Out with the Old Bling-Bling, In with the New Normal
HOT OFF THE PRESS
The news is already old. “Mr. Normal” is in and “Bling-Bling” is out. The people, or at least 51.67% of them, where dancing in the streets till the wee hours of the morn around Place de la Bastille and all over the country.
It still amazes me that Socialist François Hollande is what they consider “normal” and President Nicolas Sarkozy with his “work more, earn more” ideas is considered “bling-bling” or flashy. As you can see, the American capitalist idea is NOT what France is all about. Or at least, not this time around.
Personally, I’m worried. The little guys — the independent business people, the entrepreneurs, the people with ideas who want to make a difference, can’t make it in this socialist world of heavy taxation and lack of true free enterprise ideas without ‘stealing’ whatever cash they can take in to reduce their tax burden.
There was a report this morning on national news channel France 24 about a specialty bicycle maker who can’t grow his little company because he can’t afford to hire workers at today’s employment taxes. He’s not the only one. All you have to do is watch the shops on your own street go in and go out within two years to know they simply can’tmake it. The ones that do are the business thatoperate on cash — restaurants, cafés, etc.
So, Hollande will likely get what he wants: fewer rich. They’ll head for the hills (likely the Alps of Switzerland) and take their hard-earned money with them, leaving the French poorer than ever — but maybe happier with more social benefits and less to have to do to earn them.
Interestingly enough, if you’d like to see how your favorite district or department or region voted, visit Presidentielles 2012. Mine liked Mr. Normal by 61.35% with Bling-Bling scoring only 38.65%. The 16th district in Paris, one of the wealthiest, overwhelmingly voted for the Bling-Bling ideas with 78.01% compared to Mr. Normal with 21.99%. And the 20th, one of the poorest, voted “au contraire” — Mr. Normal took 71.83% of the vote compared to Bling-Bling’s 28.17%. That tells it all, doesn’t it?
Want to read a funny commentary? See what Jean Deano has to say at the DailySquib.co.uk.
Let’s look at it this way: if only there were 2% more people living in France with more money to protect, Bling-Bling would have stayed in office, “n’est-ce pas?”
HOT OFF THE PHOTO PRINT PRESS
Eugène Atget’s original works on exhibition at the Musée Carnavalet is not to be missed. Make a special trip to Paris, if you have to. On until July 29th, 230 prints made between 1898 and 1927 of a Paris long gone, but still very much here, will astound you. If you know Paris even a bit, you will recognize the tiny corners of the city you pass regularly, and realize in some ways how so much has changed and in other ways, how little.
A young mother pointed out the corner where they live to her two young sons who were jumping with enthusiasm to see what their world looked like a century ago. If you’ve ever perused the books on the rack outside Shakespeare and Co. on the right corner of the shop, then you will recognize what is now a café just next door at #39 rue de la Bûcherie with it’s then sign, “Hôtel Vins et Liqueurs.” The arched door at Passage des Singes is no longer a passage linking rues Vieille du Temple and des Guillemites, but is now the entry door of Parler Paris Apartment “Le Temple des Rosiers!“
For more information, visit Musée Carnavalet.
HOT OFF THE POSTCARD PRESS
Award-winning authors Erin Byrne and Anna Pook shared the writings of their 25-ish students in the form of two readings and a book.
“Vignettes & Postcards” is an anthology of 26 stories from their workshop “Leaping Into the Void” that took place in the fall of 2011 “focused on taking risks in writing by sharpening intuitive skills, digging deep into fascinations, and using a deep creative revisioning process.”
Each of the students read his or her work over the course of two venues — first on May 1st at Shakespeare and Co. to a very packed room in George Whitman’s personal library on the first floor, where half the pieces were read…and then to complete the reading, over a sumptuous lunch at Café Pont Neuf on Saturday.
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
(photo by Phil Mash, Leonard Films)
P.S. Parler Parlor French-English Conversation group is closed for the holiday on May 8th (Fête la Victoire, Victory Day WWII).
P.P.S. HOT OFF THE POETRY PRESS: There are only two spots available at Cecilia Woloch’s Istanbul Poetry Workshop July 29 – August 4, 2012. Sign up now before it’s too late! Read more about it by clicking here: LINK TO PDF FILE or contact Cecilia at [email protected] or visit ceciliawoloch.com for more information.