Monday, January 14, 2013

Depardieux...or is that Asterix...Confusion

This is actually blog post Number 500 and the first for 2013.  So - I thought it should be decidedly unserious and focus on the enormously amusing antics of Cyrano and Asterix - also known as that slightly rotund alcoholic and sometime actor, Gerard Depardieux.

Gerard, upset by the new socialist president of France and, not to put too fine a point on it, his plan to tax those with incomes in excess of $1 million at a rate of 75% (which is a little outlandish) has obtained a Russian passport to exhibit how put-out he feels. 

However, he has now taken the plunge into Russian politics with a loud yelp in support of Vladimir Putin and his not so subtle move toward an oppresive state. 

In a supposedly secret telephone interview he also heavily criticised the anti-Putin stunt that the Pussy Riot all-female punk band performed last year in Russia's main cathedral. With talking points that could have been written by the Kremlin, Depardieu said that the band members would have received worse treatment had they gone to an Arab country and performed in a mosque.

"Imagine if these ladies walked into a mosque -- they would not come out alive..." 

Yes, well. Nothing like lowering the bar.  Sort of like saying that the Russian government is slightly less barbaric and crushes any decent with less vigour than chopping off heads in a public square in Saudi Arabia.

Two band members are currently serving two-year sentences in Russia's notorious manual labour camps.

He then said, "But when I say such things in France, I am considered an idiot."  No, Gerard, not just in France.

But, then he dives straight in the muddy water of Russian politics

Gratuitous remarks involved dishing out severe criticism of the opposition, who are not enamoured of Putin's 13-year rule were the norm. 

"The Russian opposition has no programme -- it has nothing," he told Rossiya state television's weekly program.

Then the remark designed to win over his new fellow citizens:

"Unfortunately, the masses are stupid. Only the individual is beautiful." 
Russia's first post-Soviet protests exploded last year in response to a fraud-riddled parliamentary election in which Putin's party barely got past the post.

But it get's dumber:

Depardieu said the opposition had "very smart people" such as former chess champion Garry Kasparov in its ranks. "But that is good for chess and not much else."

So - he leaves a free and open society in France because he doesn't like the idea of high taxes, to go to Russia - demonstrably un-free and un-open and with a flat 13% tax rate which played no part in his decision.

Gerard - fat, dumb and being an alcoholic are rarely a good life style choices.

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