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A Few Questions…About Risk, Insecurity and Hate

Jame NavéJame Navé

 NY Mag cover - Trump Loser

Photo by Bobby Dohery for New York MagazinePhoto by Bobby Doherty for New York Magazine

Chez la Vieille - Paris, France

Vincent at Chez la VieilleVincent at Chez la Vieille

Republicans Overseas

NSM

Paris Attack Victims - Le Parisien

The BataclanThe Bataclan

Sting - by Kevin MazurSting – by Kevin Mazur

THE RISK OF STORYSLAM

James Navé is not new to Après Midi — for good reason. His sessions are always loads of fun and whenever he’s in Paris and has the time, we welcome his participation. He’s a poet and a storyteller, a radio host, arts entrepreneur as well as teacher, who is holding an all-day (9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) workshop here in Paris on November 26th: “A Storytelling Workshop, Learn to Listen, Learn to Tell.”

Get a taste of Navé tomorrow at Après Midi when he hosts the event with “StorySLAM” with the theme: “RISK.” James will begin with a short discussion about how “Moth” inspired personal stories and The StorySLAM has grown into one of the most popular forms of modern storytelling. Afterward, James will facilitate an Aprés Midi StorySLAM just for us. Come and listen, or better yet, come prepared to put your name in the hat for a chance to tell your true-life story about RISK. James will choose five names from the hat. If he draws your name, you’ll have five minutes to tell a true story!

Are you prepared to take the risk? Come and find out!

MY OLD LADY

We were lucky to get seats at the bar at American chef Daniel Rose’s new Chez La Vieille restaurant, now that he’s taking reservations. The funny thing is that by coincidence, just before departing for the restaurant here in Paris, one of my co-diners handed me a copy of the latest issue of New York Magazine with Donald Trump on the cover and a red  banner noting “Loser” plastered across his face. She didn’t realize it, but inside the magazine was an article about Daniel Rose with a photo of him with his wife, Marie-Aude (photo by Bobby Doherty/New York Magazine) dining at the Frick — an article touting his new New York restaurant, Le Coucou. Also coincidentally, Chez La Vieille had been Adrienne Biasin’s, a restaurant I used to frequent having opened in the 1960’s that had became an institution in the Quartier des Halles for family style French cuisine.

Thinking it was all “meant to be,” we headed over, had seats at the bar served by the charming barman “Vincent” before the crowds invaded. We dined on “Lentille Foie Gras” (13€), “Coeur de Laitue et Abats de Volaille” (9€), Le Demi Coquelet à la Diable” (15€), “La Blaquette de la Vieille” (20€) and Poire au Vin Rouge” (6€). One dish was better than the next and obviously the prices are more reasonable than most cafés.

Should I be telling you this? We may never get a seat again!

Chez la Vieille  
1 Rue Bailleul, 75001 Paris
Phone: +33 (0) 1 42 60 15 78

FREEDOM OF SPEECH

I can’t wait for this election to be over. We’re down to less than 24 hours of having the results and either way, the outcome will be a kind of relief…like when a bad divorce is finally over and the couple can go forward (not back) to having their own lives.

The U.S. election is a subject that has been impossible to ignore, so as you know, I haven’t. I’m just so tired of being told that my opinion isn’t appropriate in my own publications…especially since I never express a political opinion, or if I do express a personal viewpoint about anything, it’s clearly labeled as “my opinion!”

I do confess to labeling myself as a “Staunch Liberal,” or showing up at a Halloween party dressed as Hillary Clinton, or remarking that the Expat community is largely of the Democratic persuasion, but none of that is an “opinion.” Whatever the “other side is,” or whatever the “other side thinks,” they NEVER actually offer an argument or opposing viewpoint. Instead, they say that what I write is “inappropriate” in my own missive.

It fascinates me. Even the president of Republicans Overseas France took the trouble of writing me that my “bias is showing.” Duh! As if it wasn’t okay that I had a bias!? I’ll bet he does, too! He claimed to be “shocked” and that he had gotten complaints about me from his members. (I had no idea this “Nouvellettre®” was so influential!)

Another person wrote: “You must not be getting the latest news over there. Hillary is a criminal and an idiot!!” As a response, I questioned: “If you call Hillary Clinton a criminal and an idiot, then what do you call Donald Trump? Just curious.” (No, we don’t get that kind of news over here. Chuckle, chuckle. We get very different news, I suppose.)

I do love asking questions, with the sole goal to get people to think and open their eyes. But you watch: I’ll get blamed for being “inappropriate” as one reader wrote, or disrespectful: “I don’t think you are being respectful of your readers when you voice your very one-sided opinions.” (Guess she wasn’t really reading — there are no opinions!)

Hey, I can take the heat. I’ll stand up for what I believe…and that is Freedom of Speech! Just in case you don’t know what that means:

    (Source: Wikipedia.org) Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1949). Article 19 states that “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; yet not every one receives it. This right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of     frontiers.” Freedom of speech is the right to articulate one’s opinions and ideas without fear of government retaliation or censorship, or societal sanction. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used.
    
INSECURITY AND HATE

Sunday Morning there was a report on France 24 about the National Socialist Movement, an American neo-Nazi, white supremacist, homophobic, and antisemitic political party based in Detroit, Michigan. They won’t openly support Trump as president, but do support his anti-immigration and other racist platforms. I power hula hoop for exercise while I watch the news every morning, so while the hoop was turning round-and-round, I was in tears watching this report with the fear of what is happening in America. Maybe it was always America, but this presidential election has given this group and others like it way more of a voice…a voice that has become legitimized.

That voice is Freedom of Speech which gets no argument from me. Whether I agree or not, I will always be in accord with having that voice. That doesn’t mean I need to like it, just like the Republicans Overseas don’t like the Democratic voice I express, to which I am entitled.

There have been numerous articles comparing Adolf Hitler’s rise to power with that of Donald Trump along with those that see the comparisons as unfair (see articles such as: nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/,huffingtonpost.com/peter-reynosa/ or washingtonpost.com/posteverything/), but whether you think the parallels exist or not, there is one sure fire commonality: HATE.

I personally don’t have nor understand hate. I read a lot of articles that attempt to define and understand hate. Only one definition really struck home for me and I found it in Psychology Today:

    Hate masks personal insecurities. Not all insecure people are haters, but all haters are insecure people. Hate elevates the hater above the hated. Haters cannot stop hating without exposing their personal insecurities. Haters can only stop hating when they face their insecurities.
    
How did America get so insecure?

LE BATACLAN STINGs

November 13th marks the one year anniversary of the horrific attacks on Paris when 130 people lost their lives, including 89 at the Bataclan concert hall where the Eagles of Death Metal were performing…all in the name of hate. The Bataclan is re-opening this coming November 12th with a special tribute concert by Sting, who once played there in April of 1979. Proceeds will go to Life for Paris and 13 Novembre: Fraternité Verité, two charities working with victims of the Paris attacks.

One survivor who lost his wife in the attack, remarked, “You will not have my hate.”

I agree with his sentiment. Would you feel comfortable attending?

Tickets go on sale as of tomorrow, November 8th, 10 a.m. CET Time, on bataclan.fr

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds - circa 1974

Adrian Leeds
Adrian Leeds Group

(Circa 1974)

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P.S. If you haven’t yet voted from abroad, you can still do it! Visit Democrats Abroad and VOTE!!

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