Hard as Nails
Benjamin Griveaux, Emmanuel Macron’s choice for mayor of Paris, had to withdraw from the election after his extra marital affairs were exposed by Russian performance artist, Piotr Pavlensky. Pavlensky posted Griveaux’s illicit text messages and videos of his genitals (although he did not incorporate them into a performance art piece, so that seems like a missed opportunity).
Pavlensky refuses to say where he got the genital video; however, he seems like a nice, normal, reliable source of information… Once he nailed his own scrotum to the sidewalk in Russia.
He called it a critique of modern Russian society. (What was he critiquing? The sidewalk infrastructure that crumbled under a single nail?)
The scrotum performance didn’t really accomplish anything in Russia. So he presumably decided to try a different strategy for critiquing French society: i.e. nailing a different man’s scrotum to the sidewalk (metaphorically, at least). The man he chose was Benjamin Griveaux.
After it was shared by Pavlensky, the video of Griveaux exploded on social media. It was entitled “me this morning when I wake up.” It’s likely many of the people who clicked were expecting memes of cute sleepy animals…or instagrammable breakfast dishes. Instead they found an old naked guy playing with his, ehm…baguette.
Griveaux was forced to withdraw from the race for mayor. Russians have been known to meddle in elections before. But they usually do it through bots and hacks…not through men known internationally as “the scrotum artist.”
After the incident, French politicians warned against the “Americanisation” of French politics. What really is the “Americanisation” of politics? (Is it when politicians start paying meme accounts to “make them look cool” a la Mike Bloomberg?) No, it’s apparently the idea that politicians are publicly accountable for indecorous sex lives. Obviously that’s the last thing politicians want in France.
In fact, Pavlensky has already been in trouble for burning down a bank and stabbing someone…but it wasn’t until he started leaking sex tapes that politicians knew they had to get him out of there. “The first thing to do is to put him on a plane to Russia,” said one politician. Obviously it wasn’t Griveaux who said that though — he has something else he needs to do first thing every morning.