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A Mixed Bag of Random Tongue-in-Cheek

* Anyone who expresses themselves publicly (like I do) risks being liked, disliked, agreed with, disagreed with, understood, misunderstood, respected, disrespected, read, misread, etc., etc., etc. That’s the whole point. I like making you think and decide for yourself what you like, dislike, agree with, disagree with, understand, misunderstand, respect, disrespect, read and misread, etc., etc., etc. And from all the great letters I get in response which express liked, disliked, agreement, disagreement, understanding, misunderstanding, respect, disrespect, that clearly show the article was read and often quite misread, etc., etc., etc… it’s worth taking the risk. Thank you all.

* Friday I celebrate my 21st year in France. No, I am not going out with friends, armed with my new I.D. to get drunk. I might go out to eat well, however.

* The three young American men, without thinking twice, who subdued a gunman who opened fire on a high-speed train from Amsterdam to Paris, received the Legion of Honor medal from President François Hollande this past Sunday. Both accolades as well as criticism about what they were wearing — khakis and polo shirts — made international news. Can you believe that? I doubt they thought one moment about it other than if what they had in their suitcases that was clean!

* French ‘feminists’ renamed 60 Paris streets honoring notable women in an overnight stunt leaving almost all of the streets on the Ile de la Cité with a whole new look. The ‘guerrilla’ campaign, to let the world know that France has more than just men to thank for their history, coincided with the 45th anniversary of the Women’s Liberation Movement — the date of the first ever National Women’s Liberation Conference at Ruskin ­College, Oxford, England, between February 27th and March 1st, 1970. I wonder if the guerrilla feminists were wearing bras?

* Stay off the Paris roads on Thursday if you can, lest you come face to face with hundreds of tractors (predicted to be close to 1,000!) driven by disgruntled farmers who are intent on bringing chaos to the French capital. Meanwhile, if you want to feed your family or help grow your plants, head to the streets, because they’ve been dumping hundreds of tons of manure, vegetables and potatoes on Paris and other cities’s streets in France to make their point — that EU sanctions on Russia have hit their potential export markets, depressing prices. The French simply love to demonstrate and will stop at nothing to get attention! While the U.S. Embassy sent out a warning to U.S. citizens to stay away, doing just the opposite is what I intend to do…to get a good laugh and a potato or two, if nothing else.

* Congratulations to American in Paris Joanne Burke for having won the Best Film award at the 30th Black International Cinema Festival as Director of of the series “When African Americans Came to Paris, Parts I and II” in the category of “Video on Matters Relating to the Black Experience.” That got me to thinking about asking Joanne to do a video about “When American Jews Came to Paris, Parts I and II and III and IV and V,” except that nobody thinks about us…so it would never get past Part I. The only one I found of note is Art Nouveau architect Hector Guimard’s wife, Adeline Oppenheim Guimard, who was a Jewish American. During the rise of Nazism, they left France for the U.S. He’s famous for the Art Nouveau Métro entrances, but also the Agudath Ha Kehilot Synagogue on rue Pavée that was dynamited in 1940 by the Germans…but what role did she have in all that? Not much, since the Synagogue is Orthodox, is my guess. At least their children would have been Jewish, if they had had any.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
The Adrian Leeds Group

(photo by Erica Simone)


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P.S. Volunteer for SOS Help, the confidential English listening line! Drop in to one of the recruitment sessions at 7pm on Sept. 29, Oct. 8, or Oct. 14 at the American Church, 65 quai d’Orsay, 75007 Paris. For full details and training, please visit SOS Help Line today!


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