Is it like this
In death’s other kingdom
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.
—The Hollow Men, T.S. Eliot
We learned yesterday that the socialist president of France, M. Hollande, spends $132,000 per year — or about $11,000 per month — of taxpayer money on haircuts.
Plus a housing allowance and other benefits for the stylist and his family.
And M. le Président is virtually bald!
Yet he needs his hairstylist on call 24/7, in a display of excess exceeded only by France’s 17th century Sun King, Louis XIV. “The age of too much muchness” is what Joan DeJean called that era in her book, The Essence of Style. It was an age when life tried too hard to imitate art, an age when appearance was everything and substance was a sin, when even a minor faux pas could turn one into an object of ridicule and get one booted out of polite society.
An age, in short, very much like today. When a man of boundless energy and optimism who connects with the working class is sneeringly labeled a “vulgarian,” and a woman of boundless physical and moral corruption is deemed “presidential.”
Needing a stage upon which to show off his very expensive — if sparse — hair, Hollande hosted a futile international conference to impose “peace” upon Israelis and Palestinians. A conference to which neither of the principal parties was invited.
After all, Sykes-Picot turned out to be a great success, right?
But even as France was abuzz with Hairgate, terror struck the French people yet once more when a truck plowed into a crowd of Bastille Day celebrants in Nice. The thousands of troops swarming the streets of Paris turned out to be yet another Maginot line, as a guy in a very big truck caused the kind of mayhem and death that has become all too imaginable in our time.
An expensive haircut, a vanity peace conference — thus do the leaders of a dying Europe play at accomplishing great things of global import.
And the decent men and women of America are weighing whether to elect as their next president a stupid, sick old woman who could not be awakened at 9:30 a.m. just a few days after Benghazi for an important intelligence briefing. Hillary would not be ready to talk for another hour.
“Clinton’s sleepiness is a cause for concern, said Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton.” And so it should be, in light of what we know about her drinking habits.
Neither, in January 2013, could Hillary be awakened at 5:00 p.m. on the evening before a scheduled telephone conference with the Indian Prime Minister the following morning. She was in bed for a nap, Huma Abedin’s coworker advised in an email, but she would try to speak with her the next morning. “Very important to do that,” Huma replied. “She’s often confused.”
Poor tired Hillary. Poor tired America. Poor tired West. Like Eliot’s hollow men, we are “shape without form, shade without colour, paralysed force, gesture without motion.”
Poor tired civilization. Where are the eyes to throw sunlight on the broken column that we have become?