurs du mal” (The Flowers of Evil), and was promptly prosecuted along with his publisher on a charge of offending public morals. He was found guilty and fined but escaped a custodial sentence. Six of the poems were banned. As a response, Baudelaire wrote a preface entitled “To the Reader” which would later be quoted in T.S.Eliot`s “The Wasteland”.

“You! Hypocrite lecteur! – mon semblable, – mon frère!”

The final stanza of the Baudelaire poem suggests that human boredom is the cause of bad things happening to humanity because the lust for sensation overrides rationality.

“C`est l`Ennui! L`oeil chargé d`un pleur involontaire,
Il rêve d`échafauds en fumant son houka.
Tu le connais, lecteur, ce monster délicat,
– Hypocrite lecteur, – mon semblable, – mon frère!”

“It`s Ennui! – his eye brimming with spontaneous tear,
He dreams of the gallows in the haze of his hookah.
You know him, reader, this delicate monster,
Hypocritical reader, my likeness, my brother!”

If good, old Charlie Baudelaire were still kicking around today, he would be working for Charlie Hebdo and would, unlike opportunists, bandwagon jumping hypocrites, justifiably claim “Je Suis Charlie”.

1 Comment »

  1. formidable mon cher

    Comment by davidh936 — January 14, 2015 @ 7:51 pm | Reply

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