Lipstick advertisement, 2001

When terror bursts into the city of cosmetic towers like a phallic projectile, everything is contaminated with ballistic echoes: the Twin Towers are transformed into weapons not so different from those built in Oklahoma, minarets into missiles similar to those represented in the palaces of Saddam Hussein, and the Petrona Towers of Islamic Malaysia find a response in the tapered skyscrapers of London or Barcelona. Like the flags printed at the beginning of this chapter, military and civil symbols are mixed, testing syntheses between war fervor and commercial logic. Likewise, hesitant between American warmongering and its own mercantile hedonism, old Europe does not know if it is best to be raped by the bull or to choose a ruminant and peaceful fate. The justified reluctance before the military adventures of the United States of America have not made Europe more capable of sorting out its own affairs and, as in many previous occasions, American troops have been the ones to put out the fires in Europe’s backyard. I am not sure if, as Robert Kagan says, Americans are from Mars and Europeans from Venus; but they all live on planet Earth, and it is their common interest to strive for the haphazard survival of this fragile globe...[+]

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