Saturday, January 5, 2008

Super-sacred rock

I warn Antipodes readers that you won't necessarily understand much, if anything, of what I'm about to say. First, it's in French. And second, even I don't grasp the theme of things. But, here goes...

Recently, a distinguished French newspaper, Le Figaro, displayed a quiz on its website [display] comprising twenty questions designed to test your awareness of French political happenings, generally at an anecdotal level, over the last twelve months. The 14th question was perfectly topical: a simple matter of identifying the personality who said: "I'm reminded of words from the Bible: Forgive them, for they don't know what they're doing." Many people in France know the answer to this question. The Socialist presidential candidate Ségolène Royal dared recently to talk like Jesus when she was criticizing certain elders of her party, designated in colloquial French political talk as "elephants". [Our metaphors start to get terribly mixed if we try to imagine Jesus talking of jungle beasts.]

What intrigues me is: Why did the French graphic artist of Le Figaro decide to illustrate their question by an image of Australia's Uluru?

Has Ayer's Rock ever been a specifically Christian symbol? I don't think so. Would it be a symbol of folk who deserve to be forgiven because they don't know what they're doing? Surely not. Finally, I end up believing that the employee of Le Figaro chose this image of Uluru for the simple reason that this sacred rock strikes us all as being terribly Biblical, like the words of Jesus... whatever that means. Funny, no?

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