Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Parisian Pierrot

I once started pedestrians by singing that song while drunk with a perfect Noel Coward pitch (or so it seemed to me). Quite what else they were expecting in the unpromising surroundings of North Woolwich, I can't guess. At any rate, I promised pictures, and so - like touriste racaille - I got some for you. There now follows a lurid display of those parts of Paris in which few people actually get to live or work, yet which tourists are encouraged to see as essential to the city itself. This here's the view from Montmartre (click to enlarge):

This is the shrine to the cult of the sacred heart, which is apparently illuminated at night:

This is a monument to the cult of the French Empire (with the Eiffel Tower in the background):

The Champs-Elysee, trees strapped with Christmas lights. In a sweet-store on this street, I found gums called 'The Melting Pot', liquorice flavoured black gums that caricature various 'races'. Chinoise, Africaine, etc.:

The basilica of the sacred cult of Louis Vuitton:

The lower part of the Seine below the Isle de Cite, with the Notre Dame in the background:

Zizek talking politics and psychoanalysis with a packed hall at the Sorbonne:

Inside the Sorbonne:

Outside the conciergerie where counter-revolutionaries where executed en masse:

The bloody Louvre which probably matches the British Museum for its loot of ransacked cultural and historical artefacts:

To answer some queries, I didn't get to the Banlieu Rouge, and Saint-Denis doesn't appear to have a Rue de Staline any more (they keep the streets and stations modelled after American presidents, a sure sign of the overbearing influence of the nouveau philosophes). My Michelin guide also denies that there is any such thing as a street named after Lenine, by the way - the admission of Lenin as a hero for the French is evidently too traumatic for the producers of tourist maps.