The south of France, and one man finds himself deeply disenchanted by the culinary delights on offer in his locale. So much so, in fact, that he took to the press, voicing his determination never to let another kebabish open in his town again.
Lushes and reprobates – I give you Robert Ménard: ex-secretary general of press freedom group Reporters Sans Frontières and currently disgruntled mayor of the supposedly shish-saturated town of Béziers. This blowhard first came to my attention a couple of weeks back, when I read about his distaste for döner at the Daily Sabah. Already something of a national celebrity for his animus towards Allahphiles—making a point of illegally collecting stats on Muslim schoolkids and personally declaring Syrian refugees in his town persona non grata—the somewhat megalomaniacal mayor now wants to obstruct the opening of any further lamb-spit houses in his locale.
Reading about this reminds me of one reason I kickstarted this series-within-a-series known as ‘Halal & Hypocrisy’: to shine a spotlight on those for whom fighting the Islamification of the Western world serves as a Trojan Horse for their own liberticidal bullshit. Whilst I may not be thrilled about the concept (and existence) of borders (at least not on a nation-state level), I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have some sympathy for those who view them as a means of preserving treasured cultural and civil liberties—not to mention life and limb—in their lands (a la the late Pim Fortuyn). That said, I find it tragicomic how fervently those of such a persuasion appeal to the very institutions responsible for their malaise to make everything alright, especially when the latter either double down with a “solution” that further feeds the beast or take it as an opportunity to play bait ‘n’ switch by adding their own encroachments.
Ménard certainly fits the bill of the latter type of “saviour”, dragooning in a bunch of petty prohibitions on the back of some Saracen-smiting crusade. During his time in office, our hero-in-his-own-mind has imposed a curfew on Béziers’ younger residents, penalised public spitting (probably after taking a few gobfuls to the face), and even gone as far as to criminalise the airing of one’s laundry. All in the service of a reified, ossified concept of “French culture”, which he happily imposes on the actually existing cultural environment, like a hyperactive child with a new playset.
Then again, at least pleasure animates the puer at play; with his determination to dam the döner tide, this Ménard motherfucker signals and solidifies his credentials as a man who disdains the very concept of joy.
Still, I suppose his joyless jihad amounts to more fun than addressing the town’s decades-long mass unemployment; it might explain his shift from socialism to the kind of rightist rabble-rousing that makes his friends in Front National sound decidedly middle-of-the-road.
Then again, that this townhall tyrant has a decidedly limited radius of authority counts as something of a small mercy; going by the sentiments he shared regarding torture in 2007, giving him Hollande levels of authority could prove potentially…interesting, for all the wrong reasons. A rather sloppily translated piece from Global Research turns out the following from his RSF days:
During the radio program “Contre-expertise” hosted by Xavier de la Porte on France Culture, August 16, 2007, Robert Ménard, the self-proclaimed defender of human rights and journalists, followed the steps of his sponsors and legitimized the use of torture, saying some extremely alarming things. Evoking the murder of U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl, he emphasized that it was legitimate to torture suspects in order to save the life of innocents, reviving the argument of the most horrifying dictatorships and, of course, of the Bush administration(8).
Ménard goes further since he even legitimizes the use of torture against family members of kidnappers, that is against innocent people. “If my daughter were kidnapped, there would be no limit, I’m telling you, I’m telling you, there would be no limit on torture.”
Kinda makes me wonder if he’d advocate skewering kidnappers’ families on spits, slicing them to the bone, layer by layer, like so:
On reflection, however, I probably could do with cutting Ménard a slice of slack myself, seeing as I find it increasingly harder to discern his mindset from that of a jihadi terrorist who shoots up a music venue in the name of his constricted concept of life. Both despise joys inaccessible to them, and have no problem letting the Other know it with force, whether wielded directly or by degrees of separation.
In their insistence on pushing their pet preferences on the unwilling, both betray a certain uncertainty regarding the ability of that which they treasure to transcend boundaries in an organic fashion; that is, despite ostensible differences, they share the same fundamental lack of faith in their cultural (and culinary) wares as the pandering progressives they no doubt despise.
Perhaps Ménard and friends could take some sales and presentation tips from their local döner dealers—it’d certainly be an improvement over their current form!