Rarely do you get the opportunity, Hegel and Marx to correct. One of them had written well known that all world-historical facts and personages occur, so to speak twice. The other added: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. This week shows clearly: sometimes they take place but at first only in a novel or film, and later in life. Many people feel about the affair to the IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn really pushing to Tom Wolfe’s novel "The Bonfire of the Vanities" recalls.
The Bonfire of the Vanities
Here, as there is about a banker at the peak of his career in New York, who is unexpectedly charged with a crime, caught in the machinery of justice and the media and on top of the mercy of political rancor is. Both times the victim is black and underprivileged, a greater distance from the sphere of the offender is not feasible.
Moreover, the tension between blacks and Jews in New York in both cases the fuel of emotion - while McCoy, in contrast to Strauss-Kahn himself a Jew, but the Jewish mayor wants him to sacrifice in order to dampen the anti-Semitic paranoia of potential black voters. His tool is also a Jewish prosecutor.
In both the novel and in life is the John F. Kennedy Airport in the place where the catastrophe takes its course: Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested here from an Air France plane out. Sherman McCoy, the protagonist of "The Bonfire of the Vanities," gets lost when he collects his beloved from the airport, and run over a young man in the Bronx with his car.
In the book, as in life, use the media the luxury life style of the Bankers to mood to make against him: In Strauss-Kahn is his 3000-dollar hotel suite and his first-class flight, Sherman McCoy, it was his Mercedes and his Park Avenue apartment. Were strikingly similar to the machinations of the very thoughtful show on judicial authorities and the way they feed the press obviously with specific information.
There are scenes in the book, which resemble the events of recent days in an almost eerie way: As Sherman McCoy was Dominique Strauss-Kahn before the Criminal Court Building in Centre Street, house number 100, expected from a mob of photographers and cameramen. One of McCoy’s lawyers called his detention a "Circus arrest" - a show arrest. A better term for what Strauss-Kahn is done, it is probably hard to find.
IMF chief Strauss-Kahn will remain in custody
The description of the night, spend the Sherman McCoy in a holding cell between murderers and drug dealers perfume, that which has seen the IMF head, come pretty close. The humiliation of mechanisms that the offenders should boil the one hand, in which, on the other hand, probably simply fling the class prejudices of middle-class police officers and lawyers, who once got a really fat fish in the fingers, are described in the novel brilliantly.
Anyone who has read the book could swear, even McCoy was on the bench sat in the courthouse, waiting for the Strauss-Kahn on Monday for hours had, until the two commonplace criminals who came before him turn, ended their negotiations and he had at last the series was.
Strauss-Kahn wants to defend itself "vigorously"
Of course, not like every detail from the 24-year-old book of contemporary history: Sherman McCoy was almost a pattern of American WASP. In Strauss-Kahn will make things even spiced by the fact that he is French, so a nation may belong, from which the Americans are obsessed. And optically DSK is more like Sherman McCoy’s style-conscious father of the nouveau riche than old money aristocracy-pretentious son. But basically it just a new card has come into play that makes it even clearer that the rules of this game of race and class of the figures can be determined.
Dismal is how little it since 1987, the year of publication of "The Bonfire of the Vanities," has changed. We are indeed currently in many places a ghostly Eighties Revival: A black-yellow coalition in power in Bonn, exploding nuclear power plants and is bombed Gaddafi in Tripoli - all known at the time. And the criminal banker or broker was an obsession of the decade, quite apart from the fact that the term "Banker" (pronounced bankers) then invaded in the first place in the German language, before there was only bankers and bank employees.
"These men wanted to have sex with me"
Apart from Tom Wolfe’s novel, other key works of the eighties have such a figure in the center. You have to not to Gordon Gecko in Oliver Stone’s "Wall Street" thinking, the criminal activity is quite within the limits of what is accepted as normal in his occupation and work-related.
But in John Landis’ beloved film comedy "Trading Places" (1983) Dan Akroyd seen as prototypical upper-class character Louis Winthorpe III. exactly the same humiliation as now, Strauss-Kahn: "These men wanted to have sex with me," he complained after a night in the cell with blacks and Latinos in his extremely class-conscious fiance, as he (in contrast to DSK) on bail the prison is released. Winthorpe way, is actually the victim of a conspiracy - as many now suspect in Strauss-Kahn.
But Patrick Bateman is even more guilty. The investment banker is the main character in Bret Easton Ellis’ novel "American Psycho" (published in 1991, but still in the spirit of the eighties), another milestone in the epoch-typical banker representation.
His problem is completely different nature than that of McCoy and Winthorpe. He is a sadist and mass murderer, but the whole surrounding society sees pushing over his actions and ignored even his confessions. Easton Ellis, it was in his brilliant novel about a somewhat formal crude critique of capitalism that accepts the murder implicitly as part of the system.
For Strauss-Kahn said to symbolize the shell banks and stock traders are three possible outputs of the affair. If he turns out to be guilty, he should replace Patrick Bateman as the epitome of the pathologically evil banker. Should he be able to overcome the alleged plot against him so completely, as Louis Winthorpe III. succeeded, it would seem even possible that he’s going to be the French Socialist presidential candidate and elect him overwhelmingly because he was a national hero then, the Americans could not patch up the stuff.
Most likely, however, that he ends up like Sherman McCoy. Which was not condemned, but in the end were his career and social status still ruined.
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