Sunday, February 19, 2017

THE JANUARY CALENDAR BOYS

There are three of them: Eike Batista of Brazil, François Fillon of France and of course Donald Trump for the whole world. At first sight, they don’t look like hot calendar guys as they are all past middle age. Physically, they could not be more different. Batista (known as Eike in Brazil) dons a shaved skull; Fillon proudly displays bushy eyebrows and the Donald’s inscrutable comb over hairdo now has a life of its own.

The three come from worlds apart, but scratching the surface one can find many common traits among them. They have oversized egos, yearn for recognition and display obsessive self-aggrandizement bordering on fantasy. They see themselves on a messianic mission to restore their respective nation’s pride. They share the same foes: media and judges. They blame the first for disclosing their shortcomings or too closely scrutinizing their business, and the second for blocking their whims and pet projects. This love-hate relationship with the traditional media stems from being both media creations and media targets. Lastly, they believe that their big shot status gives them divine rights to be above the law and to act like modern carpetbaggers.

They run their large families like small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in a very paternalistic fashion. They like their wives sexy, exotic and immigrants; they dote on them for looking pretty and keeping their mouths shut. Machismo is their common trait, either bourgeois patriarchy or nouveau riche crude misogyny. Their brood is less docile and far less discreet, happy to splash daddy’s money or benefits from his social and political privileges. They live in mansions, ostentatiously or discreetly.

Coincidentally, they all believe that they can deal with President Putin of Russia.

Eike Batista (60) may not be a household name outside Brazil, but he is a favorite of business magazines. His, is a riches to rags story. He is the brash and flamboyant guy who lost US$ 34.5 billion in 2013 when his mostly oil conglomerate went burst. He makes the Guinness book of record for suffering the largest and quickest corporate collapse of all time. A year before, according to Forbes magazine, he was the seventh richest man in the world and the richest Brazilian with a lavish lifestyle to match. He liked to be photographed with his Lamborghini and Porsche parked in his living room. In January, he flew to New York City, allegedly to avoid arrest but decided to return. Now, his hair shaved courtesy of the jail barber, he is sharing a cell with common criminals in a suburb of Rio de Janeiro. He stands accused of paying US$ 16.5 million in bribes to a former governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro, who is also in jail. For good measure, he is also charged with money laundering and insider trading. His cozy relationship with corrupt politicians explains his meteoric rise and abysmal fall. Nonetheless, he blames his incompetent directors for the collapse of his empire.

Eike vows to make a comeback, no longer peddling speculative oil deals but promoting instead a generic version of Viagra, a tooth paste to regenerate enamel and a miraculous capillary treatment for which he will be the perfect poster boy.
 
François Fillon (62) needs help but not from miraculous capillary treatment. Actually, some female journalists got under his skin by implying that he needed epilation. Fillon is a professional politician continuously elected since age of 26. In November 2016, unexpectedly and by an impressive margin, he won the primaries of the center right party, Les Républicains. His Trumpism “light” and his aura of integrity carried him to victory over his opponents. He became the blue-eyed boy of the media and his path to the French presidency seemed assured, until his Mr. Clean image was shattered by disclosures made by the nosy satirical weekly newspaper, le Canard enchainé[1]. The Canard claimed that Fillon had paid his British-born wife Penelope and two of his kids with parliament funds to do no measureable work. An under-the-radar-political wife, Penelope lived in the family’s 12th century chateau in the countryside and received close to a million euros in salary for two decades.

The hiring of family members to provide MP assistance is legal in France, but increasingly controversial. To be paid at taxpayers’ expense for doing no work is still illegal in France!
A financial prosecutor is investigating and the scandal is a boon to the media. With his poll figures nosediving, candidate Fillon has become an embarrassment to his party. He intends to fight on, and repeatedly blames lynching by the media lynching for his falling from grace. He also denunciates the judicial investigation as politically motivated. Fillon’s defense is seen out of sync with the current French mood; people have no tolerance with nepotism and the impudent use of the parliament budget for family benefit. Populist movements consistently blame the privileged political elite for all the country’s problems.

Finally, Donald Trump (70), America’s 45th president is the oversized January calendar boy. An obsessive twitter, he is every day on the front page of the world’s news media. If Twitter is the Trumpism mouthpiece, the White House is morphing into a Kardashian-type casino where everything is for sale or negotiable. America continues to be controlled by a perverse and hypocrite moneyed elite. Wikibea-carioca is too unassuming to compete for hype, hysteria and alternative facts. Eike crashed, Fillon is crashing and Trump? Stay tuned.

Vanity of vanities, all is vanity


fillon
trump


[1] “Canard” means duck in French or newspaper in slang. “Enchainé” means chained up. The satirical newspaper is left leaning, but has disclosed scandals affected both right and left wing politicians.












8 comments:

  1. Very funny - and right down to the point. As far as the ego size is concerned, I think Trump would win.
    MS

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  2. Fillon is crashing , but may recover. The race is still very open. If the Russians get involved , he may win.
    PHM

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  3. J'ai lu ton blog avec interet c'est pas mal je dirai même plus c'est bien.
    XXX

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  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  5. Curious are the three from the same Zodiac classification?
    Apparently not, June for Trump, March for Fillon and November for Eike. The chinese zodiac may have further clues....
    As in the year of this or that ( date of birth )
    And the ascendente of each may be the same.
    The similarity is alarming.

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  6. Enjoyed the blog, you did a great job with the Calendar Boys. I haven’t seen a photo yet of Eike with the shaved head but I must look for one – surely there is one around somewhere on the internet.
    XC

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  7. tu m'as fait rigoler...

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  8. With one foot in France, and one in Brazil I know all three. Fun and well done. Not much of a choice for the French...Look what happened when 40% decide for the other 60%...

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