E Pluribus Mores


In celebrity fashion, The Classics on January 18, 2009 at 8:57 am
Eleanor of Aquitaine

Eleanor of Aquitaine

To say, “the only good celebrity is a dead celebrity,” would overstate the matter.  It’s not that I dislike celebrities.  All evidence to the contrary, I’m sure they are fine people.  But each week of examining these (all evidence to the contrary) fascinating personages confronts me with the question, whom do I celebrate?  The immediate, intuitive response is that if you are reading this column (given the blogstats for the last two months), it is likely to be you.  But if you were to ask, “Wh0m is it I would seek to purchase on a poster from Spencer’s Gifts?” It would have to be Eleanor–and not Eleanor Roosevelt, either.  If you think about it, emperors, kings, queens, and the like were the celebrities of bygone eras.  For example, if you imagine everyone at the Oscars with a personal army, you pretty much get the Middle Ages.  With Eleanor you get all of the twisted baggage of a child star, the sex appeal of a Hollywood diva, combined with the ownership of a small country.  eleanor12It would be as if the Olsen twins had talent, were attractive, and grew up to be Hillary Clinton.  Only to complete the analogy Hillary would have to have met Bill after divorcing the king of France (the divorce having been caused by a love affair with her uncle in Antioch, whom she met while accompanying the king on a crusade to Jerusalem), then supported Chelsea for President against Bill, and personally laid siege to Little Rock.  Sure she would have been locked in a Manhattan penthouse for the next six years, but, hey, that’s what centuries of inbreeding will get you.  I think the poorly translated anonymous troubadour said it best:

Were all lands mine

From the Elbe to the Rhine,

I’d count them little case

if the Queen of England

Lay in my embrace.


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