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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Ugly Frenchman - 1190 and 2011

In 1190 AD, Richard the Lionheart - a Norman (French) duke who was also King of England - was in Salerno, Italy on his way to the Crusades.
"Passing through a small village ... he heard the cry of a hawk coming from one of the houses. Believing that only noblemen had the right to own hawks he pushed his way in and seized the bird. He was at once surrounded by a crowd of angry villagers and when he refused to give it back they attacked him with sticks and stones. One man drew a knife and Richard struck him a blow with the flat of his sword only to see the blade snap. So the crusader King was reduced to pelting villagers with anything he could lay his hands on in order to make his escape(.)"
- John Gillingham

So here we are almost a thousand years later and French aristocrats - they're called "Socialists" now - still go around the world thinking they carry their own rules with them. And they still get surprised when the locals refuse to put up with it.

Yes, I know Richard I and Dominique Strauss-Kahn are very different people. First of all, Richard didn't have some foofoo girlie name. And Richard carried a sword, fought for Christendom, killed jihadis, and bought expensive clothes because his clothes were, you know, made of armor. He probably had to spend a lot of money on accommodations too because, well, he brought his own army and those things cost a lot to carry around. What's this Strauss-Kahn character got going for him? He's just some Euro-bureaucrat/politician married to a rich babe who wires him bail money when he gets arrested for rape. How sophisticated and French, ne c'est pas? Good luck with the bail thing, Domi. You can send Roman Polanski a thank you note for America's, uh, heightened standards of custody when it comes to rich French a-holes charged with sex crimes. You'll see France again when either the jury comes back with the right verdict, or your wife's people have enough meetings with the maid's people to reach an agreement on price. Welcome to America. If socialism is helping some extended West African family get rich you are certainly walking the walk. Perhaps you should have read the fine print when you checked into the hotel. Apparently $3K a night does not include butt-rangering the staff. Maybe you mixed up Manhattan with some other place French sophisticates visit. Be interesting to find out where such a place might be. We'll probably know soon enough; previous victims seem to be crawling into the light faster than I can type. Hope your wife inherited a really, really, big fortune.

You might have been better off on crusade, mon ami. Bon chance.

(And if you think about Richard I breaking his sword when he should have kept it sheathed, try not to think about what you were swinging at the cleaning lady.)

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