Napoleon busts were all the rage, at one time. Arthur Conan-Doyle penned a Sherlock Holmes story titled "The Six Napoleons." In it, a seemingly crazed young Italian breaks into people's homes and smashes their plaster Napoleon busts on the floor. In the Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Tandem Target," a would-be assassin mistakenly shoots a Napoleon bust, instead of his intended human target.

People have had it in for Napoleon for years, France's version of ruthless world-conqueror. For this article, the editors at Die Zeit have decorated Napoleon in drag, for what purpose, I can only guess. The article states that women in France have become tired of everyone lauding male heroes and not giving women heroes any credibility.

The title "Cherchez la Femme" is an old French expression. If the husband asks, "Why are there no funds in my checking account?" You automatically reply, "Look for the wife!" The wife has already spent the money.

The tarted-up Napoleon bust irritates me. Most of the steam behind promoting heroic women in France comes from the feminists; but I can't tell if they want to promote heroines or emasculate the males. The bust provides at best a visual digression. Why not use a portrait of Marie Curie instead, or La Pasionaria, the heroine of the Spanish Civil War?

The curious title and the even curiouser photograph make the article muddled and unfocused from the start.


September 30, 2022

Rolexes and Wealth

I remember the day my eighth-grade teacher arrived at school wearing his new wrist-watch. We saw this guy for the 180 days of the school-year and knew him pretty well--as well as anyone did. We noticed that, among his other mannerisms, he tended to look often at the watch during class. We thought he was keen to know the time on a regular basis. Now, I believe he was just admiring his new watch.

September 28, 2022

Family-life is not a Democracy

I ran into a problem yesterday when I returned to Germany. On my first evening, I wanted to slake my thirst for German beer, big-time! So I ordered a liter-serving right off the bat; but I knew I also wanted some wine and ordered a carafe of it, as well. Shamefully, I have to admit to not finishing either. I slaked my thirst, but had to leave some of it undrunk. I hate wasting anything, but I had work to do and wanted to operate on all my cylinders.

September 24, 2022

Violence in the Real

This article appeared last July in the Sunday edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper, by the newspaper's expert on hip-hop music, Florentin Schuhmacher. He regards gangsta-rap, and its sub-genre Drill, as a legitimate art-form. He can understand the reservations that law enforcement, parents, and teachers have toward music that glorifies gang-life, describes the rush of killing one's enemies, the pleasure of drugs—as a source of wealth—and demeaning women; but Schumacher also says the police cannot simply censor it. They must distinguish between art and criminal acts, shooings, and robberies.

Lloyd Bowers


Facebook twitter Favorites google