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lundi, 07 février 2011

More Pie for Monsieur Lévy

More Pie for Monsieur Lévy

by Taki Theodoracopulos

Ex: http://takimag.com/

BHLarton492-139x190.jpgAbout fifteen years ago I received a very polite letter from Belgium asking me to list three of the most pompous and self-important people in the UK. It came with a self-addressed return envelope and stamp. The writer was known as l’entarteur, a man who would approach the pompous and vainglorious and shove a pie in their face. He would never insult the victims nor use foul language—in fact, he always remained silent—and he assured me in his letter that he used only the finest ingredients and freshest milk in his pies.

The first potential target who came to my mind was Edward Heath, but I immediately took his name off the list. Heath was too bloated, his face too red, and the last thing I wished was for him to have a stroke while covered in a lemon-meringue pie. L’entarteur agreed, and we started a lively correspondence. One of the candidates I submitted was not a Brit, but Algerian-born Frog Bernard-Henri Lévy, whom my Belgian buddy had already pelted with pies on at least three occasions. Four is a good round number, suggested yours truly.

One month later at the airport in Nice Lévy got blasted by l’entarteur like never before. The pie was giant size, and the cream made him look like a Yeti while he fumbled around and screamed bloody murder. Then les gendarmes interfered and arrested my friend, who offered no resistance. One thing the onlookers noticed was that the fuzz had trouble making the arrest because they were laughing so hard. Led in front of a judge, my NBF promised he would no longer throw pies on BHL (as the pompous Lévy is known in the land of cheese) and was let off with a fine for disturbing the peace. We lost touch with each other after that.

“There are those, mind you, who take Lévy seriously—French image-makers, PR hucksters, and other such modern pests—but serious people do not.”

gloupier.jpgLast week I almost got on a plane to Paris to help continue my Belgian friend’s good work, but I got lazy and went skiing instead. There is no pie big enough to make the bum BHL mend his wicked ways. His latest outrage involves Stéphane Hessel, a German-born Jew whose father emigrated to France in 1924 when Stéphane was seven. Hessel’s father was the model of one of the two lovers in Jules et Jim, the novel which later became a very popular film. Stéphane served in the French Army, became a prisoner of war, escaped, and joined de Gaulle. Dispatched to France to help organize the Resistance, he was captured, tortured, and sent to Buchenwald. While being transferred to Bergen-Belsen, he escaped again.

After the war he was named ambassador and worked with the United Nations. Honors and awards followed. Late last year—his 93rd—he published his book Be Indignant!, his defense of Palestinians under brutal Israeli occupation. The book became an overnight bestseller, moving 600,000 copies in three months. (Charles Glass Books, an imprint of London’s Quartet Books, has landed the UK rights and will publish it shortly.)

StephaneHessel.jpgHessel’s alma mater, the École Normale Supérieure, invited him to speak to the students. Then a pro-Israeli website objected. In comes our hero, Bernard-Henri Lévy, the multi-millionaire son of an Algerian timber tycoon, and one whose father I am sure never donned a military uniform for France or any other country. Lévy objected virulently to Hessel’s invitation, and the 93-year-old was silenced.

Well, I have not been silenced. I met the self-publicist and self-proclaimed philosopher once, and it was not pleasant. His trademark white shirt open to his navel was there for all to see—in the French Embassy, of all places—and his current squeeze, a blonde with whom I used to step out, introduced us. Lévy tried to stare me down like bullies do in sleazy clubs, but it didn’t work. I know how to handle phonies, and he’s as phony as they come. There are those, mind you, who take Lévy seriously—French image-makers, PR hucksters, and other such modern pests—but serious people do not. As a historian BHL has offered a very dark picture of French history in an attempt to draw attention to himself as an independent thinker. He is nothing of the kind and has never come up with a single philosophical proposition. In fact, he has been caught in his refutation of Kant quoting “the famous French philosopher Botul,” naively falling for a spoof perpetrated by a journalist who’d had enough of BHL’s phony pomposity.

Although I regret not having shoved a pie in his face, or a knuckle sandwich for that matter, what he did to the Pearl family deserved much more than lemon pies. BHL wrote a very bad book on Daniel Pearl’s murder but fictionalized it to the extent that Pearl’s widow and family were outraged, accusing Lévy’s ego of getting in the way of the truth. BHL’s methods are vile and, in the case of Israeli outrages against unarmed Palestinians, downright disgusting. No outrage by Israeli Zionists has ever caught his attention, but the moment the 93-year-old Hessel’s name came up, there was BHL, peacock-like, denouncing a fellow Jew who fought for his adopted country against the Nazis and suffered as a result.

Such are the joys of modern celebrities posing as hommes sérieux. BHL is a boaster and an impostor, a shameless publicity freak who has given philosophy a bad smell. We need to bake more pies. In a better world, he’d be eating knuckle sandwiches.