Oh no, the First Lady has a libido!

So, I’ve been working at a B&B for the last couple of weeks and it can get pretty quiet while cleaning rooms and making beds all day by my lonesome, so I often switch on the awesome little flat screen TVs in the rooms to keep me company. Yesterday, I switched on to find that one of the guests had been watching CBC News World. (Normally, I keep it on Much More Music, but I’m tiring of those silly shows they play.) So, I watched the news, which is something I should do more often anyway.

For anyone who spends any amount time watching all day news channels, hearing the same story a few times in a relatively short period of time is not an uncommon occurrence. The purpose of those stations is to keep people on top of the news as it happens, and I – much to my chagrin – was reminded of that yesterday when I heard a newscaster say the word orgy somewhere around five times in an hour.

The story that includes that word, and several other relatively racy words and phrases relating to sex, drugs (and I assume some rock’n’roll – for good measure), is this one.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the French First Lady likes her husband, in a sexy kinda way! She’s got a libido, and she’s not-so-innocent, either! Her album has got everyone buzzing because some of the lyrics are supposedly about that right-wing guy who, ya know, rules France. Fortunately, he also happens to be her husband, and – as a CBC anchor said yesterday in response to the story – I’m inclined to think that “there are worse things one could say about their spouse”.

Of course, everyone knows that if these lyrics were sung by a pop star who wasn’t sleeping with the President of France, no one would give a damn. What I’m wondering is why, in such a sexualized society, we would insist on de-sexualizing our political leaders. Sure, they’ve got to look after our best interests as far as politics are concerned, but if they seemed a little more human, would it be such a bad thing?

I, personally, would rather my political leaders to come with a libido – it makes them more human. I still think it was completely ludicrous for Clinton to be ousted based on a badly concealed blow job, regardless of the immorality of it. Who says you have to be quiet about your status as a functioning human being just because you happen to be the leader of a country? And hey, is anyone really going to fault a beautiful, modern Italian woman for expressing herself?

At the end of the day, all of this is likely just going to end in more record sales for her, because so many people will check it out simply based on the controversy. I find myself in an odd position, as I am actually considering buying it when it comes out in Canada on Tuesday, which I am failing to rationalize as an attempt to broaden my musical horizons to include other languages.

Not that I want to make a habit of cultural generalizations, but the French have always had a reputation of being sexy, and liking sex, and talking about it, and having it, and… well, you get the picture. So, even if only on that basis, we should be able to laugh a little and be happy that Sarkozy has a wife who (supposedly, according to those lyrics!) indulges his urges (and her own!) and loves him. That, and if the French politicians – or Sarkozy himself – thought that this album’s release and contents would do significant damage to his presidency, something would have been done to quiet the din of media everywhere. We haven’t under estimated her, let’s not under estimate him or his government, either.

Now, there’s not only sex involved here, but drugs – Columbian cocaine and Afghan marijuana to be exact. Being a writer myself, I understand that what you write about is not always exactly what your life is. There’s something to be said for writing what you know but, at the same time, it’s quite easy to write about something you haven’t done, or something that would spark peoples’ interest to get attention, or to appear as though you have some artistic credibility of some sort (you know, because drugs seem to be related to being a real artist, these days).

Really, Carla Bruni’s (that’s her name; she’s got one of those, too) album sounds like an excellent Euro-pop effort, and according to some French critics, it actually is quite good. Maybe I’m just a sucker for racy writing, but I congratulate her for having her own career, and doing something all her own, even though some would clearly rather have her be a quiet, politically correct First Lady. She’s a modern woman – let her be who and what she wants to be. I am hoping that she stays her course and doesn’t apologize for what she’s done.

As with all political or media scandals that involve sex, this whole fiasco says far more about society as a whole (or, at least the people who make noise about such things) than it does about either Bruni or Sarkozy. Beside all that, this will be old news very soon, and the people who actually enjoy the album will continue to enjoy it; everyone else will forget that Bruni has a libido and that she may or may not have done some drugs (who hasn’t?), and will hopefully focus on something a little higher on the scale of “things that really matter”.

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