Sunday, November 19, 2006

Serge Gainsbourg Graverobbed

My head shot up in astonishment today to hear Serge Gainsbourg's "Bonnie and Clyde" issuing from the television today. It wasn't his original version, I don't think, and certainly not the sample in the MC Solaar rap "Le Nouveau Western." It was apparently a remake. Before my astonishment could give way to rapturous delight, however, I saw what it was advertising: the Cadillac Escalade.

Gainsbourg did do advertisements during his life. However, there is something revolting about this defier of convention being used to sell Escalades, ultimate symbol of selling out.

Interesting to find out that Gainsbourg, whose family apparently had fled Bolshevik Russia, and later had to wear the Jewish yellow star and flee Nazi-occupied Paris, was last involved with a relative of Generalfeldmarschall Friedrich von Paulus (the wikipedia entry doesn't say "von," but I think he was a "von"), who was ground down at Stalingrad until he surrendered to the USSR, and ended up working for them. Paulus had rebuked Admiral Canaris for suggesting that the Nazis were committing war crimes (wikipedia's entry on Canaris contains a misstatement or two--Himmler had actually protected Canaris from his rival Heydrich, who reported to Himmler, until the July 20, 1944 plot made it impossible any longer to do so).

I'm glad things worked out better for Gainsbourg in the last half of the 20th century than they did in the first.


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