samedi 31 mai 2008

La Dombasle, BHL et moi










Pourquoi je pense à elle ?


Pourquoi je pense à lui?





Parce que, hier, j’ai amené Neko à la plage, ce qui m’a fait penser au film "Pauline à la plage" d’Eric Rohmer. Ce n’était pas son premier film avec Rohmer (il a tourné Perceval le Gallois avec elle en 1978), mais on dit qu’après le premier elle s'est fait refaire le nez. La première d’une série d’interventions de ce type à mon avis. Suivez mon regard !

C’était un soir d'été, 1988. A l’époque, Paris se vidait de ses habitants vers le 14 juillet et se remplissait de touristes. Moi, je m’apprêtais à quitter la ville aussi, pour la Côte d’Azur. C’était la première – et la dernière – fois que j’y mettais les pieds pendant la période estivale. Trop de monde, trop chaud, trop cher. Vive les vacances !

La veille de notre départ, pas question de faire la cuisine. Nous allons au restaurant vite fait. Dans le cinquième, pas loin de chez moi (à l’époque) il y a une brasserie très connue, une véritable institution : Le Balzar. 49, rue des Ecoles. Côté cuisine, rien de spécial. Une bonne brasserie, pas plus. Mais ce restaurant attirait - et attire encore, certainement - les gens connus. Et dans le quartier, il y a beaucoup d’intellectuels—car il y a la Sorbonne, le Collège de France, l’Université Panthéon-Assas et j’en passe.

Parmi ces intellectuels, quelques vedettes. Mon héro Foucault était déjà mort. Mais BHL, qui n’était pas mon héro mais quand même, ne l’était pas. Mort, j’entends. Et je l’ai vu. En plus, en super scoop, je l’ai vu avec une femme. Et pas n’importe laquelle femme : Arielle Dombasle. J’avoue que de nos jours cette « nouvelle » n’en ai pas une. Après tout, ils sont mariés. Mais regardez bien l'année de leur mariage…. 1993. En 1988, BHL était marié à une autre femme (Sylvie Bouscasse, qui n’est pas la mère de Justine Lévy, mais c'est une autre histoire). Et La Dombasle ? Je ne sais rien de sa vie sentimentale avant BHL.

Donc, nous rentrons du restaurant et sur le trottoir de la rue des Ecoles nous croisons BHL et La Dombasle. Après leur passage, j’ai dit à mon ami Tiens, on dirait que BHL et La Dombasle forment un couple.

Et c’était vrai. Il y avait de la complicité, mélangée à une espèce de défiance, de fierté. Et bien sur, personne ne les voyait car tout le monde, tout le beau monde en tout cas, avait déjà quitté la ville pour les maisons de campagne qui sont si chères aux français citadins, surtout ceux appartenant à une certaine classe sociale, habitant Paris ou une autre grande ville de France, et ayant des attaches ailleurs, toujours ailleurs.

J’ai dit à mon ami (de l’époque) : Tu as vu de qui il s’agissait ? BHL et La Dombasle. C’est un scoop.
Bof ! dit-il.

Mais moi, j’étais frappée par une certaine légèreté et la façon dont ils se regardaient, comme s'ils étaient seuls au monde.

J’ai détesté mon séjour sur la Côte d’Azur. Trop de monde, trop chaud, trop cher. Comme tout le monde dit (et tout le monde a raison), il vaut mieux y aller au mois de mai ou de septembre. Il y a moins de monde, il fait moins chaud, et c’est moins cher. Pendant mon séjour si fadasse, je pensais souvent à BHL et La Dombasle, à leur complicité et à leur secret. Car c’était un secret.

Après, j’ai un peu oublié notre secret, qui n’avait pas d’importance pour moi. Jusqu’au jour où j’ai vu par hasard un article sur elle et dans Elle. Dans cet article, sans intérêt par ailleurs, il y avait une photo qui a attiré mon attention tout de suite. Dans mon esprit, cette photo était en noir et blanc, mais je ne suis pas certaine que c'était vraiment le cas. Peu importe. Dans cette photo, La Dombasle est assise sur un fauteuil chez elle et, en arrière plan, à peine visible, on voit une autre photo, encadrée celle-ci, et posée sur une table. C’est une photo de BHL.

Alors, je lis l’article. Pas un mot sur BHL. Elle raconte son histoire qui est, je dois l’admettre, fascinante. Née aux Etats-Unis (dans le Connecticut), elle a été élevée au Mexique, où son grand-père etait l'ambassadeur de France. Sa mère meurt quant la Petite Sirène est très jeune. Et ainsi de suite. Elle est trilingue, tri-culturelle. Et très cultivée. Et elle ressemble à une poupée Barbie. Et elle chante. Et elle danse. Et elle écrit. Et elle est actrice. En tant qu’actrice, elle est assez nulle, sauf quand elle se moque d’elle-même.

Quelques années plus tard, ils se marient à Saint-Paul de Vence (un village situé dans l’arrière pays de la Côte d’Azur). Un de leurs témoins est Jean-Paul Enthoven, le père de Raphaël Enthoven, qui se mariera avec la fille de BHL, pour ensuite la quitter pour Carla Bruni, qui à l’époque sortait avec Enthoven père. Et Carla, comme chacun sait ou doit savoir, a quitté Raphaël (mais pas avant d’écrire une petite chanson pour lui et de faire un enfant avec lui) pour se marier avec Nicolas Sarkozy, le Président de la République française, après environ cinq minutes de fiançailles. Que le beau monde est petit, finalement !

Mais revenons à La Dombasle. Pourquoi elle me fascine, cette dame si… insipide quelque part ? C’est un mystère. Est-ce que parce que je l’ai vu un soir d’été et que j’ai eu l’impression de partager un secret avec elle, et avec lui, pendant quelques seconds ?


vendredi 30 mai 2008

Neko eats my undies





What MSN has wrought today:
AP – A homeless woman who sneaked into a man’s house and lived undetected in his closet for a year was arrested in Japan after he became suspicious when food mysteriously began disappearing.


Maybe this explains why I am missing so many socks.

jeudi 29 mai 2008

The Rise in Female Criminality

Her name is Sherri and she's homeless.


People tend to think of the Southend of Seattle as the wrong side of the tracks. For those who know, the Delridge-White Center-South Park "triangle" (though I'm not sure they form one) is probably the worst of the Southend. Today I was reading the online version of the local rag--the West Seattle Herald Tribune--and decided to check out the police blotter for the neighborhood.

Those who think that the life of a cop in the Southend is all about homicide, assault with a deadly weapon and gang warfare are just plain wrong.


Here are the top three items on the ledger:

Case 1:
At Westwood Village, merchants called 911 to report that a woman had been in the store for four hours, crying and asking customers for cigarettes. Officers found her without shoes and wearing only a thin tank top and short skirt. She said she had been staying at homeless shelters and was cold. Placed in a squad car to warm up, she began screaming to be let out, saying that the seats hurt and that the car was the "wrong color." In a case of mistaken identity, she then yelled at a female officer, calling her "Sherry," and screaming, "You abused me. You abused my mom." The 33-year-old woman then lunged at the officer, but was taken down and transported to Harborview for a mental health examination.

Case 2:
There is probably cause to arrest a young woman who abandons her two-year-old whenever she receives her support check. (Relatives suspect she is on drugs or has mental issues.) Always claiming that she'll be "returning soon," she recently left the child, who was sick, with three transients. The three then left the child at a relative's doorstep, cursing as they ran off. They later denied abandoning the child. A check of the mother's residence found clothing, garbage and half-eaten food strewn all over. The child is currently staying with the relatives.

Case 3:
A woman left her High Point-area home to mediate a street fight and ended up being attacked by her husband. He threw her to the ground several times, yelling that he was going to get a divorce. Officers found her incoherent and very intoxicated. After they arrested the husband, the woman ran down the street and began throwing rocks at her own bedroom window. He was booked into King County Jail for investigation of domestic violence assault.

What is amazing about our three top stories, aside from the fact that they were deemed worthy of any ink at all, is that they revolve around women. Just wives or moms or former wives and/or moms, behaving badly. There are the usual issues--drugs, mental health, domestic violence, neglect--but with the White Center twist. These are poor folks, not Bellevue folks. As for the lady bumming cigarettes for four hours, I have to believe she was inside the Target store. That's the uncontested retail magnet for this shopping center, and the only store any normal person could ever stand to spend four hours in. Except she wasn't normal, apparently. That's why they took her to Harborview. Saying the seats of the squad car hurt was odd, but acceptable. Objecting to the color of the squad car was troubling, but not enough to take her in for a mental exam. Mistaking the police officer for "Sherry" was the strike that put her out.

But what did this woman do exactly?
Hung out in Target for four hours
Cried and bummed cigarettes
Complained about a car (seats and color)
Called someone by the wrong name.

If you want to remain trouble-free in White Center, just keep these things in mind.

The second lady abandons her child whenever she has a little cash. The relatives are tired of picking up the slack. Not much to say there. Poor little girl. She'll be better off elsewhere. What kind of parent leaves their kid with "transients"? One who is hoping the kid will bugger off.

The third lady, let's call her Nosy Parker, goes out to break up a fight. Trouble is, she's drunk and soon has a fight of her own on her hands, with her husband. Somebody calls the cops and they arrest the husband, but let the wife go. She runs down the street and throws rocks in her own bedroom window. No crime in that.

This is White Center in a nutshell, folks. I can't think of anything to add. Not so much true crime as true grime.

Elephant runs amok




You have to wonder about the news selection process on the msn main page. Well, I have to wonder. In my case, the page comes up in French sometimes and in English sometimes. I don’t see any discernable pattern. It’s just a random thing.

Today it came up in English, and I was immediately drawn to a headline about 7 people who were killed by a raging elephant. I figured it had to be in India and yes, it was in India, near New Delhi. It seems an elephant escaped from a national park and rampaged a nearby village. The article indicated that the park in question is the Jim Corbett National Park. I went to the park's official website to learn more about Jim Corbett, a.k.a. The White Saint (no joke.)

Not surprisingly, Jim was born in Colonial Times (1875) in the town of Nainintal, where his father was postmaster. He was the eighth child in his family (but we don’t know how many children there were in all). His academic career seems to have ended when he graduated from Philanders Smith College (a high school).

He is described as a nature lover who was addicted to hunting by the age of ten. Indeed, he seems to have spent his life killing animals, organizing contract labour, and training combattants to kill in the jungle. The website notes, admiringly, that "When the World War I broke in 1914, he took a batch of five hundred Kumaon labourers to France. He was good at recruiting and organizing labour and was able to make them work for him willingly."

But he missed life in India, and so returned there to live and hunt. One day, however, he had a life-changing moment when a bunch of his friends (or should I say "batch") were bagging waterfowl and the count got up to 300. He was appalled at the slaughter and vowed never to kill for sport again. After that day, true to his word, he killed only "man-eaters" and dangerous beasts, such as tigers that became "cattle lifters."

"Jim was the only man who had the guts to take on and kill such bloodthirsty beasts, endowed as he was with his superlative skills required for the job he killed man-eaters in their den, in open grassland, in dense forest and on rocky slopes. Some of his most famous encounters are published in his six books of which the Man-eaters of Kumaon and The Man Eating Leopard of Rudra Prayag are well renowned.”

(Note to self: See if Amazon.com has these classics in stock.)

After WWII, Jim settled in Kenya with his sister Maggie. The wildlife park was renamed for him in 1956, the year of my birth.

Too bad Jim was not around to bag the big, mean, smart (I learned on msn a few days ago that elephants are among the smartest animals) elephant that escaped from his park. They say elephants never forget, though. Maybe this one remembered Jim from his animal-bagging days and was seeking revenge for the entire wild kingdom.

mercredi 28 mai 2008

L'affaire Kerviel


Yesterday was the annual general meeting of the shareholders of my bank, Société Générale. It was held at La Défense, the business hub to the West of Paris. Outside, the storm clouds gathered In the basement of the Grande Arche (the architectural signature of La Défense by Otto von Spreckelsen), Société Générale's management faced shareholders for the first time since "l'affaire Kerviel." Lots of them turned up (about 1 600 according to Le Monde), and everyone was thinking about the 4.9 billion euro fraud.

It looks like SG did its best to contain their anger and maintain control over the situation. Its executives underwent special training sessions with communications professionals. The press was kept from intermingling with angry shareholders. So the shareholders expressed their anger and their frustration before passing every single resolution submitted to their vote.


Business as usual, quoi?

Queen of the Known Universe




This is Neko. She is queen of the known universe.


If you don't think she is the cutest and smartest dog in the known universe, then you clearly do not understand the known universe at all and I feel sorry for you.
Plus, you bore me.
If I had remembered to recharge the battery in my camera, I would take a picture of Neko right now. She is lying on her back and her forepaws are perfectly relaxed. If she could, she would be drooling. Her eyes are rolling back and she's dreaming. I know this because every once in awhile her paw moves, like she's swiping at a bee or a beam of light. One of her little legs is moving too, and she just woke up. No, that was a false alarm. She looked at me and then rolled onto her side. Now she's snoring. When she wakes up, we're going out for a stroll. She's one lucky dog.


This is a test


I'm just trying to get a feel for how this thing works. So please don't laugh at this pitiful effort. Does the world really need one more blog and one more blogger? Probably not, but nobody has to read this.
This photo was taken at the Hi-Yu Parade in West Seattle last summer. As you can see, these girls were totally camera-shy.
Please, no comments!