Francois Hollande, Schadenfreude and Hypocrisy
As a huge fan of schadenfreude – happiness at the misery of others – I am suffering from withdrawal now that Silvio Berlusconi has left the stage. He was so reliably tasteless. Bunga bunga with teenage hookers named Ruby Heart Stealer is hard to top.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has had a run at world leadership but his tastelessness is just … so… well … tasteless. To be sure, Berlusconi was a hard act to follow but conflicts of interest, substance abuse, reading and texting while driving, public drunkenness and crack cocaine on video remain well short of world standards.
Francois Hollande, the Socialist President of France, is filling this void as he beetles around Paris on a scooter for assignations with actress and alleged mistress, Julie Gayet.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, which in Paris is called the Elysée Palace, the previous mistress, Valerie Trierweiler is feeling a bit pouty. Trierweiler, known as the Rottweiler among her non-fans, occupies the “madame wing” of the palace in her capacity as first girlfriend — at taxpayer expense, while the economy of France continues to swirl down the “toilette.”
The Rottweiler gained her perch by unhorsing the prior first girlfriend, Segolene Royale who once ran against Hollande for the leadership of the Socialist Party. Royale and Hollande have four children together.
Experienced schadenfreudists have noted what appears to be a pattern.
Mademoiselle Royale is 60.
The Rottweiler is 48.
Miss Gayet – perhaps now the incumbent first mistress – is 41.
The French Press has historically been more tolerant of “meche trempage” (wick dipping) than their counterparts in, for example, London.
But (irony alert) M. Hollande is a huge fan of the European Union making identical rules for 350 million people even if they have completely different traditions. Today he faced 500 journalists as he outlined his 2014 policy goals. Might some from the tabs have booked passage on the Eurostar from London to ask their favorite questions?
Time to bring out the stepladders as the righteous of the left and right ascend their high horses to look down upon us unworthy schadenfreudists. While praising their lofty motives they will be conveniently forgetting their glee at the travails of Obamacare or the Chris Christie lane closings.
The Rottweiler is willing to forgive and forget but, according to a recent poll, 89% of the French public wants her out. That must be quite a palace.
Meanwhile the hypocrisy market continued its steady rise.