Tuesday, December 06, 2005

More Christmas Balls

I had no idea yesterday's post - the dog - was going to start a good old capitalist vs "communist" (what does one call an anti-capitalist person these days?) war but it did. Now I hardly dare showing more Christmas balls... And thought I had originally planned on this two fold sequence and I don't have time to change my plans! So, here is one of the latest Benetton ads in Paris at the moment (and probably other places in the world). Much less provocative than their campaigns in the 90's. Some things do change...


  1. So, it wasn't a poodle, after all! My mistake

  2. Nope, Ham, guess it wasn't.

    Personally, I think that baby is pretty cute, with or without bubbles around his head.

    But Eric, forgive me for saying so, but your Christmas balls are really rather small over there. Now these are balls! :D

  3. No Ham, guess not, LOL

    Tomate. I knew this Christmas balls thing would turn funny at some stage... So I don't know what to add to your comment.

    From "Everything is big in America" to "so, it is true that Americans have bigger balls than the French" it is hard to choose ;))

  4. Let's go with "everything is bigger" in America and leave it at that :-)

    By the way, I have a photoshop question I'd like to ask you if you don't mind. I'll send it separate, OK.

    Keep up the good work, please. Your blog is bringing many many smiles across the faces of people all over the world, including those people who are too shy to comment.

  5. Hi Eric and thanks for your work. I also have a dilemma at this time of year about whether or not to show typical shots of the annual consumer orgy called Christmas.

    But as photographers we have choices. We can choose to simply record what we see and leave it to others to interpret and make comments. Or we can give our own impressions and opinions over and above what our lens has seen. Or we can go further and invent stories like I have done recently.

    Personally I try to record what I see, but with a definite 'arrière pensée' - something to make people think, and although I'm not sure if that was your intention yesterday with the dog, you certainly stimulated that!

    Your aids picture is another example. The main thing is to try to avoid the clichés if possible, as hard as that may be, or simply to look out for things which are interesting, funny or unusual, and let others decide what they make of them. To be original is vital. Maybe I'm being too philosophical here, or even pretentious, but an artist must strive for originality, mustn't they? Is this original?!

    Check out the great Parisian humanist photographer Willy Ronis exhibition at the Hotel de Ville, by the way - an excellent inspiration I can tell you.

    Your blog gets better and better. We should meet up for a coffee sometime!

  6. Hi Eric,

    Though I always appreciate your poised point of view on things, I dont really like the tone you get when you write "what does one call an anti-capitalist person these days" ? There seems to be a lot of despise in it, and have been quite surprised about it coming from you.

    I just think everyone's opinion is valuable, and it is not by trying to scare and despise people using the word "communist" as a scarecrow(though I am not communist, I do not consider it as an insult)it will make things move.

    Xavier's reflexion yesterday is not original I agree, but at least more than the traditionnal christmas orgie thing photography. Please do find something more original as you used to do...


  7. Ah, Benetton and their provocative ad campaigns! You are right in the middle of the controversy with this great picture. A nice chubby baby in these times of starvation.. I guess there are many ways of looking at this picture.. What do you read? Hum?

    Communism vs. ultra-liberal is a little bit of a caricature. The question is: where are you on the liberalism "hype curve"? Enthusiasm? Disillusion? Resignation? Hope? Are you chocked by *everyday* consumer orgy, or only by Xmas? And finally, what do you do to give back?


  8. Ooops, I knew there was a risk that this sentence would get me critics... In fact there was no sarcasm at all; I really don't know what to call an anticapitalist nowadays.

    I know that people don't like to be called Communist anymore - you even mentionned the word "scarecrow" or worse "insult" - but I don't understand why.

    In France we still have a pretty strong communist party, the extreme left party proudly calls itself "Ligue Communiste révolutionnaire" and it is pretty popular.

    So honestly what do you call a non capitalist person? Better: what do you consider yourself since apparently you are anticapitalist but not communist?

    Thank you.

  9. (rien a voir avec la polemique au dessus mais je voulais juste laisser un message)
    Merci pour ce blog!
    Je suis un parisien resident actuellement a l'etranger et cela me fait tres plaisir de pouvoir continuer a voir ma ville a travers ce blog qui est un tres beau regard sur Paris. Ah... Ca me rend encore plus nostalgique...
    Bonne continuation !

    Mikael L

  10. Cher Eric,

    C'est avec grand plaisir que j'ai découvert et visite régulièrement votre blog. Vos regards sur Paris suscitent souvent mon intérêt et régulièrement une certaine nostalgie.

    Je dois dire néanmoins que je suis surpris de cette dernière photo. Je trouve à ce sujet une certaine ressemblance avec un de nos ex-premiers ministres. Et la question se pose, vos lecteurs ne devraient-ils pas être alertés sur cet entrisme crypto-raffarinien ?

  11. Eric,

    Don't knock it. Only a few months ago I unearthed a small cohort of "Sweepies" (a nickname for people selling the Socialist Worker newspaper) in Cardiff. Not only that, but they were backed up by a choir singing the "Internationale". Bit like all those Japanese in the jungle who hadn't realised that the war was over.

    As far as the appearance, not that familiar with your prime minister... bit more like Cassius Clay/Mohammed Ali, I think.

  12. I'm becoming more and more addicted to your photoblog! what a great way to visit Paris and see things I would normally not notice!

  13. Well, alter-mondialiste is another word for instance.

    Luckily, communism is not the only alternative to capitalism. But this is just the image many people like to have. Let them be...


  14. Wow Eric, who'd a thought you'd have such a reaction? Frankly, I understood your first comment as just a question. I do love the photo though and nobody even commented on the guy with the blue face in the corner!

  15. Its a cute picture Eric, really how can anyone be mad at a "healthy baby"? Lots of us here in the USA donate all year around to feed children all over the world, if & when the opportunity to do more arises we do. We are all sadden at the thought of a child going hungry but I am also grateful to GOD for this healthy "chubby" baby. Merry Christmas everyone and keep praying for ALL children!

  16. What if the baby had been a white one?? What is Benetton's message in this? Naked and healthy black baby boy (thanks to Western world) as opposed to previously black African skinny and starving children...?