Patti Smith Made Queen Of France
Earlier today Patti Smith was presented the insignia of Commander of the Order of the Arts and Letters by French Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres in Paris. Good for her.
The AP Article noted "The ministry, in a statement, noted Smith's appreciation for 19th century French poet Arthur Rimbaud..." That's when my eyes rolled like a broken slot machine. Arthur Rimbaud: history's prime example of the artist as consummate asshole. I think people worship him because he was an asshole just as more people prefer Charles Bukowski as a degenerate drunk.
Rimbaud was a sadistic bully. He stabbed someone at a poetry reading and, as gloriously recounted by Smith herself, urinated on a poet because he didn't like the work. Later on he skipped town after committing murder and then ran guns and traded slaves. A real lovely person whose poetry absolves him in the eyes of his fans. The art world allows itself a great number of get out of jail free cards.
In 2003 Paris made Mumia Al-Jamal an honorary citizen. When that happened my eyes didn't roll but I did urinate on a french roll. At least Patti didn't stand over a policeman and shoot him dead, so I'm glad the French have upped their standards. If you think the French didn't think Mumia killed the cop, think again. He was given the honor because they thought he did. You do things like that when your role in the world is duplicitous coward.