Who the Fuck is Alphonse Karr?

Well he’s just another French novelist. He happened to say first (in French, originally) that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Ten seconds ago I’d never heard of him, but tripped over his name at the end of this essay call “The Hellfire Club.”

“Maybe Alphonse Karr was wrong,” he says. Just tossing it out there, with no follow up about Karr. In fact it’s the last line of the essay. I don’t know, maybe most people in the 80’s knew the name. But somehow I doubt it. What was he up to here? Just a little throw away for the keepers of arcane knowledge? Or maybe he threw the name in because Karr was writing at the same time period he was talking about (the era of the American Revolution, when apparently the Earl of Sandwich couldn’t be bothered to authorize a new mast for Captain Cook‘s flagship and this led to Cook’s being eaten by angry natives). That would be clever. I guess that’s it. And Karr couldn’t know he was wrong as he wouldn’t be proved so until long after his death, when things really have changed. Or have they? Which does Thompson think?

So much for Empire. These boys liked their orgies and nothing was going to interfere. These were giants. They had standards–not like these whimpering mashers [i.e. Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker] who keep fouling our headlines today.

Maybe Alphonse Karr was wrong.

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