Sunday, January 23, 2011

La Pucelle

You wanna know what else I dreamed once upon a time? Well, when I was a teenager, I used to dream that, if I ever became successful, by which I mean filthy rich—multiple billions rich, and continuously through my own achievement, not some lottery—I would use the money to pay off the taxes in Domremy, the birthplace of Joan of Arc.

For those who don’t know the story, when Charles VII wanted to offer Joan of Arc some reward for winning him his crown, her only request was an exemption from taxes for her home village of Domremy. Charles granted the request, but unfortunately, after the French Revolution more than three centuries later, the exemption was revoked. I always thought this was shameful, as Joan of Arc was kind of my hero, and granting that one request in perpetuity seemed to me the least they could have done for her. And so, in my adolescence, I thought, If the French government will not take care of Domremy, then I shall! Another silly dream, yes, and one rather of vanity. But such are dreams . . . .

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