Star of All the Russias

Brigitte Bardot

Brigitte Bardot with some kind of animal. Possibly an elephant. Hell, I’m no expert.

So, Gerard Depardieu has become a Russian citizen rather than pay a French tax hike, and seemingly in reaction to the French government calling him a big baby or something?

And now Brigitte Bardot is threatening to go Russian also, if two tubercular elephants scheduled to be euthanized aren’t given a reprieve. This all falls into the “you couldn’t make it up” category, and it would be reckless of me to attempt any satirical comment, because… just how do you top that? Well, here goes ~

But first, have you noticed that blonde actresses of a certain age always start being nice to animals? A friend said, “It’s because they’ve already seen everything men have to offer, and it just isn’t enough.” My favourite example is Susan George, who developed a series of homeopathic treatments for horses. I’m not about to scorn such a worthy or anyhow well-intended endeavour. I’m just struck by the seeming contradiction that while homeopathy = very small doses, the phrase “horse doctor” is usually associated with very large doses. So is horse homeopathy composed of medium-sized doses?

Alain Delon is to become a Paraguayan citizen if the late Benny Hill is not beatified by the Roman Catholic Church.

Jean-Paul Belmondo is to go live in space if Gerard Depardieu doesn’t change his name to Big Nose.

Maurice Chevalier is to posthumously be declared a Dutchman if Koko the Talking Gorilla isn’t deported to Moldavia.

No, it can’t be done. Nothing is more absurd than Brigitte Bardot. But still, if I’d looked anything near as sensational, at any point in my life, even for five seconds during babyhood, as she did between say 1952 and 1973, I would feel entitled to say the first thing that came into my head all the time too.

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18 Responses to “Star of All the Russias”

  1. Maybe the Russians should posthumously reclaim Jacques Tati, whose birthname is Tatischeff, and he came from White Russian stock.

    Anyway ditching your country for another’s lower tax rate isn’t a strong vote of confidence for the new country.

  2. It sure isn’t! GD calls Putin’s Russia “a great democracy” but presumably if the people voted in a leader who raised taxes for the very wealthy, as happened in France, it would forfeit that status in Depardieu’s eyes.

    And I was largely on his side re Binoche…

  3. David Boxwell Says:

    I like to think Brigitte Bardolaskaya, newly minted Russian citizen, will be giving futile, tearful mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to frozen mammoths on her frequent expeditions to Siberia.

  4. As a friend pointed out, going to live in Russia as a protest against mistreated circus animals is like going to live in Texas as a protest against stetsons.

  5. Maybe Bardot could suggest what would be in the elephants’ best interests? Seriously, I’d love to hear her say they should be sent to the Alps and get vigorous exercise to restore their health. It’d be funnier than Depardieu calling Russia a democracy.

  6. Haven’t you heard of their famous elephanitoriums? And if Hannibal (and Oliver Reed) could lead elephants to the alps, why not BeBe?

    I dunno, I guess if the poor pachyderms are just too sick to perform and could lead good lives somewhere else, that’d be one thing. But wouldn’t the circus be trying to sell them to a zoo or something?

  7. La Faustin Says:

    Before Putin’s generous gesture, Depardieu had bought a residence in Belgium. I, for one, was looking forward to a fruitful collaboration with those kindred spirits, the Frères Dardenne.

  8. I guess they weren’t democratic enough for him — meaning they couldn’t offer enough money.

  9. Bon Appetit Brigitte!

  10. kevin mummery Says:

    Wow, that’s sad news about Alain Delon. Who knew he had such depth of feeling, re: Benny Hill? Maybe the French can posthumously claim Peter Sellers on the basis of his work as Inspector Clouseau, although by this time his estate might not yield the windfall they’re expecting.

  11. Don’t talk to me about horse homeopathy. We recently had to sit straight-faced through a dinner party while a Susan George look-alike and practitioner of this dark art held forth at some length about her methods, which seemed to consist mainly of stroking horses necks and banking cheques.

  12. I can’t quite work out if it’s new age starry-eyed silliness or sheer gangsterism. I mean, if you were looking for a new, less carefully policed market for homeopathy, the horse-owning classes are obviously perfect prey. Wealthy, sentimental, gullible. I mean, I don’t mean to stereotype everybody with a stables, but there would be enough saps in the crop to make somebody quite a good living.

    I’m sure Susan’s entirely sincere though.

  13. Susan George being sincere somehow makes it worse to me. It’s like Jenny McCarthy. She could be damaging her own child’s future, and unscrupulous people see it as a method to make a buck destroying other children’s, who will have less of a chance. Those pseudoscientific shamans may not have gotten a start were it not for her. Those communities of families tend to be pretty insular and the grift is smaller scale until publicity widens the scope of the nuttiness until it finally gets on Oprah.

    Sometimes people with a public platform do a great deal more harm than they might have if they were just one of the crowd. I wouldn’t mind celebrities’ crusades if they were for the betterment of life here, but the most ardent crusaders seem to have a flock of rather loud ducks trailing them.

  14. I hadn’t heard about the Jenny McCarthy stuff — she was never really that known over here. Feel sorry for anybody who convinces themselves there has to be a cure for some untreatable condition, but I have no sympathy whatever for the sharks pushing the potions.

    And yeah, grotesquely tragic when somebody tries to use their celebrity to do good but picks the wrong cause.

  15. david wingrove Says:

    I’v never been a great fan of tax hikes (i.e. why give governments more money to waste on war and bureaucracy?) but they do sound like a great way to get rid of all your most obnoxious and over-hyped celebrities.

    I still remember Andrew Lloyd Webber threatening to leave the UK if Labour got elected back in 1992. Never happened, alas!

  16. I think even ALW eventually realized that New Labour was the new Conservative Party.

    I guess if you give a government more money a bit more eventually filters through to good causes. At any rate, if you leave it in the hands of the very rich, it probably won’t.

  17. Susan George was also fond of Manimals – she even married one!

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