That’s when they chopped the mayor’s head off, back in ’93

Champs de Mars, Paris, La France

No, no – I don’t lapse into the age-blind nostalgia lingo of Lovecraft’s characters – that slangy, creepy way of telling things that happened 100s of years ago as if they’d had an active part in them. Not so. I meant this mayor here, Jean Sylvain Bailly, head of the first commune, in post-Revolution! – Paris, from 1789-1791. He was found indecent. Well, he was found indecent after he had deployed the National Guard, disastrously, to muffle, violently, a riot on the Champs de Mars, see above, that had arisen when an assembly had gathered to await the arrival of a petition that would have removed the king, Louis XVI, from office once and for all and for good. It didn’t arrive. People started lobbing rocks at the present National Guards, and mayhem was up and running.

Bailly was not forgiven for his deployment of the Guards. Having retired from office after the events on the Mars Field (and that is Mars, not as in the Misfits piece, Mars Attacks, but rather as in, Roman God of War), he was un-retired in 1793 and located, headwise, onto a guillotine bench, like so many . To quote the Schiller Institute’s tear-inspiring account of the final moments –

“You are trembling, Bailly?” asked one of the guards. “Yes, my friend, because of the cold,” serenely replied Bailly, as he walked up to the scaffold and put his head beneath the blade to receive the deadly blow.

Sniff. The grandeur of it.

Why I am telling all this as if I had had an active part?

Because the constructivist citizen of somewhere else is just about to tumble into instituting (not to say, constitutionalizing) a blogging commune, in fact: he’s already proto-elected himself a mayor, namely Michael Bérubé, and I think to myself, Daniel, this is your one chance of entering a commune without having the landlord tell you after a few days that all these commune-al friends have just set up a conscription service office for the French Foreign Legion, without your knowing of it, so go for it.

Therefore, I apply for a position in Blogoramaville, very coyly, mind you, – apply therefore for the as-yet-unofficial post of Laocoon of the Ville (for my first job act, see above: revolutionary mayors don’t live at ease. Neither do revolutionary scientists or scientists at all.) and answer the riddles the godfather of the Ville poses as an entrance exam.

The sphinx speaks these riddles, thus:

1. Michael Berube:[x=Republican Presidential Candidate]::a:b
2. Michael Berube:[y=Possible Mayoral Competitor]::c:d
3. Michael Berube:[z=Possible Running Mate]::e:f
4. Michael Berube:g::h:i

And it whispers something of – no similes! – and – no metaphors! – as if I knew what these were!

Ad 1)

Michael Berube:Mitt Rummy ::Michael Bérubé:Mitt Romney

Ad 2)

Michael Berube:Me :: Tenured:Adjuncted (d’oh!)

Ad 3)

Michael Berube:Lady Lazarus :: Closed Blog:Resurrected Blog (one year in every ten?)

Ad 4)

Michael Berube:David Horowitz :: Nuri al-Maliki:General Petraeus

Yeah, the answer to riddle 2 is cheap: shame!


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