Sunday, November 12, 2006

Champagne, even in the toughest moments...


This photo is sad and kind of funny at the same time. Sad because this guy is obviously aside our society and surely below the standard of living of any Frenchman and funny because he's drinking champagne, which is a very expensive beverage that you drink on special occasions.

169 comments:

  1. Just yesterday I did some good by giving to a homeless man I see a lot on my way home. Then after I gave to him several others did as well. I'm so glad that one small act prompted others to follow suit and do a bit of good in the world!

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  2. Reminds me of that beggar with a Hermès gift box off rue Royale...You're right: funny, but somehow sick.

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  3. I dont find it funny at all.. just because a poor man is drinking champagne that makes the scene "funny"?
    Sad yes, but certainly not funny

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  4. Not funny...Eric...And talking true...I don't like this photo..

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  5. Yes Anonymous and Justine, you're probably right, maybe I chose the wrong word. I meant funny as in odd, unexpected, weird not as in LOL.

    And about this photo, Justine, well, I try to show Paris in all its aspects and homeless people are pretty numerous in Paris.

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  6. I think the picture as such is great and original regarding the weird situation. How many times you see homeless or beggars drinking champaigne! I am sorry for the guy, but as you say it is somehow funny without mocking. Good shot Eric.

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  7. Yes, funny has another meaning, to be strange, curious, odd. Which it is of course, because in order to buy such a drink one has to have money. Clearly someone must have given it to him. Nobody could imagine this scene to be hilarious.

    I think it's important to show both sides of life in the city. I do find it sad; i imagine this man to have once had a taste for champagne, lived that type of life perhaps, who are we to know? Anyone of us can suffer misfortune. There, but for the grace of God, go I.

    Clearly, there is always the chance he's just a lazy bum with a lot of money... lol ... but i think not. I'm glad someone gave him something, even if it was champagne.

    Mary Antoinette, when told the peasants had no bread to eat, replied, "then let them eat cake". Maybe this is such a case.

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  8. then I apologize eric, for the confusion. I didn't realize you meant funny as in odd.
    By the way, I love your blog.

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  9. I believe that one of the great benefits of pictures is to give us insight into other lives...good and not so good. Whether we like the picture or not maybe isn't the point...maybe the point is that we as a society still "feel" and feel with passion. I believe it is when we lose that ability to still be moved by a picture or a situation that we all are as lost as this man appears to be.

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  10. He is a remarkable looking individual with his white hair and beard. Are there shelters for homeless in France also?

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  11. Wonderful photo! While living in France many years ago I came across a scene that is still vivid in my mind. Was the middle of winter, a couple sitting on a sidewalk grate with a blanket laid out, they had a little picnic set up, wine, bread, cheese and fruit. I had wanted to take their photo but I decided they must be on a date and I didn't want to intrude. That always stuck with me, even when you are down and out, you can still enjoy life.

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  12. Thank you for not being squeamish, Eric, about either taking, or posting, this photo - which is such a dramatic contrast to yesterday’s, and which highlights the tragic consequences of living in a society where it is so easy to “fall through the cracks” simply because you lack an education, a job, a family, friends or good health. Those who lack all of these, of course, have little hope at all of rising from wherever they are to a higher rung of the social “ladder”.

    How many of us can truly imagine how life must look from his position, or how it must feel? I, for one, though I have certainly had my bad times, would not hazard to say that I know how things must look or feel from this unfortunate man’s perspective. All I have are questions, laced in a kind of self-conscious pity, that makes me feel guilty about the little I have and which I am constantly striving to supplement and protect.

    For example, what does that bottle of champagne mean to him, when he knows that he has no bed, no roof over his head, no-one to say “sweet dreams” before he falls asleep, and no idea if the future will be better or worse than the present? Is every sip he takes from that glass another step towards relief from his woes, or a liquid joke played on him by a world in which he can drink like a man of wealth but not afford to laugh, hope or dream? Perhaps he doesn’t care one way or another - but isn’t even this indifference a symptom of a tragic predicament that traps him a nothingness, a social “invisibility” of the most pathetic kind? Except, of course, when he is gazed upon - ever so briefly - by we, the more fortunate: or our cameras, which have no souls to either care for or comfort him? That featureless wall behind him, which fills much more of the frame than his bent-over (undoubtedly filthy and malodorous body) is the visual equivalent of this emptiness, a metaphor for the cold, hard shell of inconsequentiality that separates him from “us”.

    And who are we? We are the ones who, in looking, find ourselves as shut out from his world as he is from ours, and must strain - some more than others - to comprehend why we are not in his state and he not in ours. Perhaps that is the real significance of the “oddity” we experience when looking on this photograph (which, again, I applaud Eric for shooting and showing): the feeling that there is something deeply ridiculous about a homeless man, with probably not a euro in his pocket, drinking (and not from a bottle either, but from a glass) the beverage we associate with good times, success and the company of others. Is that what this bottle contains: the fantasies most of take for granted and, in a sense, could not live without? Or is a sweet poison, that both revives and removes the illusions that for us are real but which for him are the illusions we merely fool ourselves into believing are real?

    These are just some of the questions raised by Eric’s photograph. There are, however, many more that could (and should) be asked.

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  13. Well done, Eric. All is not lovely, but all is not lost. Paris has all things. Not "funny", peut etre, but it gives me an odd, good feeling that the man has a decent drink tonight, even if the stuff is killing him. Life is hard for many, and we are lucky to be able to think about the cruelty that we do not experience.

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  14. Eric's use of the word "funny" may have shocked some, but it's probably a matter of interpretation. As another non-native English speaker, I too read it as odd, weird, out of tack -- certainly not as amusing. The [sick] contrast between the poor man's faith and the bottle of Champagne is what makes the photo interesting and "funny", as a social comment. Paris is also that.

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  15. Wonderful shot Eric. But that Champagne makes me wonder. Did a generous person give it to him? Is he a performance artist? Did he pick up the bottle from a rubbish bin?

    Is it me or does he look a bit too well groomed for someone who we think is from that of society?

    I have so many questions. Like I said, wonderful shot today.

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  16. I really feel bad now for thinking that eric would ever find a scene like this "funny" I really hope you accept my sincere apologies Eric

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  17. Another word for this might be 'ironic'. Someone probably gave him that champagne. It came complete with a wine glass. Or could he be a drifter by choice, who somehow came into some money enough to be able to buy this? This is the wonder of photographs, or any art for that matter – it is subject to so many interpretations. What is important is its universality. We see this sight in probably every country in the world. Ok, probably not a champagne in other places, but you get my point. It is now up to us what we think about it and what we do and IF we do something about it.

    By the way (and a bit off topic), I come from a third-world country and I visited Paris several years ago when I was much younger in years, experience and maturity. I had a rose-colored view of things, and France being a first-world country and Paris being such a beautiful and luxurious city, I was jolted to see some homeless people. Again, some things are just the same all over the world.

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  18. And yet there are some people who prefer that life. As crazy as it may seem.

    France is socialist country, I do not think he has to be homeless in that type of society unless by choice.

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  19. he strikes me as a local "clochard". He may well be dressed, "looked after" and given his daily bread and wine by locals in his district.

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  20. I actually see way too much of this each day, so the photo does not shock me. The champagne, however, is a "funny" site. Picking up on this translation issue, I noticed when I came to France that my French friends often called lots of things "funny" when speaking in english. I found this strange until I understood. Here are the multiple interpretations of "funny":

    funny (amusing) adj rigolo (amusant)
    funny (amusing) adj marrant familier
    funny (amusing) adj amusant (drôle)
    funny (amusing) adj amusant
    funny (comical) adj comique (bidonnant, marrant, poilant)
    funny (curious) adj bizarre (drôle, curieux)
    funny (strange) adj drôle (étrange, bizarre)
    funny (suspect) adj suspect

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  21. Yes, that picture is sad but at the same time very interesting - homeless person drinking champagne and not only champagne but champagne from glass! this is something you usually don´t see and don´t expect to see. good catch!

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  22. I feel the enigma is deepening. The scissors on the ground, the rings on the fingers, the alkaline battery on the ground. the pendant hanging around the neck, is that a small model car on the doorstep and what is the other device also on the doorstep? Has Eric cropped this photo? I pray this man sleeps warm tonight.

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  23. You are right Michael, french people us the word "funny" ("drôle", or in slang "marrant") to also mean "stange", "curious" or "surprising".
    I don't think Champagne is enough to cheer up this poor man.
    It makes this situation all the more dramatic.

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  24. interesting photo Eric. I think you are very brave to show us pictures like these also with the eifel tower. Did the man see you?

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  25. Did you speak to him, Eric or was he not aware you took the shot? Perhaps you used a long lens?

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  26. "France is socialist country, I do not think he has to be homeless in that type of society unless by choice."

    France a socialist country?..mmm..not at all!
    The ratio between the highest salary and the lowest salary in french companies used to be 20 mximum decades ago.
    Now it reaches 200.
    Most homeless people didn't choose this situation.
    You even have more and more working-people who are homeless at the same time.

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  27. "A poor man asked for some money to the people that passed by the street. A rich man stopped next to him and gave him 2 euros. Then the rich man go to a restaurant, 5 minutes later the poor man arrives to the same restaurant and he eats a delicious food and an expensive wine. The rich man tell him that he should save the money he win in the street, and the poor man answer "If when I had money I couldn't eat this, now that I have some money and I have the possibility to eat this but I don't do it, so when I do eat this?".

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  28. I think I've seen this guy before...on blvd de la Tour Maubourg or rue Cler? And I thought the same thing about the champagne. Not haha-funny, but unexpected-funny...

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  29. Apologies Eric for my words..
    yesterday night I was really upset with all the world...

    I believe tht sometimes (like in this case) ..
    a Blog should be a good breathing space..
    that's pretty good..
    I read a lot of interesting comments..
    so..well done Eric!
    your photo was a good way for doing good reflections about the sadness and the breackness of the society..

    I use to check your blog each day...and I love it.

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  30. 1. Did you ask permission to take this photo?
    2. Did you ask permission to publish this photo?
    If no - then you have violated his basic human right to privacy and shown yourself as nothing more than a paparazzi.
    soosha_q takes the opportunity to boast about giving 'a lot' to a homeless person.
    Lynn - Marie Antoinette never said 'let them eat cake'.
    Kat believes 'that one of the great benefits of pictures is to give us insight into other lives' - insight is not enough, it's no good just feeling 'moved' by pictures like this we should do something.
    Louis launches into a long philosophical debate. Others start a debate on the semantics of 'funny' such as Michael (who isn't shocked by the photo because he sees a lot of people like this - what I find shocking is that he does not find it more shocking because of the high number of homeless) ... and Michael semantics means 'the meaning, or an interpretation of the meaning, of a word, sign, sentence, etc.' ... just so you don't need to look it up!
    Others comment 'sad but at the same time very interesting', 'interesting photo', and 'wonderful shot today'.
    Eric, I think your reasons for publishing this photo are dubious and has done nothing to help people like this.
    ... and if the rest of you think I am rude, I don't give a fuck - the same way you don't give a fuck about the plight of people like this.

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  31. Whoa Dr. A. - not just your opinion, but personal and nasty too.

    This will surely get you visitors to your site of course, so maybe that was the goal. Otherwise, why would you have spent so much time spilling out venom when you could be out helping people like him. I never saw where it was written that Eric is out to save Paris, just show it to us.

    I guess since you seem to find it necessary to improve my vocabulary, I might mention that there are many other words less vulgar than f**k... do you need some suggestions?

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  32. Michael, I don't give a fuck about more visitors to my site but they might learn something. I don't need suggestions for less vulgar words - I can google, I can use a dictionary too but that word suits my purpose. Did I say Eric was out to save Paris? and I don't care (is that less vulgar enough for you) if I have hurt your feelings - the same way you don't care about the plight of the homeless.

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  33. LOL Dr. A. I hope you have a better method than blogging to deal with your issues.

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  34. > dr a. First of all I very much appreciate that your comment is not "anonymous".

    Second, you're right I did not ask his permission but I selected one photo that does not show his entire face.

    From a personal perspective I don't think hiding controversial scenes in general is a good thing, moreover in this particular case I don't think I harmed him in anyway.

    On your "Eric, I think your reasons for publishing this photo are dubious and has done nothing to help people like this."

    I don't agree on the "dubious" part, because there was no other agenda behind this photo than just showing one of the aspects of Paris (I often get criticized for showing only the romantic and wealthy sides) but I tend to agree on the "done nothing to help" part.
    I am not pretentious enough to think that because I posted a photo on my blog it will change the face of the earth! The things I do to help homeless people don't show on my blog.

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  35. Guys..
    please..
    few words..
    more acts!

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  36. Don't worry Justine ;). Like Lynn said nobody can think of this scene as being hilarious. I should probablly have used another word. But anyway I know that these kind of posts can be controversial (look at the recent comments) it does not matter I will surely not refrain from showing every side of my beloved city!

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  37. That's right Michael just laugh it off and yes I do have better and more concrete ways of dealing with my issues and those of others.
    Sorry Eric I have to disagree I think that, although you did not show his entire face, he is still recognisable. I didn't suggest that you were trying to change the face of the earth but I do think your title for and description of the photo are flippant. The subject is too serious for that and I thought you could have risen above flippancy in this instance.
    I agree Justine 'more acts' - sometimes the right words can provoke the right acts. I certainly hope so.

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  38. A heated debate for a terrible state of affairs.

    I like Irredento's story. I'll give you another one. A few years back when I lived in Avignon a friend of mine, mother of three, found herself in dire financial straits and for more than a year relied heavily on Restos du Coeur (a charity organisation) for food. Her children ended up eating croissants almost every day because these were part of the twice-weekly packs she received (courtesy of Auchan supermarkets, who gave away all their unsold boxes of 10xcroissants to the charity at the end of each day).

    Which means you can be in terrible trouble yet feed croissants to your kids every day(which is not the healthiest thing to do BTW). Odd (drole) but true.

    Moral of the story: never jump to conclusions when you just see an image. You don't know the full story.



    I doubt

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  39. Some of what you have to say, dr. a., has merit, but your tone is unnecessarily abusive (as others have already indicated).

    That aside, I wasn't trying to be "philosophical" in what I wrote, but I do think that part of the problem (i.e. the social and political problem that results in homelessness) deserves as much thought as it does action. Describing my comments the way you did, suggests that they are in some way too introspective, too intellectual, too dispassionate, and not practical, "hands on" or empathetic enough in the circumstances (i.e. that I'm observing this man's plight from a cosy, book-lined ivory tower). Well, I don't think that we can afford to act without thinking in such cases any more than we can afford to think without acting: which, I believe, was my point. I'm sorry of it seemed too laboured or abstract: it certainly wasn't intended to be.

    Again, your criticisms would have had so much more efficacy had they not been delivered so coarsely (yes, yes, I know you don't give a ****).

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  40. No Louis my 'comments' would not have had so much more efficacy had they not been delivered so coarsely - I think they are being very effective. I have annoyed people and they are starting to think about the situation instead of just producing a glib platitude.

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  41. LAFrog said, "I too read it as odd, weird"

    I did too. Funny means those things in English as well and I say it ALL THE TIME to mean odd. Not quite sure what are the hoopla is about....

    And regarding some of the other posts....Geesh!

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  42. dr. a.: I doubt whether annoying people is going to do anything other than make them momentarily apologetic, considerate, or remorseful. If this was your intention, then I hardly think you've made any great gains in raising anybody's social or political consciousness - other than in the most superficial way. Besides, how do you know you wouldn't have been more effective using less offensive tactics if the only thing you tried was a whip where, I would argue, a firm slap would have done just as well? In my opinion, you seem to be more interested in effect than affect, despite the fact that you are totally right about the need to take glib platitudes to task.

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  43. Eric,

    You obviously did nothing wrong, this man is out on a public street which I believe makes a person fair game to have his picture taken. I know that your intentions were not malicious in any way. Do not hide any part of your city! Do not be bothered by someone who so obviously wants to spew venom on your sight. If he doesn't like it, he can go look somewhere else.

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  44. Despite all this rhetoric, I don't think my question was answered: are their homeless shelters in France for those who choose to use them?

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  45. That's quite a statement about life in 2006!

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  46. Kate, an article in the magazine L'Expansion, based on a study by INSEE (National statistics institute), reports that in an average week, there are 86,500 homeless people in France, of which 16,000 are children, that frequent a homeless shelter or receive hot meals at a distribution point.

    The homeless population is mostly male and young...3% are women.

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  47. It's "funny" that they come up with 86,500. Not 86,000 or 87,000 but 86,500. I could tell you stories about how such estimates are made! But don't worry, I won't....

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  48. I so much agree with Dr A. 100%. I also think the reasons for posting these photos are dubious, and that furthermore, you make money out of it through ads on this blog ! This really is insane ! And the title is horrible. It looks like a touch of bad taste humor.

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  49. So, Louis, what you are saying is that people will only do things to benefit people worse off than ourselves if we are nice to them?

    b bertrand - thank you for your support and thanks for pointing out the ads - I had forgotten about them.

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  50. LOL b bertrand (aka dr a. in disguise, no doubt). You have no idea the fortune I make with this blog!

    Tell you what, I make so much money with it, I can even afford to offer Champagne to homeless people...

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  51. So Tonya who joined the Air Force at age 25 to "see the world" - I didn't realize the USAF was a travel agency.
    ... and being out on a public street you believe makes a person fair game to have his picture taken so if we see you in a similar condition it's ok to take your photo?

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  52. Well ok, obviously what I was hoping to do didn't work. Dr. A, I never boasted about giving "a lot" to a homeless person. I said I see this man a lot and I did something small, which prompted others to do something small. My hope was that by telling this others will be prompted to do something to help people, even if it is a small thing. Perhaps it came off as boastful. If so, then I appologize. But I wont appologize for my comment because all it was meant to do is get others to think about helping people too.

    You can rip me up all you want, and anyone else for that matter, but I suggest you at least make sure you are quoting people properly before you do. I hope the rest of your weekend goes well, Dr. A.

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  53. My God! Give it a rest Dr. A.

    I took a picture of a homeless man sleeping also when I was in Paris...so sue me.

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  54. Admittedly, I know know jack about Dr. A. However, from what I've seen here he's just a flamer. One of those people who like to go around on the internet and start flaming wars, get people all riled up, and laugh their asses off. Also known as drama queens (or kings), they just get off on causing others strife or annoyance. Of course this might not be the case, but if it is then just ignore him, he'll go away and flame elsewhere.

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  55. Has anyone seen "Lovers on the Bridge" with Binoche? It's a film about homeless people who live on the Pont Neuf when it's being renovated. Were the filmmakers exploiting homeless people to make money? Perhaps. But I was glad someone had used art to increase awareness of a less glamorous side of Paris. Photographers early in the 20th c. thought it was important to stop taking "painterly" photos and start showing a more real glimpse of ordinary people: Bravo, Atget, Cartier-Bresson, Strand. Maybe Eric used the wrong word, but I don't feel his intention was to exploit or demean this man.

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  56. Ruth, great way to change the focus!

    I looked up Lovers on the Bridge (Les Amants du Pont-Neuf) and found this film trailer which might interest some people.

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  57. Apologize Eric. There's a bluff.
    b bertrand and dr.A are the same person!!

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  58. Michael- always so helpful and resourceful (woah, deja vu!)

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  59. I like this photo becuase even though he is homeless, there is still dignity in that he drinks the champagne from a proper glass rather than taking a big gulp straight from the bottle.

    Very nice photo Eric.

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  60. Dr. A - The Mary Antoinette quote does have some controversy over its accuracy this is certainly true. However, it is widely believed yet you say she 'did not say it'. How would you know any more than i - were you there?

    Emotive this photograph is and surely we should collectively agree that, if nothing else, it has brought the omnipresent plight of the homeless in Paris to our attention? Must be a good thing, or would it be preferable to walk on by, not noticing, commenting or informing?

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  61. Dear me Eric, you've stirred up a hornet's nest with this photo. Perhaps the guy is happy to be a nomad, whth no cares & responsibilities. Some tramps are happy with their lifestyle and wouldn't be able to cope in the real world of work, taxes & mortgages. You never know what's in the bottle. It maybe the best Moet, or it could be just meths. I enjoy all your photos & pleased that you visit my blog. I'm just looking to attract as many visitors as you get.

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  62. Wonderful, though sad. I notice the lighter in his hand....probably waiting for someone to offer a Sobranie Black Russian cigarette!

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  63. Susan95 - sorry, I won't give it a rest - did I touch a raw nerve?
    soosha_q I'm not a flamer, otherwise I wouldn't have my own blog.
    AND b bertrand and dr. a. are not the same person. Sorry to spoil that theory Eric.

    lynn I was only telling you what I had read from professional publications - pardon me if they are wrong.

    We're not entirely sure who said "Let them eat cake," but we can tell you that it wasn't Marie Antoinette. This flippant phrase about consuming pastry is commonly attributed to the frivolous queen in the days leading up to the French Revolution. Supposedly, she spoke these words upon hearing how the peasantry had no bread to eat. But biographers and historians have found no evidence that Marie uttered these words or anything like them.

    Our old pal Cecil Adams of The Straight Dope explains the quotation was first written by French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau in Confessions. Actually, Rousseau wrote "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche," which essentially means "let them eat a type of egg-based bread" (not quite cake, but still a bit extravagant). Rousseau claimed that "a great princess" told the peasants to eat cake/brioche when she heard they had no bread.

    But Rousseau wrote this in early 1766, when Marie Antoinette was only 10 years old, still living in her native Austria and not yet married to King Louis XVI. So it's highly unlikely that Marie uttered the pompous phrase. Perhaps Rousseau invented them to illustrate the divide between royalty and the poor -- which is certainly how the phrase has been used ever since.

    check this here : http://ask.yahoo.com/20021122.html

    and as for 'would it be preferable to walk on by, not noticing, commenting or informing?' what about walking by and doing nothing? soosha_q did give money to a homeless guy so I applaud her for that, perhaps I shouldn't have been too harsh on her but I was really angry when I wrote my first comment.

    Ruth - I don't feel Eric's intention was to exploit or demean this man either - I just felt he was a bit flippant and perhaps (unintentionally) invaded his privacy - unfortunately because of the man's circumstances I feel he cannot be anything other than demeaned.

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  64. soosha_q - I'm not laughing my ass off - this is too serious a subject and if you had looked at my blog (not an invitation by the way since Michael thinks I am trying to increase traffic)you would have seen how serious I can be. I can be flippant too but not about something like this.

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  65. Goodness me what a lot of research, Dr. A! I'd love a Sunday so free i could do all that just for fun. I'm impressed and found it most interesting, thank you. Fact remains though 'no smoke without fire'- someone somewhere must have said she said it. Anyway, i suggest we move on from this, it's more of an historic sojourn than a relevance here.
    I'm sure that you can be serious, not that i've had a second to look at your blog, as captivating as i'm certain it is, but so can others. Being homeless is serious indeed and as i said, we are all now more aware of the problem in Paris. Perhaps when we are there, we will make more of an effort to give something. Maybe even there is someone looking in who is in a position to attack the cause instead of the symptoms. All because of one photo. People work hard all over the world to raise awareness of issues. Wouldn't it be wonderful to achieve something with one photo. That would indeed be all good, would it not? Happy Sunday.

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  66. People, People, Stop! Visit some other bloggers and give them some feedback (week-ends are always slow and your attention will be welcomed), and give some thought to how society and individuals can help the homeless. Go in peace!!

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  67. I'm not going to waste any more words (other than these) or time (other than these few seconds) on you, dr. a., as your myopic, vitriolic, self-aggrandising rhetoric is getting tiresome. I'll just point out what I actually said, and leave it at that:

    "Besides, how do you know you wouldn't have been more effective using less offensive tactics if the only thing you tried was a whip where, I would argue, a firm slap would have done just as well?"

    I don't believe anyone would class a firm slap as being "nice".

    End of story.

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  68. Great shot, Eric. 365 photos and counting, and you're still making us think.

    One of the (many) things I like about this blog is the feeling that you're just going about your daily life, shooting whatever interesting street scene you happen to come across that day -- very random slices of Parisian life. I don't see much of agenda beyond "Hey, guess what I saw today (and managed to capture in focus with right light and good composition)?" You leave it to your guests to reminisce over, wonder about, laugh at or judge as they see fit.

    I never know what kind of photo will pop up when I visit this blog every day. Guess that's why I made it my homepage.

    Thanks,

    Barb

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  69. Louis somehow I don't think it is the end of story. The homeless just don't go away.

    P.S. thanks for all the compliments (c:

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  70. In England we use the phrase 'funny peculiar, not funny ha ha', or vice versa, whichever applies.

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  71. That would make dr. A (can anyone guess what the "A" stands for?) 'funny peculiar' then.

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  72. Here's some sobering news for France. The French economy suffered a "surprise" slowdown with the worst performance since the second quarter of 2005. Here's the article. This will no doubt have an effect on the situation of many people.

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  73. Wow!! I thought PDP had become "San Francisco Daily Photo" for a minute there! It is true that in the USA the city of San Francisco has more than in it's share of Homeless and Drug Addicts living on the street, but most tourists refer to them as "Your Homeless Here" whenever they visit. They don't realize that they are not "Our" Homeless as they come from all over the country to live on the streets here, the same I am sure as in Paris.

    I actually saw an expose on TV5-Monde that was about a man living on the streets of Paris that entertained people with his pet rabbit, he was actually from an Eastern Bloc country and wasn't French at all...his wife had died and through a strange set of circumstances he ended up in Paris. The "Homeless" belong to all of us and it is sad that in a world where there are people that have so much, there are so many who don't have enough. We all should be more aware of this.

    Excellent photo Eric!!! For the anonymous that claims France to be a Socialist country...Well, time to do some research. France is NOT a Socialist country, au contraire!!! Anon was probably ...American???

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  74. Wow! What a day. And it's not the first time I show a homeless person here, I don't know why today, it triggered all that fuss.

    Anyway, I kinda like it when people exchange their point of view even tough it can get pretty tough (we're not used to dealing with Dr A. yet, are we?!)

    I also had the pleasure of reading some people for the first time (people like Barbscoot or Robyn - BTW, you're right, I took this photo in the 7th, rue Cler)) - it's always a pleasure to greet new contributors.

    OK, it's 11:30, it's been a long Sunday, time for me to post a photo and to go to bed... Nite nite everyone!

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  75. Dr. A is definitely the kind of person I have spent most of my life trying to avoid except that I have had to work with some of them and have relatives of a similar nature. If Dr. A is a regular on PDP he should know that Eric and Michael are kind souls. They are always caring and kind. And why the F word? I know it is fashionable in many circles but I still find it unnecessary to drive a point home. I saw Lovers on the Bridge. It made me very very sad even though I couldn't understand all the French. I wonder if there is a goverment of some country that deals adequately with this universal problem?

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  76. Wow, look at that, 77 comments on a ... Sunday?!!! Looks like I missed all the action today, uh? ;)

    Hopefully this debate is long over by now and everybody's gone, so I'll just add a quick couple of things :

    First, I don't understand why people would think that this particular picture or the wording underneath is offensive.

    The picture is what it is, but it isn't the first homeless guy's picture on this blog (one was a bunch of tents under a bridge and the other was a homeless guy in black and white, if memory serves) so why is this one a problem?

    "Funny" in American English (well, in California, at least) also has a double meaning, like "drole" en Français, so I don't understand the confusion there either.

    Anyway, when I saw the picture, my gut reaction was that maybe somebody handed that guy the champagne and the glass, like maybe to give him a break or something.

    We do the same thing in San Francisco: we buy pizzas, sandwiches, sleeping bags, we give them clothes if they're in good shape and they fit them, or other useful stuff (flashlight, batteries, whatever), especially around winter time and when Christmas comes around.

    Over the years, we know the homeless in the neighborhood and they know us.

    We all feel bad, and I guess it is because most of us feel that we could very easily end up there, too, following a serious injury or loss of job or something of that nature...

    In any event, that picture may have been provocative to some, but I really don't understand why it generated so much venom and hostility.

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  77. It was simply Eric's unfortunate choice of the word 'funny' i think. Most of us with a wider vocabulary knew exactly what he meant. Night, Eric. Sleep well!

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  78. I haven't read all the comments, but in addition to the poor man drinking what appears to be champagne, it seems even odder to me that he has, not a plastic or paper cup, but a proper glass. How peculiar...odd...strange...and, yes, in that sense, yes, funny.

    Eric, like most of your other photos, this one is exceptional. Thank you.

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  79. Well seems that I missed all the fuss (thank goodness). A great photo Eric and unfortunately, one person took away from the real meaning of what could have been a constructive discussion. Thank you again for showing us Paris in all it's glory and not so glory.

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  80. Dr. A--Thanks for the personal attack. Real mature for a 50 something year old man. I have never viewed the AF as a travel agency, and trust me my reasons for joining and faithfully serving MY country for seven years run a lot deeper than travel! I serve so that jerks like you can spew venom and attack whomever you chose. Just like my Grandfather did. How about having a rational debate without attacking people on a personal level. That's a concept that's not too hard to wrap your mind around.

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  81. if you think this is funny your sick

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  82. Eric, PDP is like your home and everyday we are invited to visit and enjoy whatever coffee, wine, champagne, beer or bitter herbal tea that you offer...sometimes I come by, really like what you offer and tell you so, sometimes I stay and enjoy and just leave without saying anything...but if you offer anything that I don't like (which hasn't happened so far) I don't think I would yell at you and be malicious just because it's not my cup of tea...I'm basically just a guest and have no right to boss you...so please keep on offering whatever you feel like and don't be bother by silly people.

    and about today's drink...I have never seen champagne in this context...thank you for showing it. :-)

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  83. Tonya - you're the one who said on your blog that you joined the airforce to see the world! and if you read over the comments I think you will see that most of the venom was directed at me just because I called Eric to task about posting this photo.

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  84. Dr A--I apologize for not putting every single reason that I joined the military in my blogspot profile. Since you are so interested, here ya go!

    I joined the AF to travel and see the world while serving my country, helping the sick in need, doing humanitarian aid missions to the less fortunate, gaining pride in personal accomplishments, earning money for education, and doing my job, and caring for patients in a setting that I could only imagine in the civilian sector. I also joined because I wanted to give something back.

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  85. Tonya...don't waste your time. He's gotten way off the subject and has nobody else to talk to. Let's move on, and thanks for your dedication in the service.

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  86. Tonya... my father, my grandfather and my great grandfather all served their country but it was their country they were serving not fighting somebody else's war.

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  87. For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.

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  88. Well, I wonder if this comment litany will ever end! It's not easy to let it go; someone keeps wanting the last word. And it's my turn. :)

    I just have to say that ALL THE WAY AROUND, none of us is in a position to know where another is coming from. Not Eric, not the homeless man, not Dr. A, not me. Just as we don't know what circumstances keep this man on the street at night, we don't know where the anger that Dr. A. felt in reaction to the post came from. I for one am not going to assume that you, Dr. A, are nothing but a jerk, just because you raged here (quite rudely). Maybe in another context you are respectable and respectful. Who's to know, but you?

    Next?

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  89. Sorry you feel that way Ruth - you know nothing about me yet call me a jerk because I raged against something I feel strongly about. How would you like it if I called you a jerk for raging against something like child abuse for instance. (And yes I would rage very strongly against that).
    I don't think I was rude - I would say I was blunt but only to get my point across. Perhaps I was too blunt but that may be because of my advanced years and I don't think I deserved all the abuse I got and I believe Eric saw my point of view. Actually I think he was amused by it (but perhaps I'm wrong on that).

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  90. it seems in France even homeless people have style:)

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  91. I hate to add to this more, but you didn't really try anything but blunt, as you called it. Personally I would have tried saying things nicely at first and then perhaps if I hadn't gotten my point across I might have moved to blunt. But that's just me. Suppose you have a different and much more direct style.

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  92. Eric, Dr. A. is a troll. They're better left ignored. Anyways, your blog is too valuable to waste time on controversial for the hell of it yet without substance characters.

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  93. Santa on holiday after a long night out perhaps!?

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  94. Funny comment John - not the man's plight, but the comment.

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  95. ben c'est moi sur la photoNovember 14, 2006 at 9:16:00 AM GMT+1

    voila ce qui arrive aprés avoir gagné à l'euromillion, j'ai eu tant de femmes, tant de voitures, sortie en boîtes, restaurant de luxes, palaces, tant d'argent,de relations diverses, mais gràce à l'euromillions j'ai gardé ma fierté et mon style, la société ne veut pas de nous et bien tant mieux je ne veux pas d'elle (merci Coluche), depuis je suis dans la rue, j'ai gardé mon côté Rock and roll et je continerai a boire avec une coupe.
    à votre santé.

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  96. LOL - to approximate Ben into English:

    "Hi folks - the picture's of me, Ben. This is what happens when you win the Euromillions. I've got hordes of women, garages full of cars, I eat in the best restaurants and palaces but through it all I've kept my pride and my style. Society doesn't want me, and I don't want it. Since I am in the street I keep my Rock&Roll side and continue to drink with a glass. Cheers!

    (That close enough, Eric?)

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  97. Perfect Ham! Perfect (OK, his name is not Ben, but it could be!

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  98. Yes, good translation, that's how i read it too. Wouldn't it be great if you could get a comment out of this man, Eric?

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  99. Y'en a qui ne vont peut être pas rire longtemps (bien que je ne souhaite cette situation à personne). Gardons à l'esprit que ce genre de chose peut arriver à chacun d'entre nous.

    Respectons ces personnes qui n'ont pas eu autant de chance de nous. Respecter cela veut dire se rappeler que ce sont bien des personnes et non des objets.

    Je trouve que vous faites de très jolies photos, Eric, et je comprends que vous teniez à présenter Paris sous tous ses aspects. Je veux bien croire qu'ici vos intentions n'étaient pas mauvaises, mais (si je puis me permettre) je pense qu'il serait préférable que vous vous absteniez à l'avenir de photographier ces personnes. Leur dignité d'homme est, je pense, tout ce qu'il leur reste. (Dignité selon Wikipédia : "Cela signifie que tout homme mérite un respect inconditionnel, quel que soit l'âge, le sexe, la santé physique ou mentale, la religion, la condition sociale ou l'origine ethnique de l'individu en question.") Mais, bien sûr, c'est votre blog...

    C'est, je crois, ce qu'a voulu dire Dr.a., avec des mots peut être un peu trop...directs. (mais cela partait d'un bon sentiment, j'en suis sûre)

    Bon, je vous laisse, le mieux est d'arrêter de parler et d'agir.

    Bonne journée à tous.

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  100. 123 - je pense que vous avez tort. C'est importante pour l'occasion d'avoir l'information de la cite - en tout cas. Si on presente la vie belle toujours, on n'a pas la verite. Sans ca verite, nous ne pouvons pas aider les gens dans ces situations.

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  101. J'epere que vous avez compris mon francais - j'suis desolee pour les erreurs.

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  102. J'espere, pas j'epere! ooh, la la! il y a quelques annees depuis ecrivant la langage francais. .... eu... comme vous voyez!

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  103. Actually folks, take a closer look: both at the photo and your own preconceptions. I'm not so certain this guy is a down-and-out. His hair is neatly combed, his jeans are not THAT long washed. His boots, jacket sweater, gloves all look OK (what we can see of them) his bags are relatively new. He appears to be wearing a ring on each hand. He appears to have a lanyard - for a mobile phone? - around his neck. And he is drinking champagne out of a glass.

    Whatever, I'd say that he is where he is because he chooses to be. Use your eyes, as Eric did when he took the picture. His description is that this guy is "aside from our society" is probably right. But please don't let your misguided attempts at political correctness stifle enjoyment and appreciation of the richness of this world we live in.

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  104. This is very observant of you Ham and I'm quite sorry i didn't notice all this for myself. Makes his story all the more interesting. I feel a feature is required on this man, Eric, for one of your outlets. You could interview him, show him all of our comments and see what his story and reaction is. The fact that he has attracted so much opinion is surely newsworthy somewhere is it not?

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  105. Well Eric, it looks like this post will be one of PDP's big moments. I don't remember the previous homeless you showed us made so many and controversial comment. May be the reason this time is that despite what you said one can recognise the guy.

    When I first saw it, it reminded me a short paper I red lately in a free newspaper, about a homeless pushed into the Seine River by a tourist after a dispute because the tourist had taken a picture of his tent along the river (like the one you captured on PDP a few ago…). It was said the tourist ran away and the homeless finally could make it out of the river.

    To Ham : your comment is interesting but still, thanks to La Croix Rouge, Emmaus and some other associations, homeless people are allowed decent clothes and a minimum of self respect like cleaning themselves (sorry for my bad english which may sound weird here) from time to time.

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  106. Yes, gg, you're absolutly right, Many, many thanks to La Croix Rouge, Emmaus and the others. They do a great job.

    Lynn, thank you too for making an effort to write in French, I appreciate it. I think you've not understood what I've written to Eric. I said I understood him and it's good to show us all the "sides" of Paris. I just wished we couldn't see that poor man (maybe he could have blurred his face at least). Dignity (he deserves_ I hope "dignity" is the right word) is the last thing he seems to own. I just said I hope Eric will not post that kind of picture in the future. That's a kind request.

    Ham, we can assume (or speculate) everything or (anything). It would be nice to talk to that man and know his "story" (without judging him, because noone can judge, it's so easy to criticise)

    Sorry for my bad English, I hope, you've understood my (humble) point of view now.

    Saint Exupéry was really right "Words are a source of misunderstanding" ! :)

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  107. OK, I gotta ask: why do some of you think this picture takes away the man's dignity? I don't get it. It's not the first picture of a person on a (non-commercial, I should add!) blog and certainly not the last. Why is this one triggering all these emotional reactions?

    All it does is try to show a contrast between what is perceived as a luxury (champagne + glass) and what is perceived to be the harshest of the conditions (being in the streets - which, in most countries, could happen to anybody).

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  108. I agree with you tomate farcie. Get a grip everyone. It does not mean that people do not care or that this person is any less human because he appears on a blog. In fact, he would probably be impressed he got all of this attention. Of course he'd probably rather be seeing it from the comfort of his own home.

    But as Ham wrote above...I'm not even sure he's as bad off as everybody (Dr. A. in particular) would like us to think.

    I like the photo Eric and your courage to show us all sides of Paris.

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  109. ...excuse me Mr Cartier-Bresson, I really think that you are infringing on the human rights of your subjects. Mr Lartigue? Why would anyone want to look at a photograph of a stranger - and if you do take any pictures make sure you go up and get them to sign a model release form. And MISTER Doiseneau. People in public streets are entitled to privacy, you know.

    Get a grip. The only photographer who'd make it through unscathed would be Ansel Adams - and I bet somone would come up with "Trees and rocks have rights, too".

    There is a basic freedom to record anything that happens in public.

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  110. Ham, you're cracking me up. I remember a photo you posted on London Daily Photo that evoked the same emotions/reactions from you.

    I also loved the story of the Troller, Troglodyte, Godzilla and Idealogue. How did you find those? I feel much better educated in the blogosphere now!

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  111. 123 - Your English is excellent. Probably far better than my French. However, i did understand you, perhaps my reply didn't express well enough my view that it is good to see this man and to block out his details would be to hide the truth. How can we stop this homeless problem if we are shown edited versions of the truth?

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  112. ... but of course, I forgot, silly me Monsieur Doisneau et al had the same privacy laws as us !!!!
    Somehow I think not.
    There is not a basic freedom to record (and by record I assume you mean making an image, digital or otherwise of)anything that happens in public. Whatever gave you that idea?

    mary t .. it was Eric who said 'this guy is obviously aside our society and surely below the standard of living of any Frenchman'. and just because a person is down and out doesn't mean he is incapable of washing or combing his hair.

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  113. Probably referring to photographic publishing laws which say that scenes in a public place or people who put themselves in the public domain or area are reasonably fair game to be photographed, as opposed to poking a long lens into someone's bathroom. Or words to that effect.. i don't recall the exact text.

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  114. Eric, from the number of comments posted, I can only say "Bravo!" That post was highly successful and deliciously provocative.

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  115. ben c'est moi sur la photoNovember 15, 2006 at 3:18:00 AM GMT+1

    heureusement il y a la super cagnote vendredi, je pensse que cela va me refaire une santé, c'est que je me dit tout les matins, a boire que je puisse m'affoissot.

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  116. people who put themselves in the public domain!!!!! - we all put ourselves in the public domain but we are still entitled to privacy.
    There are strict privacy laws, trespass laws and decency laws in the UK - don't know about France and elsewhere.

    Ham - you are an idiot, you do not have to look too closely at the photo to see the stains on the jeans, the gloves are ragged round the edges. He does appear to have a lanyard but no mobile phone - people drop these things all the time, others pick them up - it could also be one of these medallions with medical history on it. And he is NOT drinking champagne out of a glass. HE IS NOT DRINKING AT ALL. SO - if he combs his hair then he is not homeless? - what you are promoting is the popular misconception of a filthy bum who cannot be bothered with personal hygiene. Just because a person is in distressed circumstances doesn't mean that he has no dignity.

    So I suppose the one thing this photo shows that this man still has been able to retain his dignity.

    What has been niggling at me is the bottle and glass, the man is staring at them as if he has never seen them before, as if somebody has just set them down in front of him, as if he is thinking 'now where did they come from?'

    Because there is gold foil round the top of the bottle doesn't mean it is champagne (we can't see the label to verify that) there are a number of cheap alternatives that it could be.

    ... and Eric I'm amazed that a Frenchman should mis-spell champagne!

    Well I'm going to raise my glass and say 'Slainte, here's to the man who can retain his dignity'

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  117. When I look at this photograph I don't see a man drinking champagne - under any circumstances. I see a man folded up on himself - clearly unhappy. He is not drinking the champagne - he is looking at it, and the more I look at it, the more I believe that some revellers left it there on their way home. I've seen similar happen where I live. Callous, yes?

    So, he is neat and clean - that's great. It is good to see that he is not letting his standards drop more than neccessary (than his circumstances dictate),and he does not seem to be alcoholic either (the glass is sitting away from him, as pointed out).

    Part of photography is often getting the story with the image. I would not have left this scene without talking to the guy - checking that he didn't mind having his photograph taken, or published, and something else that hasn't been mentioned - I would have paid him for the privilege of using him as a model.

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  118. Hi Eric,

    I've been a daily reader of your blog for about a year now, and you're probably the only reason why I missed Paris while I was living in Florida last year! PDP was the only thing that made me realize I hadn't lived in Florida my whole life and that there'd be this beautiful city to look forward to seeing again when I got back.

    This being said, I just thought I'd put in my two cents and say that, IMHO, you certainly didn't deserve the abuse you got from people with political agendas on their minds, and that considering how many sensible and sensitive people visit and leave considerate and intelligent comments on your blog, you shouldn't pay attention to flamers. Particularly so if they have to insult people to get their point across. But I'm sure you'd already figured!

    Take care,
    Ch.

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  119. Dr. A. the law about photography in public by the public is as i stated, as far as i am aware, in the UK. For newspaper publishing, there are additional stipulations that it must be found to be newsworthy and relevant to public interest / need to know. Again, i forget the exact text and not time to look it up.

    chillzero might have started the whole issue all over again then! watch out Eric.

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  120. sorry charles - there's nothing political about my mind. Just plain, simple humanitarianism.

    ... and lynn you must portray people in a way they would wish to be portrayed. public interest doesn't come into the equation - that's a fallacy dreamt up by the news media.

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  121. well i respect your views there Dr. A., about how you think photographers should behave. I, on the other hand, was talking about laws. Quite a different thing from morals or personal views.

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  122. no lynn that's not my view that is law.

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  123. putain Eric tu en n'a eu des posts sur ce pauvre homme...
    es ce que le docteur a c'est posé une fois la question du temps qu'il a pue passer a écrire tout son charabia et ces impotaises sur la loie et le reste...
    du moins l'avantage que nous disposons dans notre territoire c'est la liberté de parole...
    Liberté Egalité Fraternité les valeurs qui serte parfois reste baffoués au sein d'une catégorie de personnages qui nous entoures mais de là à nous donner des leçons de morale, pour ma part docteur a je lui dis tout simplement "oh tait toi pastéque, la misére existe pas que dans les pays pauvres elle est partout meme en bas de chez sois, il y a des hommes riches et il y a des hommes pauvres cela s'appelle la sociéte, voir de nos jours la mondialisation, a défaut d'avoir une guerre mondiale l'etre humain a crée une guerre industrielle, et pis docteur TERMINATOR ferme là..."...
    et de plus ton clichés est original comme celui que l'on peut voir sur le site de l'afp ou notre ChiChi national se fait schooté avec un minots dans une banlieu d'amiens, c'est un instant volé, et qui de plus reste original...
    et si Capa Nachtwey Cartier Bresson Doisneau on l'ai avait fait emmerdé comme çà, il n'y aurait pas eu cette belle et profonde liberté d'esprit...
    à bonne entendeur salute è pace...

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  124. Putain? Isn't this a very offensive word if my French serves me correctly?

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  125. Lynn: used in that context, the word "putain" in the beginning of the sentence means nothing more than an interjection. (I wouldn't recomment using it, though, but it's not as bad as it seems and commonly used). In the states, people would probably say "damn" instead, just as a way to get a little emphasis on the sentence.

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  126. thanks Tomate, i was a bit shocked i must say! Never seen it used like that before. Not..that... i've seen it used the other way either,.. it's just .. that ... erm... lol oh well anyway thanks! lol. red faced now....

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  127. You can tell he's really homeless because he's not using a proper Champagne flute.

    (Blogger is giving me a hard time signing in!)

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  128. Lynn: Here is an example.

    Damn [or Fuck], my car broke down again!! (USA)

    Bloddy hell, my car broke down again !! (UK)

    Putain, ma voiture est encore en panne!! (FR)

    You seem what I mean? :-)

    (Buzzgirl, it's Blogger again, and possibly the fact that we're all camping on this website to see what's gonna happen next ;)

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  129. (oops, I meant you "see" what I mean, not "seem" )

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  130. It seems to me Dr. A's abusive comments have focused everyone's attention on 'defending Eric' rather than on the proper debate on people's right to their own image, which is a very valid topic.

    This right is recognised by French law. For example if you take a picture of people demonstrating in the street, those who wish not to be recognised have a right to have their face blurred. However if they see you taking a picture of them and don't oppose at the time, it is assumed that they consent.

    In the case of this man, he did not see Eric take a picture of him so he had no chance to oppose.

    Then from a legal point of view the whole point becomes whether the man's face is recognisable or not, and Eric took that in consideration: he chose the photo where the man's face was down. I think everyone would agree that he would be hard to recognise. Good on you Eric.

    Eric's post "French women do get fat" (which also generated a heated debate here)was taken from behind and it was essential. Showing the lady's face would have been totally inappropriate.

    This incident is a reminder that the world has changed since Doisneau and Cartier-Bresson. Images today spread worldwide at the flick of a 'send' button. Digital manipulation of images is becoming easier everyday, and not always with good intentions.

    It is our responsibility as city photo bloggers to take and pick photos that are considerate of others : Take our photos in such a way that their faces are unrecognisable OR obtain consent from the people we photograph.

    That's what I do. It's the law and it's only fair too.

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  131. "Les misères de la vie enseignent l'art du silence" Sénèque
    "On répond au fou par le silence" Hazrat Ali
    ps: merci Lynn pour ton compliment.
    (et c'est mon dernier commentaire, le mieux est d'agir !)

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  132. Thanks, Tomate! Good to know. Chouette!

    Nathalie - well we don't actually know for sure he didn't see Eric taking a photo do we? The fact that he's looking away in the shot doesn't mean he hadn't spotted Eric before.
    Eric?

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  133. et dire que sénèque a sa tour dans le cap Corse...

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  134. Yes, let us consider more important things, like cheese and kitchen sinks.

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  135. Should be enough material for you to work with Dr. A. One smells and the other is used to dispose of waste. Just what the doctor ordered.

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  136. Hi Eric, It is a great. The debate on human rights (of image) is also very important. I’m sure you have considered it deeply and have your own criteria. A famous person might take someone to court for having their images published unknowingly but what about ordinary people in the street? I have taken photos of strangers and published them without consent. True, there are/were limits and I tried to apply some criteria of sensitivity – such as the face not being clear in this case. It’s difficult without people there would be no city.

    By the way I often wonder what the Afghan woman in the famous picture on the front of National Geographic got in return for her image.

    All the best

    Bob

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  137. Hey Bob...good to see you again. Have been wondering what you've been up to.

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  138. I could not resist making a post for this picture. He looks so sad and lonely but he is also drinking champagne. Bums here in NYC rarely drinkg expensive drinks liek this. They usually have a cheap red wine and crack.

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  139. I just came here after visiting london daily photo and am amazed at the discussion taking place. How ridiculous that so many people would make such a big deal out of a simple photograph. I guess that is what you call success when so many people discuss a work of art.

    As for this Dr. A. creep, he would have been so much more effective in his goal and purpose had he tried to win people over versus bowl them over.

    Thierry - London

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  140. ... and that says it all. You all see this as a work of art - the man has become an inanimate object and is no longer a person with feelings. You all assumed that I was attacking Eric, his photo and his blog but if you read my first post you will see that it was you and your attitudes to this person that annoyed me.

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  141. Never seen so many comments on one post before.

    The debate both legal and moral on how we use photographs of people is important but different laws apply in different countries and circumstances alter how such laws are interpreted so at the end of the day we can never arrive at a definitive solution.

    I'm sorry to have say this but Dr.A's moral outrage about people's supposed attitude to the person depicted wear somewhat thin when he accuses Ruth of calling him a jerk. Read her post again and you will see that this is exactly the opposite of what she was saying.

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  142. oops! ... simple mistake gerald. I have read her post again and all that I can say is the double negative confused me or I was wearing the wrong glasses - my apologies to ruth for accusing you in the wrong. So please don't dismiss my point of view because of a small error like that.

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  143. Dr. A., thanks. I can see how the double negative was misleading. I'm grateful to Gerald for catching it and pointing it out.

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  144. Ahhh this is nice. Everyone making up. See, the world isn't such a bad place after all.

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  145. I just found your blog and was glad to see this picture of the homeless man. We lived for four months on Avenue de la Motte Picquet across the street from where this man lived on the street. Our children called him "our homeless man". The day we arrived in Paris in August, 2005, he was passed out in front of the newstand on the corner of Motte Picquet. That was our children's introduction to living in a large city. We tried to explain to the kids what was going on when an ambulance came for him. We saw him taken away a couple of times by ambulance but he always returned. One cold December night we had pizza for my husband's students and had a couple left over that my son and husband took down to him. Sometimes we would see him shopping at the Leader Price on rue Cler. The night before we left Paris, we saw him taken away again in an ambulance and my children have always wondered what happened to him. They were glad to see he was still there, with his hair and beard looking quite a bit longer than last year.

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  146. hi, I`m from Germany and I wonder me what you about telling?
    It is useful? maybe!
    see you torsten
    Hotel Rothenburger Hof Dresden

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  147. I think political correctness reaches new levels of outrageousness when people can't see poetry, irony and even humor in an interesting juxtaposition of details. At one time or another, probably every human on earth could be caught in an instant on film that in some way jars the senses.
    What occurs to me is that perhaps someone celebrating passed by and decided to spread the good cheer to this guy. In any case, it is poetic.
    This is a fantastic photo. Well done!

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