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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, 9 October 2005

Topic: Announcements

Redirection: Commentary and Analysis, London, Paris, Language and Philosophy, Pages and Pages of Photography

The new issue of Just Above Sunset - Volume 3, Number 41 for the week of Sunday, October 9, 2005 - is now on line. This is the weekly online magazine that is parent to this web log. Unlike this site, Just Above Sunset offers additional material -pages of photography and exclusive columns from London and Paris, and often Tel-Aviv.

This Sunday, discussion and analysis of this past week's events are arranged in a sequential "week in review" - and what a week it was, as with the odd nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court and the various scandals and assorted indictments, drawing in Margaret Thatcher of all people, and a major address on the war on terror that didn't go well, and with the late week warning about bombs in New York subways, and much else having to do with the endless conflict of faith and reason… well, let's just say it was an extraordinary week. The world is changing.

And "Our Man in London," Mike McCahill, presents an exclusive interview with journalist and travel writer Mark Avery, centering on whether we're seeing the end of America. The view from overseas is not what you would expect. Not that things are all that fine in France - Ric Erickson, "Our Man in Paris," reports on the nationwide strike there, with photos, including one showing a group from out here in California marching in solidarity. Of course he gives us a second column on how the French are dealing with the oil crisis - would you believe sunflower oil and Rhône wine in the gas tank?

In features, an item on language expended from what first appered here – on words that just cannot be translated - and quotes on the matter of race - and a link to a new photo album of a hidden place out here that is extraordinary, Topanga Canyon.

Guest photography - Don Smith offers two pages of large format shots of one of the great landmarks of Paris, the Grand Palais, along with more shots of Fuissé, that village in the Mâconnais, down in Burgundy.

Local photography - selected shots of the real heart of eccentric Los Angeles, Topanga Canyon, and instead of botanicals this week, a red tail hawk riding the thermals over the Valley.

(Note - being assembled for next week, guest photographs from two ends of North America, the wilds of the northern end of Canada and Monument Valley, Utah.)

Direct links to specific pages:

The Week in Review _________________________

Catching Up: Peculiar News on a Slow News Day
They Call It Stormy Monday - For Good Reason
Two Days Out: Wednesdays with the Church Lady
The Fire Below: Looking Behind the News
The Week Ends Oddly Enough
Assuming a Role: Bush on the Couch

The International Desk _________________________

Our Man in London: The End of America? A Conversation (an interview with journalist and travel writer Mark Avery)
Our Man in Paris: Strike of the Week (on the scene, with photos)
Our Man in Paris (2): Put Some Green Boom In Your Tank

Features _________________________

Language Notes: Words That Cannot Be Translated
Quotes for the week of October 9, 2001 - William Bennett Edition
Links and Recommendations: A New Photo Album (Topanga Canyon)

Bob Patterson _________________________

WLJ Weekly: from the desk of the World's Laziest Journalist - Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
Book Wrangler: Nihilism Means "Nothing" To Me

Guest Photography _________________________

Our Eye on Paris (1): The Grand Palais
Our Eye on Paris (2): The Grand Palais, Details
Our Eye on Paris (3): Harvest in Fuissé

Local Photography _________________________

Topanga Canyon - Its Own Place
Topanga Canyon Hawk - A Red Tail

Also today:

BBC: Citroen 'goddess' feted in Paris (byline Hugh Schofield) -
France has marked the 50th anniversary of one of the great design icons of the last century - the Citroen DS, or Deesse, saloon car.

Hundreds of DS cars from around Europe drove in procession past the Arc de Triomphe in central Paris.

Known by its nickname, the Goddess - Deesse in French - the car was an instant sensation when it went on display at the Paris car show in 1955.

Nearly one-and-a-half million were made during its 20 years in production. ...
AFP: Paris Rally Marks Birthday Of The 'Goddess' - Design Icon On Wheels -
PARIS, Oct 9 (AFP) - Hundreds of "Goddesses" paraded through central Paris on Sunday morning - not a religious festival or a fashion show, but a rally to mark the 50th anniversary of one of the great design icons of the last century: the Citroen DS saloon car.

Crowds lined the route leading from the Arc de Triomphe to the Eiffel Tower in order to cheer 1,600 enthusiasts from across Europe driving vehicles of varying colours and vintages, but all with the same curving splendour that made the DS a quintessential object of desire.

The "Goddess" - a play on DS or Deesse in French - was an overnight sensation when it went on display in October 1955 at the Paris motor show, with Citroen taking orders for 750 cars within 45 minutes of the opening and a total of 12,000 by the end of day one.

"It must have been like seeing a flying-saucer landing, when you think of the type of cars that were on the roads in post-war France," said Michel Weiss, secretary of France's leading DS appreciation society.

Conceived by the brilliant Italian designer Flaminio Bertoni, the Citroen DS was both a thing of original beauty and a technological marvel. The sensually curving bodywork was a million miles from the plodding utilitarianism of most mass-produced vehicles of the time.

... For many in France the "Goddess" conjures up nostalgic feelings from the "trente gloriouses" - the idealised post-war era when wealth and scientific progress marched hand-in-hand, Alain Delon and Brigitte Bardot cavorted on still unspoilt Riviera beaches, and Charles de Gaulle ruled France with patriarchal benevolence.

Indeed it was de Gaulle who spotted the vehicle's propaganda potential and made it the staple of the presidential fleet - an inspired choice because in 1962 it was the DS's capacity to stay on the road at speed despite two shot-out tyres that arguably saved him in an assassination bid outside Paris.

Earlier it was the cultural philosopher Roland Barthes who elevated the DS to truly iconic status when he devoted an essay to the car in his groundbreaking "Mythologies."

"The DS - the 'Goddess' - has all the features of one of those objects from another universe which have supplied fuel for the neomania of the 18th century and that of our own science-fiction. The Deesse is first and foremost a new Nautilus," Barthes wrote. ...
Barthes aside, here is the only DS one can find out here, parked on Fountain Avenue, one block south of the Sunset Strip, where all the French expatriates live. In almost fifteen years here in Hollywood, I have never seen this DS in motion. It is an immobile goddess.

Also of note, what we missed in Scotland recently - Citroen owners celebrate the 2CV - BBC NEWS, published: 2005/07/26 20:56:29 GMT (subhead: "Citroen 2CV owners have converged on the Scottish Borders for a festival featuring more than 3,000 of the quirky French automobiles.")

This was held at Floors Castle in Kelso. The photograph of the 2CV enthusiasts in kilts is good.

Posted by Alan at 18:37 PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Sunday, 9 October 2005 18:43 PDT home

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