Posts Tagged ‘Rupert Murdoch’

KramerThat’s already old news: Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corp, has served his third wife, Wendi Murdoch, with divorce papers; one cannot but wonder if the mogul’s amazing appetite for matrimonies will sustain itself. What’s news is that Wendy has hired a new lawyer, which is a sign of großgroß gunfight coming, according to Peter Lattman and Amy Chozick from the New York Times.

Why a mess when harmony could prevail? The answer is lack of foresight, tells divorce lawyer Paul Talbert from Donohoe Talbert, in the Times article. Even the most ‘sophisticated’ couple like the Murdochs cannot foresee all problems along the way. The Murdochs have signed tons of prenuptial and postnuptial (I confess I did not even know the word before reading the article) agreements, yet they left the Fifth Avenue Penthouse and a yacht in the dark; sophistication is in the details.

Talbert’s revelation turns the world of common folks like me upside down. I have been nurtured with Seinfeld reruns for years and in one of them, Kramer advices George, who wants – wealthy- Susan to break up with him, to ask her for a “prenup.” Kramer’s point: George’s display of foresight, while unbridled enthusiasm and confidence are expected, will seem like misplaced caution to Susan and be a turn-off.

Who is right, Talbert or Kramer? Here is a clue drawn from a totally unscientific poll of my own. On the one hand, my divorced friends from France had relatively easy divorces. On the other side of the Atlantic however, my divorced friends from New York City  (me included) had bloody ones.  In both cases wealth is not part of the picture, all right.  But why the difference?  Are the frogs more foresighted? No way. My answer: litigious divorce laws in New York State. For instance, the no-fault divorce was only introduced in New York State laws in 2010. Litigious divorce laws beg for the need of lawyers to walk you through them, and lawyers are not in the business of making a divorce less litigious.

That’s why I side with Kramer, with relief. And I venture something that will sound outrageously unsophisticated to Paul Talbert, from Donohoe Talbert: sound foresight in matrimonial affairs in New York State should minimize lawyer costs. That might mean refraining from marriage.

After all, lawyers fees must make a big deal of New York State GDP and as most people know – and more and more economists do too- GDP is a poor indicator of happiness.

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The word parenting makes me cringe. It must be because ex wanted to inflict parenting

L'argent de poche (Truffaut)

classes on me when she put me on trial for child abuse; or perhaps because I had too many visits with my girls supervised by Comprehensive Family Slaughtering, which was in the business of putting me back on the right parenting track.

Since I have not seen my girls for so many years, parenting is a painful topic to me and I tend to avoid parenting articles in the press. This one – Why French Parents Are Superior (Pamela Druckerman) caught my attention. I told myself that there was perhaps something there to learn about “Frenchness” in parenting that the folks from Manhattan Family Court missed.

First, don’t let the title of the article freak you out. Druckerman wrote for the Wall Street Journal and this is a politically correct article in the Murdoch world, meaning solidly anti-French; Not the New York Post’s way (“a good French is a dead one”), but the Wall Street Journal’s way. Druckerman feels she has to tell the reader she is not sure to be willing to live in France (one wonders why such a thought would even occur to her);  She surely does not want her kids to grow like “sniffy Parisians.” Oof! One never knows.

Besides well-known facts – French parents have a life as adults while Americans parents don’t- there are interesting points in Druckerman’s article, like her discussion of disciplining a child in the American and French parenting traditions. There is one thing missing in her piece though (I can’t help being a sniffy Parisian, even if I have been living much longer in New York than in Paris): the word “parenting” does not exist in French. It just ain’t. The French raise their children (“élèvent leurs enfants”). So what? Perhaps parenting in France is more geared towards kids and not so much towards being a “good parent,” meaning giving the kids what parents did not have and think they should have: a good neighborhood, a good school, a good career…

I wonder how France and the US fare on the parental alienation’s front.

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