We need a zombie Molière to write “Tartuffe 2021”

One of the oldest, and greatest, farces ever written about human hypocrisy is “Tartuffe, ou l’Imposteur” (Tartuffe, or the hypocrite) by the 17th-century French actor and playwright Molière (pen and stage name Jean-Baptiste Poquelin). The play was controversial in its day: king Louis XIV enjoyed it, but the archbishop of Paris convinced him to prohibit public performances as Molière’s skewering of fraudulent, manipulative piety might cause viewers to distrust all forms of religious piety. (The good archbishop was reincarnated, with a sex change, as Hyacinth Bucket.) Molière revised the play twice; the final version is a crowd favorite among classic French theater to this day.[*]

We need another Molière today, as the “woke Tartuffes” of the 21st century make the original look like a paragon of integrity. A few cases in point:

  • eBay bans the sale of some ‘problematic’ Dr. Seuss books, while at the same time Mein Kampf, various National Socialist and communist devotionalia, and the black supremacist racist ramblings of Louis Farrakhan are sold freely;
  • a supposed “$GROUP lives matter” anti-police movement leads to skyrocketing crime, of which the primary victims are law-abiding members of $GROUP;
  • in the name of “equity”, Asian-American applicants to elite colleges face a level of discrimination that rivals what my fellow Jews experienced before WW II;
  • the same media noise machine that is quick to accuse everyone of homophobia is completely silent when a Chinese court rules that calling homosexuality a mental illness is acceptable; or calls everybody wary of radical islamism an ‘islamophobe’ while having nary a word about the persecution of Uyghur Muslims by the CCP regime;
  • [I could go on for hours]
  • but the one that takes the cake is the Big Woke fog to cover what amounts to class warfare by the gentry class/Brahmandarins against the rest of us. Its endgame is what Joel Kotkin wrote a priceless book about: “The Coming Of Neo-Feudalism

It was another Frenchman, the consummate politician Talleyrand, who quipped that hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue. The 21st century kind, however, does not have even this mild redeeming value. There is nothing “redeeming” about destroying the lives of several long-time, low-wage workers to show off to fellow ‘competitive wokies’ by turning a simple misunderstanding into a bogus bias incident.

[*] Molière’s many plays contain some surprisingly bawdy material. One of my high school French teacher’s favorites is the scene in “Le malade imaginaire” (translated as The Hypochondriac, or The Imaginary Invalid) where a dimwitted suitor asks a woman’s father permission to “baiser votre fille”, literally to ‘kiss your daughter’ (un baiser=a kiss) but idiomatically, already in Molière’s day like in modern French, the verb baiser means “to f[ourletterword]”

2 thoughts on “We need a zombie Molière to write “Tartuffe 2021”

  1. The blatant hypocrisy of the American left generates outrage from the right wing, and the left finds that outrage energizing. They enjoy it; they practically feed on it.

    I do believe that the best thing the right could do would be simply to stop getting outraged at the left’s hypocrisy, and instead accept it as unremarkable. “Of course they’re being hypocritical; they’re leftists.”

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