Les Nuits Americains Paris (American Nights in Paris)
The countdown has started. Seven days until the U.S. will have elected a new president.
It’s looking pretty good in the recent polls for B.O. (Barack Obama), unless some crazy assassin gets him first, the other side fixes the voting machines, or the economy suddenly turns around for the better and the Republican party claims responsibility for the good fortune.
It’s a weird thing…the thought of Obama’s assassination was on everyone’s minds even before he got the Democratic nomination. We all thought it, and now look — there’s already been an attempt. Are we surprised? No.
One could view him in today’s times as a cross between John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., each defying the norm and fighting on behalf of the underdogs to make a difference in the world with CHANGE. They got theirs, didn’t they? And will he get his…if he’s elected? Scary thought.
Of course, not everyone shares this point of view, nor would anyone expect one to. We’re all entitled to at least that — our own points of view, and luckily, we do get to express them next Tuesday, November 4th, when we vote.
Most of us living outside of the U.S. have already cast our absentee ballots. Even some of you living in the U.S. have already cast your ballots. Those of you who haven’t decided yet for whom you will vote…I must admit, I don’t understand how it’s possible not to have already made a decision.
The French are seriously rooting for B.O. According to Le Figaro based on polls taken (by l’Institut TNS Sofres et Logica), 80% of the French are in favor of Obama. And the BBC say that he’s favored four to one in a poll taken in 22 countries. Everyone living outside of the good ol’ U.S. of A. sees clearly that world opinion will improve under his leadership.
But does the average American care about what the rest of the world thinks? I’ve lived here long enough to know that the answer to that could be NO. According to UNOFFICIAL estimates, less than 22% of Americans hold passports. No wonder they don’t care, since they don’t even know what the rest of the world looks like, acts like, or thinks like.
Americans living in France know. We have a skewed view of everything…or at least a broader one. When you move to the ‘other side of the fence,’ your own back yard looks a little different. Maybe it doesn’t quite look as green as it looked when your feet where in its grass. Maybe you can see ways of trimming the shrubs so they have more appeal…from both sides. Maybe you realize that it doesn’t have to look the same as your neighbors as long as you can enjoy each others and make friends in the process.
The French love Americans. They identify with the U.S. They love traveling to cities like New York, San Francisco, Miami and points in between. They want a U.S. president they can be proud of, too. Le Figaro’s October 9th commentary claims that for the French, George W. Bush has degraded the image of the U.S., but that Obama can revive the “flamme pro-américaine en France.”
Most of us living here are hoping for just that. Democrats Abroad sends me an email daily with all the events going on between now and through election night. Even the Mairie (City Hall) of the 3rd Arrondissement is holding an all night party in honor of the event. (I’ll definitely be there!)
If you want to take part in the activities, there is no shortage of things you can do.
Tonight I’m joining a group of friends and anyone who wants to join us in a drink at Harry’s Bar where we will cast our “straw vote” while ARD TV of Germany interviews us for their own report on the U.S. Election. Next Tuesday, “Parler Paris Aprs Midi” is holding a special pre-election celebration on November 4th at La Pierre du Marais. If you want to celebrate with other Americans, see what’s on with Democrats Abroad.Here’s a brief listing of what’s on…and am sure there is plenty more you can find with a quick search on the Net!…
Harry’s New York Bar
6 p.m. Wednesday October 29, 2008
5, Rue Daunou, 75002 Paris, 01 42 61 71 14
Parler Paris Après Midi
November 4th, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Upstairs at La Pierre du Marais
On the corner of rue des Archives and rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris
(No Meeting November 11, Armistice Day)
“La Nuit Américaine” (The American Night)
November 4th, the presidential election day in the U.S., is the center of a special event organized by the City Hall of the 3rd Arrondissement to “explore and understand the United States,” as their publicity states…its history, its society, its political system, and of course, to follow the election results!
* 7 p.m.: Exhibition of photos by Jean-Robert Dantou titled “Paysage de Campagne 2008” presented by a representative of the American Embassy Paris and Mayor Pierre Aidenbaum
* 7:30 p.m.: Discussion — “La situation politique et sociale actuelles aux Etats-Unis”
* 11 p.m.: Discussion — “Enjeux du scrutins”
* 9:30 p.m. Film: “Little Miss Sunshine”
* 12:30 a.m. (November 5) Film: “Crash”
* 2:30 a.m. (November 5) Film: “Vertigo”
* 5:00 a.m. (November 5) Breakfast
Entry is free< br /> Mairie de 3ème
Salle Odette Pilpoul
2 rue Eugène Spuller
Tél: 01 53 01 75 03
Democrats Abroad All Night Party November 4th
Beginning 10:30 p.m.
It’s going to be a festive evening and an event you’ll never forget. The price is 100 Euros or 160 Euros for two (and 50 Euros for young Dems under 25) and includes drinks and a sumptuous buffet throughout the night. Guests will be served breakfast from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m.
Rub shoulders with the media — both French and American — including France 24, TV5Monde (and many others). Correspondents will be doing on-site interviews so it may be your moment of fame! Live TV coverage won’t begin until midnight but before then, there will be entertainment in addition to interviews and analyses all night long.
Get more information and your invitation at http://www.americanelection.fr
Don’t forget to use the Democrats and Republicans Abroad password”: Potus44
DOCUMENTARY FILM “Mes Amis Américains”
Filmed partly at the Swan Bar, Paris, this documentary features jazz stylist, Manda Djinn as well as several other Paris-based Americans in various fields: food, entertainment, business etc. See dates and times below:
Thursday, October 30 and Sunday, November 9, 10:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 1, 6:45 p.m.
Sunday, November 2, 5 p.m.
Monday, November 3, 11 p.m.
Tuesday, November 4 and Tuesday, November 18, 12 noon
Saturday, November 8, 4 p.m.
Sunday, November 9, 1:30 p.m.
Monday, November 11, Midnight
Saturday, November 15, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 22, 1 a.m.
And a final note…if B.O. doesn’t get elected, you can blame it all on me. See the CNNBC story:
“Obama’s Loss Traced To Adrian Leeds”
Watch it here
(Special thanks to Barbara Kilcomons for this report.)
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
P.S. The last time I used Obama’s initials for fun’s sake, I got emails from people who were offended. Guess they had no sense of humor. If not, take it up with him — I’m not the one who gave him this name and we will likely be living with it for at least the next four years.
P.P.S. Parler Paris just became a blog! From now on, every issue will be reprinted at http://parlerparis.blogspot.com/ where you can add your comments and follow the “Twittering” life an American in Paris by clicking on http://twitter.com/parlerparis. Hope all of you will join me in the adventure of blogging!