She stirred the hornet’s nest, as it were, when she claimed, “Muslims should make animals dizzy before sacrificing them at the Aid al-Kabir holiday” – raising the hackles of French liberals on the forefront of anti-racism: “These people [the Islamic fundamentalists] have been dragging us by our noses, destroying us & our country by imposing their ways.”
O how seductively iconic she was when green, green blood pumped in his veins, & desire overwhelmed his mind like a curse: she was pure animal on the screen, uninhibitedly baring his body like a possessed dancer at the temple of Dionysius, spelling the elemental in nature. Years later, she would campaign against the slaughter of seals, bemoaning how innocent creatures are sacrificed at the altar of profit and male insensitivity. She was retracing her original roots of being God’s creature among living things. (Yes, at what age should the Apollonian take over?)
The local vixens wouldn’t follow her lead: one would grow fat & dumpy & marry a tricycle driver – her dream drowning with the ebb-tide of cinematic lusts. Some would commit suicide; others would make do with bartering their cheapened bodies for a cocaine shot, until there wouldn’t be takers anymore. Briefly, these temptresses would dissolve like air in the night of collective dreams.
No, not her, whom he almost didn’t recognize in the news – her face of dragging jowl & eyebags like any old woman’s, but for her joie de vivre that seemed to break like sunlight through her eyes… Yes, how cruel time has always been. But it doesn’t seem to matter at all. Despite her arthritis & having crossed the line of female vanity – that which derma clinics exploit – she was still in her feisty elements: flaring up at inhumanity to the lower creatures in God’s playpen, defying everyone (even the Islamic religious the faithful cower at) for their barbarity in the name of Muhammad & His sacred feasts.
“Un Cui Dans Le Silence” (A Cry in the Silence) says it all: a kitten’s or a cub’s death-moans, a mother seal’s screech of desperation, a whale’s sonar lamentation that keep her on her fragile toes – for she suffers when mankind, boasting itself to be of superior order in the hierarchy of existence, would slaughter like drunken savages the first inhabitants of the planet.
In the same mode, Bob Dylan who was informed of his Pulitzer Prize, would try to figure out why his country rock would earn encomium from the Establishment. Wasn’t he an outlaw out to stop wars? Why honor him as if Vietnam then, Iraq now were merely bad memory?
Bertolt Brecht best sums it all when the regime puts on its velvet glove: in a poem, an author whose books weren’t included in the ceremonial burning of banned heretical texts lamented profusely why he was left out in the list. It was a gross dishonor! To be ignored by them who rule against the free flow of ideas! Are they sending signal he’s no enemy of authoritarian infamy?
& so there she was, Madame Brigitte Bardot at 73: her beauty had faded but she’s still incandescent in the bigger cinema of life. This time, the spiritual had clouded her physical assets that once defined the passion of his time.
O never had she looked more enthralling than when she was no longer beautiful. This Eve of our ingénue who has aged into a woman meaningfully.