Ah, Paris. The city of romance, style, sophistication…not to mention liberté, égalité, fraternité. It’s all so civilized, so humanistic, so… je ne sais quoi. Perhaps a mere Cuban should not presume to understand its ways, let alone pass judgment on it, but alas, I am one of “those people,” and you know how they are.
The current (and first female) mayor of Paris is Anne Hidalgo, born in Spain of Spanish parents but raised in France. Unlike her horrid technically female counterparts in Madrid and Barcelona, she’s presentable, can smile pleasantly and could pass for a nice person. Of course, she is a Socialist, so there’s that. She’s also an outspoken atheist, but that’s hardly worse than being a fake or dangerously heretical “Christian” (like, well, you know).
But let’s cut to the chase: the ritzy Paris Hôtel de Ville (City Hall), obviously her turf, is now holding a free public exhibition (Dec 20-Feb 17) called “Che in Paris.” Apparently to drum up visitors, Hidalgo tweeted this on Dec 28:
Avec l’exposition Le CHE à Paris, la capitale rend hommage à une figure de la révolution devenue une icône militante et romantique. A découvrir gratuitement à l’Hôtel de Ville de Paris.
“The capital honors a revolutionary figure that has become a militant and romantic icon.” Honors. Romantic. Herwords.
Displayed prominently in large letters on a wall at the exhibit is this gem from Che, which sounds even better in French:
Il faut s’endurcir sans perdre la tendresse. “One must toughen up without losing tenderness.” Words fail, but then again, they’d probably be redundant. We’re all excruciatingly familiar with Che’s tenderness.
Yes, to be fair, there has been negative reaction in France to this, uh, gaucherie (though not, of course, from the left), and Hidalgo has been put on the defensive, especially concerning the wording in her exceedingly, uh, dubious tweet. She claims she did not call Che romantic, but only said he had become a romantic figure. Classic, n’est-ce pas? Vil Clinton would approve the dodge, no doubt. She also claims the controversy has been engineered by the extreme right. Sound familiar? It would to Mrs. Clinton.
But I don’t want to tirarme pal solar or anything and hurl obscenities at Madame Hidalgo. I have just three words for her: Santocielo, el asco.