Fool for France

Today’s Paris weirdness

If I can get a decent picture I’ll edit this post to add it. Just in case, I might as well tell you now.

I had a forced march to the American Library — SFR is out Again and I needed their wifi — and found myself going by the tail end of a race, probably a 5K, just for women. By the time I got there, nobody was running but the power walkers and the ladies in silly hats. Still, the bands were playing American rock music and the crowds were out. That’s all normal. This is the weird part. Greeting the women at the finish line was a team of high-school age guys dressed in full American football regalia: uniforms, pads, helmets. Proto-American guys, what’s up with that? A photo would not begin to tell you how odd they looked standing there at the entrance to the Ecole Militaire in those clothes, at least not the kind of photo that my equipment could take or my access would allow. And just before the finish line, microphone in hand, was a French rap singer. Could this be, I thought, a rap singer at an event intended to celebrate women? I had to wonder: is he going to call them bitches? Order them to shake their booty across the finish line? Last one in is a ho? I don’t know. Maybe the French don’t understand that one of the core values of traditional rap culture is disrespect of women. Maybe in France even the rap singers have a kinder, gentler ethic. Anyway, in the few minutes it took me to get past this guy, I heard nothing objectionable. But seriously, what happened to valuing French culture? Couldn’t he have been doing covers of Zaz or Johnny Hallyday?

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