Saturday, January 30, 2016

Alcohol As A Higher Power Among Secular Peoples

The great cause célèbre and heroic stand of the French President François Hollande choosing to not serve lunch to his guest, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, is silly.   While Rouhani may have slightly overstepped in requesting that no alcohol be served during any state meal it is rather gauche for a host to not accede to a not outrageous request from a guest.  I strongly suspect that the domestic political consequences of having wine served would, potentially, be greater for the Iranian, Rouhani, than many people might suspect.

The, apparently, widely condemned accommodation of Rouhani when he was a guest of the Italian government while he was in Rome, re wine at table and covering up some nudes, would show that the Italians are better hosts.  What the hell difference does any of it make?   I could point out that it isn't, as I would imagine will be asserted, the same thing as John Ashcroft covering up some artwork while he was Attorney General or Maine's stinking governor, Paul LePage removing the mural depicting the rights of workers.  they were acting as a public servant, not the guest of the government.  Those actions were entirely out of order, especially what LePage did.

The national mythology of France is all wound up in such gestures, especially around secularism, the state and, obviously, the wine industry.  Considering that, especially in the case of France, what people have to cover up in order to maintain their national mythology, making any kind of deal about such petty aspects of it is just stupid.

If the French government wanted to have better relations with Iran sacrificing wine at table in one lunch or dinner would have been worth a lot more than presenting alcohol as some kind of higher value.  But, then, I've got a lot of experience observing the consequences of those who make alcohol into their higher power, it seems to be quite widespread, perhaps more so among secularists.  I am considering going into more detail about that, when I have time.   Considering that French culture also maintains an obsession with the condition of the liver - perhaps a result of the status wine and liquor have in their culture - they might want to think on a more adult level about that.

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