Thursday 24 February 2005

Clearasil Total Control in Mainz

The Visit
One could not help but watch with amusement the visit of Mr George W. Bush to Europe, starting with meeting the Belgian royals, the government, then the EU Commission, NATO and then off to a city 2000 years old founded by the Romans called Mainz. [1]
The symbolism of the whole event is not lost on keen observers of the event and history.
However, the title is to illustrate the proverbial situation where presumably the leopard - Dubbiyew - has lost his spots in declaring extreme friendship and unity with the European cause as partners in liberty, freedom, justice and that most uniting divisor - Iraq.
Clearasil [2] happens to be most common commercial cosmetic used to deal with spots, acne, blemishes and unseemly colours, but it would be disingenuous of me to suggest that all that had happened was cosmetic, but why are the protesters still out there?
Now, one can understand the master-stroke of genius that informed replacing a dour gentleman of gravitas in the person of Colin Powell; who at times looked so much at odds with the cards he was dealt that you almost felt great sympathy for him.
With Dr Condolezza Rice [3] whose charm offensive hardly 2 weeks ago in her whirlwind tour of the American "friendly" states, especially France had chivalry sweep the continent. Like we had returned to the day Sir Walter Raleigh [4] laid his cloak down for Queen Elizabeth the First to walk over a muddy patch. I submit; Chivalry is not dead in Europe.
There is no doubt that Clearasil and its effects are either obvious or desired as a thing of the mind, just as Regaine [5] allegedly portends to offer hair to those who struggle to come to terms with male pattern baldness, I know of one instance where it put more hair on a person's back than you will find on a sheep in mid-winter in New Zealand.
Borrowing a cliché, gone are the days when the crowds in the streets of Germany would welcome with such fanfare a president of the United States like John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan who both did profound and probably mad-hatter things in Berlin that have become staples of 20th Century history.
Even Bill Clinton did attract an audience at the Brandenburg Gate in July 1994 [6]. That probably was the last time an American president had the world stage looking to Berlin and Germany for something of historical significance. Bill Clinton can call into Berlin with ease, he is a true German and European friend.
How times have changed, a whole city of Mainz is now sealed off [7] for a visiting American president so much so that he will not and cannot come across the gentle folk of the city.
Wonderfully ironic it is that main home page of the City of Mainz suggests that they are eager to host the bi-lateral meetings - that is really pulling the wool over my eyes.
Even that now begins to speak for itself, crowd control, protest control, shops closed, schools closed and the serious vetting of select members of the Young Leaders almost reminds one of the great prospects of the Hilter Jungen - perish the thought! Maybe it is all Pest Control.
Rumour has it that on one of the streets that was to accommodate the presidential motorcade a funereal shop specialising in memorial stones was advised to move the stones out of town, just in case some exuberant youth broke into the shop and picked up a 100-kilogram stone and pelted the motorcade - you can never accuse the Polizei of lacking such vivid imagination even with these carefully weighted words.
In Mainz
This is where the symbolism is complete when contrasted with America, definitely this was a city of Old Europe being over 2000 years old means it evokes history, culture, heritage, values and architecture of mind-boggling proportions.
It also happens to be the city of Johanes Gutenberg [8] who invented the printing press which gave rise to literacy, helped propagate the millennium and has won him the deserving accolade of the man of the Second Millennium.
Then there was sailing down the river Rhein, it makes one wonder if the fish were asked to stay home. [9]
[1] Mainz Online: Home Page
[2] Clearasil Total Control
[3] MSNBC - Rice charms in first diplomatic dance
[4] Sir Walter Raleigh: A Who2 Profile
[5] Hair loss products - Regaine UK
[6] "Berlin is free!" President Clinton Brandenburg Gate, Berlin. July 1994.
[7] News Analysis: Bush sealed off from Germans in Mainz
[8] Mainz Online: Gutenberg
[9] Much Ado About Bush | Germany | Deutsche Welle |

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