Monday, August 18, 2008

Obama bucks the status quo

As you may or may not be aware, Barack Obama is winning over hearts and minds in Europe. I'm sure you'll have something to say about that, but Iwanted to mostly share this interesting piece of graffiti I found along the Seine at the Port autonome de Paris (11th arrondissement). I recently heard an American comedian (John Stewart) mock the implication by others that a black man on the U.S. currency would be quite difficult for the public to handle. His reply, "Why? Because he's green?" Anyway, here's an interesting link about the subject that you might like.


  1. The video on change was quite funny!

    Haven't seen any graffiti here like that yet...

    interesting topic!

    We can only wait and see!


  2. Being in America during this time, I really couldn't care less what color the candidates are--green, purple, or whatever. What they stand for is what is important to me!! Although if we had a purple candidate, that might be kind of cool!

  3. Mammie, The GF crown goes to you. I could have won GF if I wanted to -- I just didn't want to ;-) Yeah, right.

    Many Americans feel the same way as the Europeans. My daughter does. This type of graffiti isn't done free-hand. It's done with a stencile. It's fast; so your chances of being caught are much less likely. You usually do it with an assistant who also serves as your look-out.

    Merci Eric.

  4. Eric, I'd love to see a jazz musician on our currency. Though many of you know my passion for Miles, Parker, Dizzy, and the obvious (the other JC), I think "Louis Armstrong" or "Ella" would be great on some of our US green. Not that there's anything wrong with seeing a bunch of dead old white guys ALL THE TIME! Ahem.

  5. Well, thankfully those Europeans won't be voting in the election in November! I agree with Christie - it doesn't matter what the color is, it's the views he holds that matter.

  6. Oooh, I'm all about seeing Ella on some money, although I'd also be thrilled to see Ray Charles on a "greenback!" :D

    I'd also love to see a purple president! Until we get genetically enhanced "designer presidents" I'll take Obama though!

  7. Bonjour,
    Paper money... I only use a debt card, who uses paper money?

    The color on the bill or the color of the candidate does not matter it is more important who the man is and what he stands for.

  8. Fun stencile! Even in France people are supporting Obama. Isn't nice? ;)
    What about Mc Cain? Still in the race or probably already out?

    Talking about Conservatives, a little anecdote: on my train from Avignon to Paris last week I noticed an American couple who was laughing out loud, a newspaper in their hands. I took a look at the main title to see what was so funny and I immediately understood: "Bush faults China over rights and detention". I laughed too, behind my hand (Japanese style).
    As we say here, "c'est l'hôpital qui se moque de la charité"!

  9. The last president to make it onto the US currency (bills) was U.S. Grant. It's not likely that any president from the past 100 years will ever be on our paper money. Here's a list:

    Penny — Abraham Lincoln
    Nickel — Thomas Jefferson
    Dime — Franklin D. Roosevelt
    Quarter — George Washington
    Half Dollar — John F. Kennedy
    One Dollar — Dwight D. Eisenhower (minted from 1971 to 1978)


    $1 — George Washington
    $2 — Thomas Jefferson
    $5 — Abraham Lincoln
    $20 — Andrew Jackson
    $50 — Ulysses S. Grant
    $500 — William McKinley (no longer in circulation)
    $1,000 — Grover Cleveland (no longer in circulation)
    $5,000 — James Madison (no longer in circulation)
    $100,000 — Woodrow Wilson (no longer in circulation)

    David’s Digital Art!

  10. It's too bad Obama isn't more liberal, but he's the only option we have in this emergency situation where we must stop the bleeding. He won't have time to even heal the mortal wound struck to America from within, but if he can stop the downward spiral, it will be something. McCain doesn't even recognize the damage wrought in the last eight years by the radical right.

    Do not fool yourselves. A lot of very reactionary and "single issue" people vote. It is not a "done deal". Evil may yet prevail.

    I'm not feeling very diplomatic tonight.

  11. Interesting graffiti!
    Obama, through his visit to Europe, is already showing how capable he would be as U.S. president -- intelligent, diplomatic. Some aspects we've been missing during the last few years...

  12. I really must side-track here...Eric oh Eric, what on earth is happening to France at the Olympics? It's not even in the top 10 of the medal tally! I remember it was 7th in Athens 2004 but it has been slipping down the table ever since.

    Could it really be out of the top 10 when the Games finish this weekend?

  13. A president's pension currently is $191,300 per year, until he is 80 years old.

    Assuming the next president lives to age 80. Sen. McCain would receive ZERO pension as he would reach 80 at the end of two terms as president. Sen. Obama would be retired for 26 years after two terms and would receive $4,973,800 in pension.

    Therefore it would certainly make economic sense to elect McCain in November.

    How's that for non partisan thinking???

  14. +1 for priscill and m.k.

    Thank goodness the Europeans aren't voting-- the last thing we need is a socialist running America.

  15. Priscilla, pardon me, but McCain will cost us far more than that if he IS elected.

    David: You forgot Benjamin Franklin on the $100 bill. He's part Parisien, I've heard!

    When you got money,
    You got lots of friends
    Hangin' 'round your door.
    But when it's gone
    And all the spendin' ends
    They won't be 'round anymore.
    And rich relations give you
    Crust of bread and such.
    You can help yourself,
    But don't take too much.
    Momma may have,
    And poppa may have,
    But God bless the child that's got his own,
    That's got his own.

  16. Oh, I think I'd better stay out of this one. You know how I take politics personally.

    Interesting graffiti shot, Eric. I could tell you something else Jon Stewart said--no, I'd better not.

    Almost 5 million in pension for a president? Depends on what he does for the country. For example, how does 5 million stack up to our current national debt?

    You think Elaine's not feeling diplomatic? Don't even get me started. :)

  17. This post was guaranteed to provoke some interesting discussion (but I'm guessing Eric knew that, LOL).
    uselaine -- I think you opened the floodgates with your comment, and good for you! (I'm pretty much in agreement with you, in case you couldn't tell, though I would have loved to see Hillary get the job, because I believe she's a problem solver, and, Lord!, do we have problems!)
    Someone will ask any second now: the American equivalent of Guille's expression would most likely be
    the one about the pot calling the kettle black.

  18. Like this stencil a lot! Well spotted. I'm not sure he's won my heart or mind yet...

  19. Nice - this reminds me of a slightly coarser political stencil
    I found in Cambridge in 2006...The sentiment a possible reason Obama's doing so well ;p

    Still a great blog Eric.

  20. If you like Obama, I think you still have to be concerned about the Clintons at the convention.

  21. I do love the "find" Eric. Seems so strange to discover this in Paris.

    Nikon, I'm not sure I understand your comment. Could you explain further?

  22. I had just arrived in Paris in May, with severe jetlag, and took a walk with my friends. I was sleepy, spacey, and excited to be in Paris. I took photos of a "Hillary" bumper sticker on a window on rue Vieille du Temple. It still makes me laugh.

    I can't let the "nonpartisan" financial go, it is so representative of the faux financial conservatism so blatant in U.S. $4.9 million? We spend more than that every week in Iraq, running up the new record largest deficit in U.S. history. Give me a break. Regarding the "socialist" remark, Aldo: you are wrong. The last thing we need is more of the fascistic beliefs, or at best attempted monarchy, of the current regime. Besides, calling Obama a socialist is absurd. Liberal (in the U.S. meaning), yes. But that is not the same thing.

    Michael: I believe Nikon is referring to the buzz that Hillary is not finished brokering power. There is a that rumor her supporters will even now attempt to take over at the convention. It will be a circus is this happens.

    Oh, I'm sorry Eric, did I express an opinion on PDP? Je suis desolée! It is so unusual for me.

  23. Unfortunately, Mr. Obama is showing all the signs of being just another American politician. Still, I would vote for him before I would even consider voting for McCain.

  24. starman, unfortunately politicians are still politicians, in this country at least. It is a pity that sometimes in life you have to take the lesser of 2 evils. I just don't know why W. was ever considered the lesser of 2 evils to some people!!!

  25. Suzy, I'm voting for the

    Eiffel Tower!
    Eiffel Tower!!
    Eiffel Tower!!!

  26. Jeff...nice. Also liked the Blood Sweat and Tears lyric.

    Am I the only one who read "non partisan" politics at first as "non Parisan"? ;-)

  27. I don't like to get political here, as I love PDP too much, and my mother always said not to discuss politics or religion during dinner or with friends in a mixed crowd. But...if Obama is so popular in Europe, perhaps he should run for President of the EU??!!

    He has been anointed by Oprah[Media Billionaire]and the rest of the extremely one sided American Media. This is the same media that is extolling the "virtues" of Chairman Mao during Olympic coverage?! Most Americans know nothing about history or current world events, and way too much about where Britney partied last night or who just left Madonna's West side apartment.

    For most people of my generation who grew up after WW2, the images of an American Presidential contender[he is not the candidate of any party yet]speaking to 200,000 Germans who are chanting his name is absolutely mind boggling and actually quite worrisome. America is a country that really needs to make some changes, but just what are these "changes" that Mr. Obama speaks of?? Redistribution of wealth and creating huge Social Welfare bureaucracies is nothing new and hardly a change. Americans need to get off of their butts and start to take responsibilty for their own actions, shut off their televisions and read and explore and develop their own opinions instead of following after the Media Talking Heads like so many sycophants.

    Until the day comes when America can produce a candidate that will represent ALL Americans, and who listens to the voices of "many" instead of only the voices that feed their egos..I'm with Michael...I'm voting for...

    Eiffel Tower!!

    Eiffel Tower!!

    Eiffel Tower!!

  28. Ton ton...I like your passion. You are extremely articulate. Wouldn't it be nice to have a candidate that represented us ALL. However, I can't remember a time in our nation's history that a candidate represented ALL of us or even came close. Nowadays, many identify with Abe Lincoln perhaps as being one of the most revered of all US presidents (though not necessarily in his time...we all know what happened to honest Abe in his day). Plato suggested the philsopher-king who is "wise" and strives for the "good" but who really doesn't want the job. This is part of the problem...too many self-absorbed politicans who follow the lead of interest groups and not their own principles WANT the job or are convinced they should WANT the job. Unfortunately, I think many of us have become too conditioned to "mediocrity" the last eight years (or more)that we have grown weary and become slow to trust any candidate for Prez. It's gotten to the point that I think even "ET" would be told to "go home!"

  29. Hope for the best, plan for the worst?

    Another interesting piece of graffiti.

    Coltrane: don't get the conversation started about aliens!!!!

  30. Coltrane...More like "Belligerent Mediocrity"...and it has spread through the fabric of American society like a cancer, enveloping all aspects of it. I believe it may be called the "dumbing down" of America or catering to the "lowest common denominator"?

    As an Independent and a Free Thinker I will wait until the first Tuesday in November to make my final decision, but I don't care for any of the likely choices as of now. Living in San Francisco, I witness daily the self absorbed, elitist, hypocritical attitude of the "Left Coasters" that call themselves "Liberals" and "Socialists" who would think nothing of endangering your life as they race towards you in their BMW SUV, juggling a latte and talking on their phone while they drive home to their totally "white" neighborhood and then go to dinner and talk about how they love living in such a "diverse" city and all the while they have never gone outside of their own milieu or allowed their children to even associate with kids from a socio-economic background different from theirs. Beurrrrkkkk...hypocrites!

  31. ET?

    You mean Eric Tenin?

    Eric Tenin is an alien?

  32. Suzy...Good one! No one would tell our dear Eric Tenin to go home. In fact, many of us would gladly exchange our city for his! ;-)

    BTW...I love the way Eric has the four links after "Libelles: 11th arrondissement, Fun, Politics, Seine." "Fun" and "Politics"? Very amusing,Eric!

  33. Aldo, "Thank goodness the Europeans aren't voting-- the last thing we need is a socialist running America."
    Hahaha, trust me, if the Europeans were voting, you would have a kind of Sarkozy or Berlusconi...far from socialism!!
    And as Jeff said, an European socialist is NOT an American liberal. One can't compare.

    "But...if Obama is so popular in Europe, perhaps he should run for President of the EU??!!" Tonton Flaneur, we already have Sarkozy as EU President, but if you're okay to exchange, I'm in! I'm ready to pay for it. :p

  34. Okay, et pour détendre l'atmosphère, a little gift. De mauvais goût. LOL

  35. Hey Eric, it seems that you chose very well your title! ;)
    Guille, I prefer your last gift (garçon) but this one is also funny. Like many comments here that I do appreciate...!

  36. I'm staying off the politic talk , BUT ;-))) Here in town I have seen the Obama face and the word HOPE stenciled all over town . The funny part is about half of them have been changed to NOPE . So somebody took the time to use paint remover on all those stencils ;-)))


  37. Tonton, I share your...mmm...displeasure (he said euphemistically) with our spoiled, dumbed down society. Let's be honest that this idiocy knows no party lines. Backward-hat C & W pickup drivers and latte-slurping SUV'ers both depress me as an American. It is unfortunate that we as Amercans now tend to assign bad traits only to one side of the aisle. Basically, Americans are idiots because they really have no political beliefs. Or beliefs at all other than "my ____ told me to believe this." Fill in the blank with religion, employer, parent, big-mouth radio host, whatever. We have forgotten HOW to think. We just emote, blurt, sneer, and strut. I disliked Daddy Bush, but at least he had a brain! I wasn't ashamed of him. Carter was mushy according many people, but at least he had a brain! And a good heart. Clinton had a big ego, but he had a brain!

    Coltrane, I admire your reference to Plato. Let us also remember de Toqueville, who noted that in the American democracy, the best people get fed up with the rabble and the mediocrity and the self-serving passions, and back out of the political arena--leaving only the mediocre, self-serving candidates. Yes, Soosha, it's often the lesser of two evils. If you don't think your candidate is evil, I'll say we should pick the least bad option.

    Beudeu geu deu.

  38. Guille -- well, THAT certainly changes the tone of the discussion! ;~}

  39. Guille -- very funny -- I'm still laughing. : )))))

    Grace a Dieu pour le mauvais gout!!
    (Sorry - I'm both liguistically and computerly challenged - but you get my drift, right?)

  40. I heard people commenting yesterday about a civil forum on Saturday featuring both McCain and Obama, hosted by Rick Warren, apparently a moderate politically, and a Christian pastor of an enormous California church from the evangelical stream of practice. I didn't see it or read the interviews, but from people who did I gathered that enough evangelicals across the USA have decided that the extremely politically conservative faction that dominated the evangelical media, rallying huge numbers to get behind the GOP for the last 30 years without the social outcomes it sought is changing. The right's manipulative focus on "culture wars" around a number of divisive or fear-based issues to the exclusion of all others, seems to be waning in these circles. The talk was of issues such as coming together to eradicate needless disease, live responsibly within national means and for the good of the environment, work for social justice on many fronts, promote racial reconciliation, restore a working democracy, and adopt national practices that would end hunger and poverty in the land of plenty. I heard the mindset of these evangelicals who support progressive political and environmental platforms but still hold to golden rule personal ethics described as a sort of social democrats (European) who also have regard for personal morality and integrity while treating all respectfully (rather than the black and white, evil versus good contrasts put forward by the old guard of the Christian Right/Moral Majority conservatives. Time will tell if a civil discourse is possible after all the years of simplistic jingoism. Just the fact that such a forum took place seems amazing.

  41. Guille,
    That video was hilarous.
    hmmm..I'm going to keep my mouth
    shut about politics.I better not.

  42. This is a great joke from Jon Stewart, actually! Off to read the comments (looks like you got some interesting reactions today!) TF

  43. Creative graffiti. He's won my heart and mind and I do hope he wins the needed electoral votes.

    Glad to see you appreciate Jon Stewart.

  44. Creative graffiti. He's won my heart and mind and I do hope he wins the needed electoral votes.

    Glad to see you appreciate Jon Stewart.

  45. I do believe he's winning over folks here in America, as well. :o) Glad he's securing international relationships now, and I hope he keeps them positive.

  46. I wish John Stewart would run for President.

  47. Im a supporter of OBAMA here in the U.S. but i am so jealous you are in PARIS....! I've been wanting to visit there for so day! : )

    Jen Ramos
    '100% Recycled DESIGNER Cards & More'