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Goodness Gracious Great Flames of Fire!


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Ringside seats were even better than being there.

I had planned to be among the crowd at the Arc de Triomphe, but had a really tough time finding any information about the May 8th ceremonies except the news that President “Bling-Bling” Nicolas Sarkozy had invited incoming President “Mr. Normal” Hollande to jointly officiate. The lack of information was astounding. Besides the usual Google search, I scoured Paris.fr, the government sites, the World War II remembrance sites, the news sites and any source of information at my fingertips, only to come up with nothing. Even France 24 wasn’t saying a word about it and instead, reporting on all the paparazzi outside Mr. Normal’s current apartment gossiping about his move to the Elysée Palace in just a few days time.

Fortunately BFM TV ran live streaming, so instead of hopping on the Métro and heading across town to stand in the crowd and see very little, the entire ceremony shot from many different angles by professional camerapeople was right there on my computer screen. Ah, the wonders of the Internet and technology. Will there be any reason to hold live events any more, or will we all be virtually somewhere else while participating? It’s a strange world we live in.

The events are very full of pomp and ceremony. When the camera focused on the two men standing side by side with the eternal flame on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the forefront, it seemed symbolic of Sarkozy’s exit ‘up in smoke.’ The two men stood in the same position for quite a long time with their arms at their sides, except that Hollande was smoothing his few stray hairs every now and then that were blowing in the breeze. Sarkozy’s thick wiry hair never moved a millimeter — either he must use better hair spray or his Hungarian Jewish genes had taken control. He should pass on this advice to his successor who’d likely give his eye teeth to have such a mop.

It was gracious of outgoing Sarkozy to welcome Hollande to sit beside him and actually jointly officiate. In fact, Sarkozy has been gracious throughout the entire election and defeat. Everyone agrees on this issue. Conversation among all of us who clearly don’t really have a clue about any of it are speculating that he will retire from public life and that Carla Bruni will leave him once she is no longer in the limelight. This is a woman who does love to be seen and it seems the public has loved seeing her, too. (Do a Google search on “Carla Bruni nude” and see what you get!)

Nonetheless, we’re about to have a new France. Mr. Normal will be moving into the Elysée Palace and sworn-in as France’s new leader on May 15th at another one of the usual pomp and ceremonies. They don’t waste much time, do they?

Personally, I’m not in any kind of hurry. Guess you can tell. One of you loyal readers wrote, “Goodness, Adrian, you’re starting to sound like a Republican!” Gracious!

A la prochaine…

adrianbylindahervieuxAdrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

(photo by Linda Hervieux)

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P.S. May 15th is also Parler Paris Après Midi — so don’t miss it!

P.P.S. I’ll be participating in a panel discussion “Welcome to the 21st Century: How to Use Blogs and Social Media to Your Advantage” along with Kathleen Spivack (and many others) who will be teaching Poetry Writing at the upcoming 22nd Annual Paris Writer’s Workshop June 24-29, 2012. For more information and to register visit Paris Writer’s Workshop

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