Richelieu’s ghost almost solves America’s problems

“Russia and China, mon ami, are doing the West a favor,” said Cardinal Richelieu – or, rather, a virtual-reality avatar of Richelieu hovering a couple of feet above my living-room carpet.

 I had first consulted the Ghost of Cardinal Richelieu in the lower depths of the Paris sewers, conjuring his shade with a magnum of Chateau Petrus lapped out of a brass spittoon instead of the sheep’s blood with which Odysseus nourished the shade of the seer Tiresias.

The experimental Oculus headset I obtained covertly from a Metaverse engineer made the journey unnecessary. The CGI cardinal still sounded like Maurice Chevalier, but the image in cheerful pastels lacked the sneer of cold command in Phillipe de Campaigne’s portrait.

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