Notes on how things seem to me from out here in Hollywood... As seen from Just Above Sunset
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Photos and text, unless otherwise noted, Copyright 2003,2004,2005,2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
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"It is better to be drunk with loss and to beat the ground, than to let the deeper things gradually escape."

- I. Compton-Burnett, letter to Francis King (1969)

"Cynical realism – it is the intelligent man’s best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation."

- Aldous Huxley, "Time Must Have a Stop"

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Sunday, 6 June 2004

Topic: Photos

New Photos - Soon to be posted at Just Above Sunset

Morning Glories on a fence below Sunset, with what seems to be the world's largest Eriogonum umbrellum (Schefflera or Umbrella Plant) in the background. Schefflera is usually a houseplant, no?

These are real. They shouldn't be. Hydrangea arborescens.

Posted by Alan at 13:21 PDT | Post Comment | Permalink

Topic: Photos

New Photos - Soon to be posted at Just Above Sunset

Suggested by Bob Patterson - just down the street, Rocky and Bullwinkle keep guard on the Sunset Strip. This is not Michelangelo's David. This is Hollywood after all.

And the moose is next to a place that is far, far too yellow.

Posted by Alan at 13:19 PDT | Post Comment | Permalink

Topic: Photos

New Photos - Soon to be posted at Just Above Sunset

In the middle of the Sunset Strip they do paint odd things on the sides of the buildings.

Posted by Alan at 13:14 PDT | Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink

Saturday, 5 June 2004

Topic: Photos

Bush in Paris: Exclusive Report for Our Man In Paris

This will appear in tomorrow's edition of Just Above Sunset - from Ric Erickson, editor and publisher of MetropoleParis (and advisor to Just Above Sunset and As Seen from Just Above Sunset).


The Week's Manif of the Day

Paris, Saturday, 5. June: - The problem was that there were two other major demos today. All three were in eastern Paris, and all started or ended at Bastille or Replublique. Result - many people went to wrong demo at wrong time and place. Yes, it is true - Paris can host the US President and hold three major demos without anarchy breaking out.

The anti-war demonstration began at Bastille at 5 pm, and set off to march [the fairly short distance] to Republique. When I arrived at Bastille shortly after 5 the place was far from full; it almost looked like a very minor demo. The marchers were loitering in the Boulevard Beaumarchais. I walked up it and it started, but it went very slowly.

This allowed many lost Parisians to 'find' it. Thousands streamed towards Bastille from Republique, often making the march seem as if it was milling around in a clot. Many more joined the tail end at Bastille. When I walked north I passed a small demo, but when I walked back I passed one that had grown considerably in a hour. The police estimate for all of France - there were demos in many other French cities - was 50,000, but organizers estimated 200,000. Also, because of today's timing, it would have been possible to have taken part in all three demos.

Union presence was strong, especially CGT, FO, LO, LCR and Sud, plus there were human rights groups. There was a 'hands off Cuba' group, and pro-Palestinian demonstrators. Human rights in Palestine are linked to human rights in Iraq. The tail end of the march contained many red flags, carried by the leftist party PCF, and ultra-leftist LO and LCR parties, the Trotslyists. (These last two are fielding common candidates for the European elections next Sunday. They might score better than the PCF.)

The mood seemed to be - as it often is - fairly jolly. What better way to spend Saturday afternoon than to march a bit to denounce the 'hyper-puissance,' the United States? Many of the marchers have real problems with their own government, so the opportunity to march for the world's general well-being was refreshing.

A lady I talked to complained about the start location and time mix-up. She had been at Republique and got into the march to protest against the 'reform' of the Securite Sociale (Secu) by mistake. She said her pension was okay so she wasn't worried about the government wrecking it. She perked up a lot when I guessed that a lot more people were joining the end of the parade. This turned out to be true too.
Near the end there were many more red flags. It looked like the PCF has got itself some new ones. They were very red. New were the Cuban protestors. They seemed to have new flags too. The whole thing was followed by punkers with techno music vans. They didn't have any flags. They are beamed out with the noise they have - they are probably unaware of Iraq or Palestine.

The police presence was discrete. Three or four officers from the police prefecture were managing the parade, and that was about it. Radio news and TV-news covered it, with pretty reduced crews. It was featured on the evening's main news show, along with video from Marseille and a couple of other cities.

Jacques and George had a news conference late in the afternoon. Jacques is a professional talker, so he can make things seem to be okay - yatta yatta - wave the hands around; he's animated. George sat there looking like he wished he was home in Crawford. The 'official' word about it was confused, so I guess even the diplomatic French had some problem putting a good spin on it. I expected they would have been very fake-jolly; but I guess George couldn't, wouldn't, play along. Maybe the Pope said he was misbehaving.

Out in Normandy, in beautiful weather, the vets and everybody else did seem to be having a good time. There's all kinds of shows going on - including France-2 TV with its 'longest night' tonight, beginning at midnight, going non-stop until morning.

That's it from Paris.

Bonsoir ? tous


Posted by Alan at 17:56 PDT | Post Comment | Permalink

Topic: Oddities

Things to think about...

These will be published in tomorrow's edition of Just Above Sunset...

Week of June 6, 2004 ...

The disparity between romance and reality, the world of the beautiful people and the workaday world, gives rise to an ironic detachment that dulls pain but also cripples the will to change social conditions, to make even modest improvements in work and play, and to restore dignity to everyday life.
- Christopher Lasch, The Culture of Narcissism

Obstinacy and heat in sticking to one's opinions is the surest proof of stupidity.
- Michel Eyguem de Montaigne (1533-1592)

No man's opinions can be worth holding unless he knows how to deny them easily and gracefully upon occasion in the cause of charity.
- Samuel Butler (1835-1902)

In fact, what we call stupidity, though not an enlivening quality in common society, is nature's favorite resource for preserving steadiness of conduct and consistency of opinion.
- Walter Bagehot (1826-1877)

Fight someone every day, but never fight unimportant people.
- Alexandre Dumas

Doing good on even the tiniest scale requires more intelligence than most people possess. They ought to be content with keeping out of mischief; it's easier and doesn't have such frightful results as trying to do good in the wrong way. Twiddling the thumbs and having good manners are much more helpful, in most cases, than rushing about with good intentions and doing things.
- Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)

A flippant, frivolous man may ridicule others, may controvert them, may scorn them; but he who as any respect for himself seems to have renounced the right of thinking meanly of others.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

Optimism and pessimism, as cosmic philosophies, show the same na?ve humanism. The great world, so far as we can know it from the philosophy of nature, is neither good nor bad, and is not concerned to make us either happy or unhappy. All such philosophies spring from self-importance and are best corrected by a little astronomy.
- Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

Posted by Alan at 13:02 PDT | Post Comment | Permalink

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