The Obelisk of Taverny
Here's a weird story reported by Yves Daoudal:
Alexander Simonnot, a member of the Front National, will appear in court on June 21.
What is his crime? It's best that I quote the terms of the summons, an authentic masterpiece of politically correct police prose. He will be judged for having, "on December 2, 2006, in Taverny, voluntarily damaged an article of value, in this case an object relevant to World AIDS Day, an object whose purpose was to be part of a campaign of information and prevention, in this case a giant contraceptive surrounding an obelisk situated on Obelisk Circle in Taverny, an object destined for public utility and public decoration and belonging to a public person or to a person with a mission of public service, in this case the City Hall of Taverny."
World AIDS Day was December 1. The next day, the mayor of Taverny, arriving like a carabineer, decided to top the obelisk of the city with a gigantic contraceptive (11 meters high) filled with helium. Alexandre Simonnot, who was driving by, saw this disgusting attachment. He did not see the "public utility " of the thingamajig, nor in what way it could constitute a "decoration". He only saw that it was repugnant. And he thought about the children who would see such a spectacle. He stopped his car, and armed with his car keys, he punctured it.
Scandal. Profanation. Blasphemy. The contraceptive is sacred. Its giant effigy, for the celebration of World AIDS Day, even more so.
Fortunately a city employee saw the attack and noted the license number of the terrorist, who was quickly arrested. And Alexandre Simonnot spent 20 hours in detention...
The worst thing is that Alexandre Simonnot does not regret his act. He even dares to claim responsibility for it. He has nothing against contraceptives, he says, or against preventing AIDS, but he was scandalized to see this giant thingamajig placed where all could see, especially children. "It's an insult to good morals." And he adds that the monstrous bauble cost the taxpayers of Taverny the tidy sum of 9000 euros...
It was the mayor himself who filed the complaint, and who seeks, at the very least, a reimbursement from Alexandre Simonnot of the 9000 euros. Alexandre Simonnot is asking all those who can to support him in his fight "to simply defend and protect children, family values and the dignity of Taverny".
June 21, at 10:30 a.m. at the common pleas court of Pontoise, 3 rue Victor Hugo.
The story appeared at websites of various political stripes and elicited some salacious and humorous remarks. But many felt it was overblown and that the Front National needed the publicity. Others were shocked that the seriousness of the issue of AIDS was being undermined, and that the condom was there for good purpose.
But one of Yves Daoudal's readers made an excellent point:
It is the mayor who should be summoned to court for the crime detailed by article 227-22 of the Penal code.
He then cites the law against corruption of minors, punishable by (at least) 5 years in prison and 75,000 euros.
Also Article 227-24:
The act of making, transporting or spreading, by whatever means, a message of a pornographic nature or that gravely causes an affront to human dignity is punishable by 3 years in prison and 75,000 euros when the message is liable to be seen or heard by a minor.
I thought the story was funny, although I don't know how one can puncture an enormous condom, sitting atop an obelisk, with car keys. But then, I've never had the opportunity to do so...
Unable to find a picture of the thingamajig, I had to settle for a snap of the mayor of Taverny Maurice Boscavert, who is said to have distributed condoms to the entire city council last year.