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Wednesday, 14 April 2010
French humorist's dream of Sarkozy plane crash
An aeroplane crashes and all aboard are killed.
In total 41 people die in the accident, including the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, and all but three of this country's government ministers.
It's a "dream" the French humorist Stéphane Guillon had earlier this week and one he related during his early morning slot on national public radio, France Inter.
Black humour, supposedly, based of course on the accident that took place last weekend in Smolensk in which the Polish president, Lech Kaczynski, his wife and several of the country's high-ranking officials were killed.
Guillion begins his piece telling listeners how traumatised he had been by Kaczynski's death and how that was the starting point for him to relate a dream he had in which "Sarkozy had been the victim of a similar accident."
The 46-year-old then throws himself into a description of an imagined commentary on national television of those waiting for the arrival of the president's coffin.
He "treats" listeners to an account of the sight of the two former wives of the French president (Marie-Dominique Culioli and Cécilia Ciganer-Albéniz) comforting the current first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy who is "Dressed in black in an outfit made the previous night by designer John Galliano; her face masked as a timely symbol of the country's efforts to pass a law to ban the burqa."
He recounts the arrival of the former prime minister and potential centre-right rival to Sarkozy in the (real) 2012 presidential race, Dominique de Villepin, already "In campaigning mode to succeed the recently deceased" as well as a clutch of possible opposition Socialist party contenders present and waiting for Sarkozy's coffin to be taken off the 'plane.
Among the others who had died in the crash, Guillon tells us, were the interior minister and Sarkozy's long-time friend, Brice Hortefeux (he makes the sign of the cross as he mentions his name), the justice minister, Michèle Alliot-Marie, the industry minister Christian Estrosi and the environment minister Jean-Louis Borloo.
A special mention is made of the "sad loss" of one particular target of Guillon's attacks, the immigration minister Eric Besson (again the humorist makes the sign of the cross).
And then the sombre strains of the Garde républicaine strike up as Sarkozy's coffin - the size of a child's - is taken off the 'plane,
It's at his point that the humorist is awoken from his dream "Screaming and convinced that Sarkozy had a twin brother," he said. "Just as the Polish president had."
Guillon has a reputation for hard-hitting humour and he's definitely not frightened to take aim at prominent political figures no matter what their particular hue.
Certainly his spot drove home the enormity of what happened in Smolensk, and especially its impact on Poles, to listeners in France.
After all when the imaginary list of those aboard includes a number of household names (in this country) it's hard not to feel moved.
But was his commentary, all in the name of entertainment with a political edge, appropriate under the circumstances or did it make light of a real tragedy by creating an imagined one?
You can hear and see the full "performance" in the accompanying video - in French of course.
It brought a number of reactions (from those who left comments on the video) ranging from many who found Guillon's chronicle "amusing" or an "essential part of the freedom of expression" to those who felt that he had "overstepped the mark".
Judge for yourselves whether this was indeed "humour" or "bad taste".
Le crash de Nicolas Sarkozy
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