Putting the voodoo in French presidential politics

With the American Presidential election less than two weeks away it’s practically impossible to get away from campaign news, so I figured we could all use a bit of international presidential gossip. And what president is better suited for gossip than Monsieur Nicolas Sarkozy?

Earlier in the year he was the talk of the French nation for dating, and later marrying, ex-supermodel Carla Bruni. Now he’s back on the international radar for threatening to sue a publishing company if it does not get rid of the voodoo doll created in his honor, according to the BBC.

President Sarkozy is not a fan of the doll, which comes with pins and an instruction manual that includes how to put the evil eye on the president himself. The doll is also covered in quotes — which you can poke the pins into — including “get lost you jerk” which Sarkozy said to a bystander who once refused to shake his hand.

You might think that this was a partisan thing, but the publishing company apparently likes to “poke” fun at both sides of the political spectrum; they’ve also produced a similar doll in the for of Segolene Royal, Sarkozy’s Socialist party rival in the last election. She may not hold the same political ideals as Sarkozy, but she does agree with his stance on companies making fun of politicians: she is also threatening legal action.

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China Makes Voodoo Dolls a No-No

If a voodoo doll with a pin attached ready for the pricking was high on your list of souvenirs to pick up while perusing the vendor stalls on Beijing’s streets then you’ll have to do some searching. (Think Shenzhen and Guangzhou.) Apparently the Chinese government doesn’t like these dolls and for various reasons, but placing the ban has created a craze according to this Newsweek piece found on MSN. Concerned authorities at the Industrial and Commercial Management Department claim the dolls encourage superstition and “promote feudalism and feudal beliefs.” Other citizens equally upset about the dolls and (whispers) maybe even a little afraid of an enemy they may have crossed in the past, are calling on the Communist Party to enforce a nationwide ban on the voodoo dolls. However, vendors sing a different tune where one individual believes teens purchased the dolls because they were cool, not because they were trying to hurt each other.

For those still looking to flatter their enemies by wasting countless hours of their own precious time with pricking, poking, and prodding at the plush, yarn or hand-made dolls can check the web where internet sales for the dolls continue to flourish. See MSN for the full details.