Wednesday, March 15, 2006


If you read about a well-known European politician having women complications, with two of the women in this man's life being named Celia and Cecilia, you might be asking "What's Bertie done now?" But no. It's Nicolas Sarkozy, the French Interior Minister and all-but-declared candidate to be Jacques Chirac's successor. It's a story that the more respectable French media dodge around but the Times of London eagerly explains:

The most public French marital drama took a new twist yesterday when it emerged that [Cécilia] Sarkozy had abandoned her husband at their official residence in Paris to rekindle her relationship with Richard Attias, an advertising executive based in the United States ...

Valérie Domain, an author and confidante of Mme Sarkozy ... is the author of Entre le Coeur et la Raison (Between Heart and Reason), a thinly disguised fictional account of the Sarkozy marriage that is now top of the bestseller list in Paris. The book was conceived as a collaborative project, with Mme Sarkozy giving an inside account of life with Nicolas, ... But in November, M Sarkozy put pressure on Mme Domain’s publisher, who pulped 25,000 copies of her first version.

A new publisher emerged and Mme Domain recast the book as a work of fiction. Cécilia became Célia, the wife of Guillaume Michaut-Cordier, a diminutive Napoleon-like minister with the same CV as M Sarkozy.

In unrelated news, Hugh Linehan has a damning article in today's Irish Times (subs. req'd) about Dublin's St Patrick's "Festival." His general theme is that while the festival began with good intentions, it has now completed the transition from the embarrassing rural corporatist ethos of the dreary parade to a more embarrassing corporate ethos of wealth and enforced displays of jolity and exhuberance. In particular he calls attention to the name of the evening entertainment events in Dublin for the next few nights:

GE Money Oíche

That would be the name of General Electric's financial operations in Ireland tacked on to the Irish word for "night," about as perfect a merger of faux Gaelic with global branding as one could imagine. We should be thankful though that the theme of this year's parade is "Wishful Thinking," which at least doesn't invite the kind of response that a previous theme of "Mischief, Mayhem, and Madness" did.

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