Photo of the Week

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Sunset over La Defense © Paris Update

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Paris Update What’s On

Links to events happening this week in Paris

English-language theater festival

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> Paris Fringe returns for its second year of English-language theater and comedy. Various venues, Paris, May 18-28.

Pre-Edinburgh play
> Sugar Baby, by Anne Penketh and starring Holly-Rose Clegg, will play in Paris before moving on to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  La Chapelle des Lombards, Paris, May 20.

Annie in English
> The International Players present the musical Annie. Le Quai 3, Le Pecq, May 18-21.

Late-night art
> Museums stay open into the night for free and hold special events for the Nuit Européenne des Musées. Various locations. Paris, May 16.

Left Bank gallery crawl
> Open house at 50 galleries for Art Saint Germain des Prés. Various venues, Paris, May 18-June 3.

Gold in galleries
> The Carré Rive Gauche, an association of Left Bank galleries celebrates its 40th anniversary with an event called ExtrORdinaire, featuring gold in works of art. Opening night: May 18. Various venues, Paris, May 18-June 3.

All that jazz...
> Jazz acts ranging from amateurs to big names at the Festival Jazz à Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Various venues, Paris, May 11-22.

Literary Latin Quarter
> Readings, book signings, storytelling, concerts and more at the Quartier du Livre festival. Various venues, Paris, May 17-24.

Emerging artists
> The Salon de Montrougehas been exhibiting the work of young artists every year for 62 years. Le Beffroi, Montrouge, through May 24.

Plays from all over Europe
> The Chantiers d'Europe festival presents theatrical performances from Portugal, the Netherlands, Spain, Greece, Croatia and the United Kingdom. Théâtre de la Ville–Espace Pierre Cardin, May 2-24

Hollywood glam
> Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo, Ava Gardner, Marlene Dietrich and more in classic films from Hollywood's Golden Age for the Glamour cycle. Forum des Images, Paris, May 3-31

Photo shows galore
> Le Mois de la Photo has been moved from autumn to spring, with 96 exhibitions taking place all over the greater Paris area. See Web site for locations and dates.

French film with English subtitles
> Lost in Frenchlation shows Emmanuelle Cuau’s Pris de Court, preceded by a themed cocktail party (€4.50). Studio 28, Paris, May 19.

Virtual reality
> Drop in on Saturday or Sunday from 2pm to 8pm for a free virtual trip at the VR Express festival. Forum des Images, Paris, through June 30.

Dance in historic sites
> Monuments en Mouvement offers free dance performances in national monuments like the Pantheon in Paris, the Abbaye de Cluny and châteaux. Various locations, through Oct. 21.

African culture festival
> The 100% Afriques festival showcases dance, theater, music, fashion, design, art, food and more from all over the continent. La Villette, Paris, through May 28.

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Hot Topics - C'est ironique !

 

The Decline of French Civilization

teenagers_today_paris

It looked like just a bunch of kids having some good innocent fun. Little did I know… © Dwphotos / Dreamstime.com

I fear for the future of France. I say this because of a disturbing event that took place in my building last weekend. A neighbor’s teenage daughter gave a party on Saturday night. This in itself ...

teenagers_today_paris

It looked like just a bunch of kids having some good innocent fun. Little did I know… © Dwphotos / Dreamstime.com

I fear for the future of France. I say this because of a disturbing event that took place in my building last weekend. A neighbor’s teenage daughter gave a party on Saturday night. This in itself was not disturbing: everyone had been warned and it didn’t go on too late and it was not too loud and I am wholeheartedly in favor of teenagers getting together to hang, make or chill out. Or freak, wig or come out, for that matter.

The party was going on across the courtyard from me, and the kids had left all the curtains open and lights on. At about midnight, as I was closing my own curtains, I saw that the festivities were in plein swingue and everyone was dancing with wild, or at least unkempt, abandon. I could just barely hear the music through the double glazing and started wondering what was making them shake their collective tail feather with such enthusiasm. So I opened my window for a second. And I heard enough of the song to tell what it was.

This was the disturbing part. I am not only old enough to be those kids’ father, I’m old enough to be, well, maybe not their grandfather but their father’s much older cousin. I have always believed that for each generation to shock and outrage the previous generation is the very definition of progress. And, for most people, this phenomenon first manifests itself in musical tastes between the ages of 13 and 20. So if I can recognize teenagers’ music, I consider it a bad sign.

But I didn’t just recognize this particular song. It was… It was… I can barely bring myself to type the words. It was: “You’re the One That I Want” from Grease. Yes, a Seventies musical. Yes, a Seventies musical based on music from the Fifties. They seemed to love it and, worse, to know it well — most of them were pumping pointed index fingers into the air in time with the “ooh-ooh-ooh” parts.

This is just not right. Seventeen-year-olds should be listening to something that makes people my age cringe — out of bafflement, not embarrassment. And under no circumstances should they be listening to songs that were widely considered to be weenie music when they were released a full third of a century ago, with the express intention of imitating the popular music of a full quarter-century before that. Think of it: given a teenage pregnancy or two, some of those youngsters’ grandparents could have been as yet unborn when pop singers were oohing and dooing and wopping like that.

Shocking, isn’t it? Outrageous.

David Jaggard

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The preserved façade of this former wine shop on Rue Pierre Semard is old enough to list absinthe as one of its wares.