Monday, June 09, 2008

Eye on France


What would Joséphine de Beauharnais (I guess it's her in the photo!) have thought of today's (Sunday) debate in Le Sénat, where CNN was closing its Eye on France week. I don't know, but it was interesting to hear what the 5 representatives of the nowadays French society had to answer to the questions of Hala Gorani, the host of the debate. Has France turned a new page since the election of Nicolas Sarkozy? The answer depends on which political side you stand, of course, but all along this debate, I could not help but thinking that the set CNN chose to close this week was the Senate, that is something symbolic of our past glory. What is France currently building/creating/inventing... that will be chosen by the next CNN in 300 years?

61 comments:

  1. Yikes -- politics! Way over my had, I'm afraid. But here's Nappy's beautiful Joe. Great photo as usual, Eric!

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  2. Oops -- that would be head, not had. What can I say? I was going for the hat trick (thanks for the use of the computer, Hilda).
    BTW, when I worked in the modeling agency il y'avait une fois, I had a child model named Luc Besson, and I'm sure it's the same one (he was sooo adorable at age 4).

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  3. Eric, you truly keep your finger on the pulse of Paris! What an opulent setting (even more evident from the additional photos). Of course, I think CNN needed Eric Tenin on its panel! (I'm sure many PDPers will agree.)

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  4. Eric, was Roland-Garros final so boring that you had to switch to CNN?
    Are you really found of politics on Sundays? Or was it just because this CNN "French week" started on PDP?

    Alexa, GF again... My respect!

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  5. Yes it certainly seems to me that France is changing since the presence of Sarkozy.

    Guille i have emailed you!

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  6. Looking at the opulence of the Senate my first reaction was that it is a glorious victory of the nation of France just to enable the "ancient" to survive into the present.

    "What is France currently building/creating/inventing... that will be chosen by the next CNN in 300 years?" My vote goes to this.

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  7. Alexa -- way to go! I logged onto my computer at 1 minute after the hour, hoping...hoping, but guess what! PDP said that it was 7 minutes after the hour and there were 6 comments posted already. My computer's clock must be off :^[
    (Not that I'm the least bit interested in getting GF, you understand, it didn't even cross my mind....hmmm. :)

    Eric -- Well, now I'm seeing similarities everywhere -- this choice reminds me of the double circles and the metal in yesterday's shot. I love this still life. Past meets present. The other photos are really interestint, too. Would love to see the rest of the inside. Is this chamber open to the public? Probably not, but perhaps, if it is, I can get to see it when I come in November. If not, do you have more pix, Eric, for us mere mortals??!!

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  8. TG -- again, I'm LOL.

    Let's see, past meets present. In 300 years we'll have the bust of Joe presiding over select honorees as they negotiate their way up and down the ramp, which will then be closed to mere mortals, due to its great and solemn import as a symbol of the heights of refinement and decorum reached in our time. :}

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  9. Whatever France creates into the future will mean nothing if it doesn't allow this to flourish. (Don't forget to scroll down a bit).

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  10. Carrie: That is so well written, and a gut-buster as well!

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  11. Ah, tall gary, you are so right.

    Just went to Eric's link to Eye on France. Of the 17 people across the country who Jim Bitteman asked, "What does it mean to be French?" only 3 were women (and one of those was asked as a couple with her husband). Think one of those 15 men should at least have been Eric. And one of the women was a law student, so why not Guille, eh? I'm just saying . . .

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  12. CNN, the media, in 300 years. Oh my - it's hard to imagine what it will be like! I imagine that records like PDP, which show such creativity and cross-cultural communication, will be much remembered.

    I wonder whether much modern architecture will be cherished? Modern art? Music? Which composers of today will still be studied, as Chopin is now?

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  13. Aaaww -- TG -- (hope you don't mind me calling you that) how romantic. And, if France allows 'this' to flourish, it can't help but create the future! Actually, I can't picture a Paris -or a France - that doesn't celebrate love and the joys of the pursuit.

    Its part of what I love about being in France. (Right, Lynne!?) ;) Ahhh...six mois...

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  14. Well, don't know if Jojo or Nappy were jazz lovers (probably were), but I'm glad our jazz musicians had a home in Paris when the US was still backwards in its treatment and acceptance of black society and its beautiful art. Perhaps, the future of France will be as accepting of "otherness" but at present it's hard to know for certain. I remain hopeful. That's where your PDP, dear Eric, has offered a glimpse into what "can be" if you are open to cultivating friendships instead of just your own gardens. Need I go on?

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  15. I followed some of the reporting of Eye on France.
    Eric, as much as I enjoy watching CNN (not when all day long the only topic is the american elections. I know it's a big issue, but enough is enough!) I think it's safe to say that France will still be there in 300 years, but CNN will probably turn into something else completely...

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  16. Lynn!!! I went to the movies yesterday to see SATC!!!!!! L-O-V-E-D it!

    Did you watch it already? I think you'll like it..

    Guille, I have email you too!

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  17. I do find it interesting to see what other people think. As far as politics go, I have little patience with those who love to discuss and argue and discuss, ad infinitum! Short, sweet, to the point, and move on is my motto for that!

    Eric, again, nice shot and great question. What will anyone remember about us in 300 years?

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  18. Short, sweet and to the point, just like this awesome photo, wonder what she is thinking? LOL :)

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  19. Coltrane -- Nappy?? JoJo?? You crack me up. Did they like jazz? Sure, I can just picture them groovin' to Monk, can't you?
    You made me recall that when I was in Paris, a dj friend at a jazz station in NYC was doing a big show about Django Reinhardt & Stephane Grappelli and their quintet. He sent me a promo about it & asked me to get it to Grappelli, which I did. Anyway, a few months later I got a Happy New Year card from him. Yes, I still have it.

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  20. Coltrane, I went to Eric's Eye on France link (plus one click) and the fifth one from the top, Linda Lee Hopkins, deals with your comment above.

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  21. Thanks for the links to Eye on France; interesting!
    What will the government of France -- and of other countries -- be like in 300 years? How will the world map have changed?
    I wonder what technologies will be in use in 300 years? And what will be the balance between new tech and tradition?
    TG is right, tho -- love will most certainly still be around in 300 years!

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  22. While I confess I'm not hip to all the references, in everyone's comments, the question of what will be of interest three centuries in the future is timely for me. I saw a production of "A Midsummer's Night Dream" at the Guthrie Theater. This version of Shakespeare's farce from 350 years ago included fairies descending from the ceiling, soul music, rap, disco, and an Irish jig as dozens of actors took their bows. I laughed at the 'fond pageant' of foolish mortals. I cried when King Theseus discarded the law and allowed the lovers to wed against the will of the lady's father. Moliere, Shakespear, can anyone say we have done better centuries later? CNN...pff. Vive l'art.

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  23. A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare, spelling corrected. It's late, give me some slack.

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  24. All the slack in the world, Jeff. I seldom notice such near perfection at a blog comment box, and didn't until you...

    Almost missed the "To sleep, perchance to dream" reference.

    Sounds like a great evening.

    Yeah, Vive l'art!

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  25. I'm glad you got to go Eric and that you were asked by them to post their questions on your blog. I'm a bit confused as to why they didn't interview you, your readers or really, have you on their panel!

    Objectively - I mean this - I think the mainstream media really misses opportunities such as these to get diverse opinions. I mean how else could they hear from a Tall Gary, Lynn, Jeff, Petrea, or Suzy, Suzy, Suzy if it weren't for blogs?

    Hmmph!

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  26. And then I just found this...

    MyCity_MyLife

    And still no PDP or other DP's to be found! Let's start a petition! ;~)

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  27. Jeff, you're absolutely right. And has there been a Shakespeare since?? His work is timeless...
    I agree -- Vive l'art!

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  28. Nice photo, I like the colours and the composition.
    BIG issue. I don't have time to give my honest opinion right now. I might be back later today.

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  29. I love the golden light on Joséphine's bust. The photos in the making of are worthseeing too because you took yourself such famous french representatives. But you should have been yourself on the photo, I agree with Michael's comment!
    Tall Gary : 'Whatever France creates into the future will mean nothing if it doesn't allow [love] to flourish' : that's really nice!!
    Coltrane : 'if you are open to cultivating friendships instead of just your own gardens' : very nice too.
    Jeff : 'Moliere, Shakespear, can anyone say we have done better centuries later?'. You are right. The love theme is timeless and priceless!
    Reading your comments is refreshing! Thanks all!

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  30. Ok, I know this is weak, but seeing Josephine and remembering Tall Gary's nicknames for her and Nappy, I just thought of JoJo...

    (I realise this will be wasted on the young, but hey...)

    Jojo was a girl who thought she was an Empress
    But she knew it couldn’t last.
    Jojo left her home, in Paris a big castle
    For some Malmaison green grass.
    Get back, get back.
    Get back to where you once belonged
    Get back, get back.
    Get back to where you once belonged.
    Get back Jojo. Go home
    Get back, get back.
    Back to where you once belonged
    Get back, get back.
    Back to where you once belonged.
    Get back Jo.

    Sweet Napoleon thought he was a woman
    But he was another man
    All the girls around him said he’s got it coming
    But he gets it while he can.
    Get back, get back.
    Get back to where you once belonged
    Get back, get back.
    Get back to where you once belonged.
    Get back Nappy. Go home
    Get back, get back.
    Get back to where you once belonged
    Get back, get back.
    Get back to where you once belonged.
    Get home Nappy
    Marie Louise is waiting for you
    Wearing her high-heel shoes
    And her low-neck sweater
    Get on home Nappy
    Get back, get back.
    Get back to where you once belonged.

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  31. "Get down."

    That hits me hard in the funny bone, Michael. (That's located somewhere between my forearm and upper arm, right at the tip of my Elba).

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  32. Oh Michael, your adaptation is just hilarious and sweet. I remember that song so well - danced my teenager's feet off at home to that. I didn't ever understand the words though. I could have sworn it was about Tojo and his nation's aggression in the Pacific?????

    Eric - lovely bust of Josephine.

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  33. Ditto Mmebeneaut - the song isn't wasted on me either. :) Love it, Michael.

    But, really, Mmebenaut, (giggling) how could you think it was about Japan?! Our blog is about Paris, but I can see its quickly going to Helena handbasket....

    :}

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  34. Carrie, you can visit the Sénat even in session, there is just a limited numer of seats so it is better to check on their site the schedule and get an ID.
    You can also visit the museum and gardens but, according to me, the MUST is the Orchids Collection, I saw it during the "journées du patrimoine" but I don't know when else it can be seen.

    Since this morning I've been thinking of Eric's question.
    What will be remembered from the French achievements in 300 years ?

    First hard to find something then I wandered if we weren't just "blasés" and unable to stand back a little.
    Making the TGV ou Ariane, building the "viaduc de Millau" or the "musée du Quai Branly", carrying out the first "greffe du visage"..... and lots of living or dead "grands hommes" whose influence spreads far beyond French borders... I am sure the, in 300 years, ils n'auront que l'embarras du choix (sorry don't know how to say it in English)

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  35. I was just trying to write something serious and perhaps not totally stupid, I sent my comment and found back that hilarious version of my old friends song, yuo're very good, Michael ! This version is alos easier to understand than their.

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  36. Merci Marylene - I'll see what I can find out about visiting the Senat. Who knew there would be orchids! What a wonderful and purely French touch. We sure don't have anything like that in our legislative houses.

    Mmebenaut - still laughing. :}
    What a grand way to start the day.
    Merci to all of you.

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  37. Love how this discussion manages to be quite erudite and totally hysterical at the same time.

    tall gary -- your elba? Would that be the bonaparte from the rest of your arm?

    Michael -- love love love your rewrite of the Beatles! It's brilliant.
    (Don't know who Jojo was supposed to be, but Sweet Loretta Modern was based on my friend Amanda Lear. She was a model at the time and went on to become a big disco star. She was also Polythene Pam -- whatever else you may read on the Internet.)

    marylene -- I think maybe the best way to translate l'embarras du choix is "an embarrassment of riches."

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  38. I'm typically lurking here 99.9% of the time, but reading through all your comments is such nice icing on this PDP cake!

    But I had to ring in because Get Back was playing on my iPod when I read Michael's redux. *insert Twilight Zone theme here*

    Which then led me to ponder the 300-years-from-now topic. Perhaps humanity will have "advanced" to the point to reading each other's minds (even though Michael is already there), so it'll be a think-blogging world. Good thing I'll be dead 300 years from now. I'd forget to unplug my brain from my blog, and things would be very embarassing.

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  39. Tall Gary...thanks for having me check out Linda Lee Hopkins (Eye on France). That's so to the point.

    Michael...clever lyric.

    Alexa...hang on to that Grappelli. I remember the first time I heard him when I was studying music at North Texas State back in the 80s. May he rest in peace.

    Corinne...Bravo! You caught my allusion to the end of Voltaire's "Candide." I keep hoping for the best of all possible worlds. ;-)

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  40. Michael and Tall Gary: your discussion reaches beyond humerus, from Elba to ulna--quite a radius! I have to hand it to you...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Human_arm_bones_diagram.svg

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  41. ...Mourir, dormir.
    Dormir, rêver peut-être.
    Oui, voilà l’écueil.
    Car en ce sommeil de morts quels songes peuvent survenir
    Quand nous aurons secoué ces liens mortels...

    You killed me by quoting Shakespeare...

    I like this picture, a mix of technology with the lights, the Empire style sculpture and probably a painting from French classicism in the background.

    About the people invited, well, I'm not sure that's the best bunch of representatives...No artist, no writer, no intellectual (or let me know!)...Rich and famous people. The French average?

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  42. Hamlet in French.
    'Tis I who am slain.
    My lack of language skills is just a sin.

    Soft you now!
    The fair Ophelia!--Nymph, in thy orisons
    Be all my sins remember'd.

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  43. Guille, you make a good point about the picture being a mix of past and present. In 300 years, I believe, the French will still be respecting their considerable past as they embrace current trends (and even lead the way) -- just as they do so well today.

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  44. Coltrane : Candide's allusion ? Er, to be honest I didn't think of it ... I read your sentence as yours and found it really interesting! Much better!
    Michael : 'Sweet Napoleon thought he was a woman
    But he was another man
    All the girls around him said he’s got it coming
    But he gets it while he can' : How hilarious & ...impressive! Indeed? :)

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  45. Alexa, Is that the same Polythene Pam that TRex wrote about?

    Michael, I knew one of the Beatles once. It was John Lennon; during the 1970's in NYC. He was trying to become a painter. The first time I met him was at Ashley Pandel's. John was with Yoko and Peter Boyle who played Frankenstein in Mel Brook's film Young Frankenstein. I joined them at their table and I asked Peter for his autograph. He wrote his signature by burning it with his cigarette into a napkin. I had pink hair at the time. Anyway, the last time I saw John Lennon and Yoko was at a gallery in SoHo on Halloween night. It was his one-man show exhibiting his paintings -- all abstract expressionist type paintings. He was sitting on top of a high ladder sprinkling water on me while giggling. The gallery was really quiet -- I don't think anyone was interested in his paintings. After that, one night I was in the Park Avenue Hotel cocktail lounge when someone came rushing in to tell us that John had just been shot. Very sad. He and Yoko lived just up the street on Park. News travels fast in NYC.

    Guille, I adore your comment on Eric's photo. I was thinking the same thing -- I could not put it into words though.

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  46. Monica that's good to hear! How exciting. I can't wait to see SATC. Don't think i'm quite up to it yet, though i had a couple of hours out yesterday. Not quite well yet and i want to be able to concentrate on that great film!

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  47. I'm late to this party but you don't need me. You're all brilliant and funny (down to your bones).

    By the way, even Shakespeare sometimes spelled his name "Shakespear," or even "Shakspear."

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  48. I have been checking out the "Eye on France" series online since I don't have CNN at home and it has been quite interesting, but I agree with guille and others that doubt whether these five people really represent a cross section of France in 2008. I think it would be difficult to narrow it down to five people anyway.

    monica...Believe me, we are already sick of "election coverage" in the US also, and it hasn't really even started yet! Fasten your seatbelt, or just shut the TV off!! LOL!!

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  49. Some of the humor today was collaborative, or rather, we might say, "A joint effort."

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  50. tonton flaneur is correct, Monica. A lot of us have been tired of election coverage for a long time. I haven't turned on the TV news in months.

    Tall Gary: You're so ON these days.

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  51. I can't turn the TV off, it stays on at work. It has to be tuned at a news chanel, so CNN it is. I prefer that over Fox news.

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  52. Good for you, Monica. Fox "news" is terribly biased (not really news at all). CNN is more even.

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  53. petrea -- thanks, I was going to tell Monica more or less the same thing. But you put it much more discreetly than I would have.

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  54. Go for it, Alexa! I'll back you up.

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  55. And Lois -- to answer your question about Polythene Pam and T-Rex: I have no idea. To tell you the truth, I half expected you to say that you knew Amanda too.
    Really envy you meeting John Lennon. I knew some Rolling Stones (some very well, but that's another story), but never met a Beatle.
    BTW, my older daughter had a summer job with the sisters who distributed Manic Panic in NYC in the nineties, and she and her younger sister both had pink hair for a while. Sounds like you were a true pink-hair pioneer, though!

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