Paris is Burning

New Year's Eve 2009

This photo of a forlorn-looking Eiffel Tower was taken by me, your intrepid Foreign Correspondent, at midnight on New Year’s Eve to document the fact that THERE WERE NO FIREWORKS. Little did I know, however, that all the action was happening out in les banlieues of Paris and beyond, where Champagne and canapés have been replaced by the annual torching of cars to ring in the New Year.

None of this occurred in the city center, which was entirely populated by Italians, Japanese, thousands of troops in full riot gear who flinched at every broken bottle, and me and my fabulous stylist cousin. This left the inhabitants of les banlieues free to burn 1,147 cars, 30 percent more than New Year’s Eve 2008.

France began its long and illustrious history of protest and revolt in the late 1700s; and with the notable exception of the early 1940s, when it was di rigeur to roll over like a well-trained pup, it continues to this day with every sit-in, protest march and earnest chant that occurs in every city, town and quaint hamlet in the Republic on an almost weekly basis. Even in our sleepy city on the Mediterranean, I’ve been tear-gassed on the way to the market more times than I care to recall.

So it amuses me that Sarko & Co. are so flummoxed by the burning of cars in les banlieues by those whom France would rather forget. Really, it’s the safest form of protest they have available to them. Sarko has said that those who burn cars will have their licenses taken away until the cars’ owners are paid back in full; this is a laughable punishment, seeing as how they would be beaten senseless by racist cops itching for a fight if they held a more organized, less firey protest in the city center.

However, nothing will stop the burning until French Muslims, most of whom have been born and raised here, are afforded the same opportunities as the rest of the population. Non-Muslim French see the welfare state that has become the French Republic as their divine right; but a Muslim kid, who’s Frencher than a baguette but with skin like cafe au lait, wants a job and a roof over his head, and it’s a national tragedy.

New Year’s Eve car burnings rise sharply in France [IHT]

There’s a movie that has been getting glowing reviews, its set in Sete, and involves a muslim immigrant family and their plan to open a restaurant, but now I have forgotten the name, have you heard of it?

All wogs begin at Calais. Here is something that makes my asshole pucker:

“This is a revised number with new methodology, but ADP’s job loss number predictions for December are off the chart. ADP had previously been under expectations where Wall Street economists were 500,000 non-farm payroll losses. This new revised target from ADP is now showing that ADP expects to see a contraction in total jobs by a whopping 693,000 in December.”

Wagoner should get his ass over to France and offer the victims good deals on Malibu Hybrids.

Rome Girl,

The lights from the Tower are fine, but nothing beats the glow of a burning Renault!

Incidentally, as we here at the house of mouse found out when we almost got sued over the cover of the Ratatouille dvd, while it is not possible in France to copyright a monument (in this case, the Eiffel Tower), it is possible to copyright the lighting design for the tower, thus making its’ use in print without permission actionable.

Word to the wise.

Ah, and welcome back, ye of the lovely, lovely classic bone structure and Botticelli eyes….

@SanFranLefty: Thanks honey!

@ManchuCandidate: I know! If I had known, I would have hopped on the train and headed out!

@Benedick: Je sais. Malheureusement, c’est trop vrai.

@Tommmcatt Yet Again: *blush* You’re too kind.

Slight TJ: As Caligutard prepares to ride off into the Bushes, it appears that the “MSM” as the libtards call it, has finally repealed the ban on criticism of his majesty, and everyone is getting in their vicious last kicks. Look at these words from the usually gentle and benign Garrison Keiller:

“And we allow the Current Occupant to leave the Mansion d’Blanc with a big grin in a couple of weeks, his self-esteem apparently fully intact, imagining that his legacy will emerge golden and shining in a hundred years after all of us are deceased. He is one of the cheerfullest idiots you ever saw, a man who could burn down his own house and be happy that the patio was still standing. Had Congress impeached him, his defense would have been that he was not capable of understanding the charges.

Laura got the publishing contract, though the world is not abuzz waiting for her to tell us that he was not as dense as he looked. Sure. Right. But she will write it and then go on TV talk shows to flog it and she will be seen by thousands of people in airport waiting areas who will think, “My, she looks familiar. She reminds me of somebody.””

And did anyone hear what KO called Cheney last night? A “fatuous, condescending lunatic.”

Its wonderful, isn’t it? Treasure these days, even if they are too little, too late.

@Prommie: It’s sad. We need Garrison Keilor (flew with him on a flight out of Tallahassee; guy is 7′ 2″) and KO to calmly call for their deportation to the The Hague to faces charges of crimes against humanity. They should do half hour segments every day on the subject and call on all bloggers, newspapers and television networks to contribute half of their news holes to coverage of the crimes until they are indicted.

TJ: Liberal blogs cyber-attacked, related to Dunno if you guys already saw it, but methinks Paultards are responsible. Oh, and some dipshit is threatening gay bars in Seattle with ricin.

This is only going to get worse in the Unicorn administration.

@rptrcub: Speaking of cyber-attacks, there is a war going on between the Pumatards and Wonkette, and it has officially gotten hilarious. Follow this link, one of the Pumatards quotes a post on Wonkette by Lionel Hutz, which is just a word for word quote from Animal House (the “was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor” speech) and the Pumatards are trying to figure out who to report this “death threat” to. Just beautiful.

@Prommie: Wow. That blog is like Jezebel and Wonkette had a baby… and abandoned it.

@RomeGirl: The alliance with TeamSarah is especially troubling. They could hurt themselves with the sharp ends on all of those exclamation points.

Allow me to offer a palate cleanser here. Hillaryis44 — go!

“The obvious reason Obama insulted Senator Diane Feinstein is that she – is – a – girl.”

Of course, they care about powerful women enough to flunk on Dianne’s name. And they call DiFi a girl.

@nabisco: And, note use of “poo poo.” I mean, really now.

@RomeGirl: Wow. That is indeed a promnight dumpster baby of Wonk/Jez. My favorite thing about that discussion is that they assume all the Wonketeers are Gen X or Y at the oldest, and then they go on to point out that they were raised on television and without any socialization skills, ability to think independently, or drive to achieve anything. But weren’t Gen X and Y kids raised by, well, Pumas?

@flippin eck: I am not sure if these PUMAS ever raised any kids. PUMA is not a generational tag, like “Cougar,” its more like a pyschological diagnosis.

@Prommie: But there’s probably a 0.9 correlation between PUMA membership and being “of a certain age.”

@flippin eck:

They make reasoned, logical arguments based on completely false, racist, or stupid premises. They are a close cousin to the Wingnuttia Philologus, exemplified by such luminaries as George Will- except, of course, for the vaguely liberal stance and body fat content. Also, I don’t think that you’d find the Philologus wearing track suits or Birkenstocks too often, but of course I may be wrong here as I’ve never observed one in its’ natural habitat.

@mellbell: I’m thinking white, 40s-50s, divorced, watches The View, has at least 1 Michael Bolton CD, mourns the loss of New Coke, and voted for Reagan. Twice.

@redmanlaw: They’re sniffing around out here as well. Smaller amounts, however, and plausible deniability so far, but Pennsytucky lurvs to bring down the pols.

@blogenfreude/ mellbell: I’m thinking white, 40s-50s, divorced [or in sex-free marriage for reasons that are painfully obvious], watches The View, has at least [1 Michael Bolton CD] 2 James Taylor CDs, [mourns the loss of New Coke], and voted for Reagan. Twice.

Fixed. (Nobody liked New Coke. Nobody.)

SanFranLefty: Regret to inform: Tab has been revived. In fact, there is a fan site for Tab — to wit,

@chicago bureau: I love the fact that there is apparently a black market in Tab at a few Bay Area stores.

@SanFranLefty: Was it ever out of production? My brother and one of my sisters worked at Kroger in the mid-to-late 90s and would constantly bitch about “that weird guy who’s always stocking up on Tab.”

@Prommie: Can you say “corrosive bitterness”? I thought you could.

@SanFranLefty: My boss drinks it. He (yes, he) keeps a case on hand at all times.


The whole ricin/Seattle gay bars threat thingy is really not a big deal.

What’s interesting is the threat letter itself, which is really long and rambly and seemingly not written by the usual neofascist/master pastor/Palintard. I mean the compound sentences and select diction make that obvious right away.

If they’d written it, it’d go something like “Yur deathstyle iz hurtz Baby Jeebus. U go boom now!”

Besides, ricin is only lethal if injested or injected, right? So the precautions are simple enough:

“Guys, don’t let anyone inject you with anything other than tha hawt salami!” I’d say we’ve got that part covered.

@Original Andrew: Isn’t ricin what they used in Tokyo? Awful stuff, but a great investigative book by Murakami (“Tokyo Underground”).

Sarin, ricin – it was still a great book.

@Original Andrew: Now if he had threatened to sneak Tab into the gay bars, people would be totally freaking out! It would be like when a rumor spread that a Hooters was opening up on Cap Hill.
@chicago bureau: I thought new coke was designed to fail so that they could switch over to corn sugar for the original recipie stuff.


Now if he had threatened to sneak Tab into the gay bars…

Or Pit Bulls ; )

@nabisco: Reading “Norwegian Wood” put me off of him. I can only take so much petulant whining from a self-absorbed asshole (the main character, not Murakami, though I’ve heard it’s semi-autobiographical, or, rather, that he models his protagonists on himself).

@Jamie Sommers: The type of coke (my Texas is showing by using the word “coke” to refer generically to soda) that I miss along with TaB is Mr. Pibb. Almost as good as Dr. Pepper. Oooh, and do you remember Big Red? Awesome stuff. Rotted your teeth like crazy, my mom would never buy it and I had to get it at friends’ houses. I think Big Red is only sold in a 150 mile radius of San Antonio and Houston.

@SanFranLefty: They used to sell Big Red here, alongside Green River which I totally loved. I haven’t seen either in years, but then again I haven’t bought a soda without whiskey in it in years.

@drinkyclown, lefty: I used to buy Big Red at Wal-Mart for 79 cents per two liter bottle for use as 100 yard rifle targets. Any cheap soda will do, so long as it’s red or orange. I get it by the case in cans for shooting with the pistols when I go way out in the desert and not to the range (The cans and bottles are recycled).

@SanFranLefty: My best bud from h.s. introduced me to Big Red here in the NE, which we swilled while chewing tobaccy to induce pre-mary jane spins. Of course, he was originally from Longview…

RC is the best cola, IMO.

@nabisco: The only place I see RC sold anymore is in machines in front of Rural King. At 25 cents a can, you can’t go wrong!

Ah, for the days of cork inside bottlecaps. Gave you something to pass the time before the Internet.

mellbell: RC is standard-issue here in Chicago’s finest rat-infested hot dog and gyro restaurants.

@redmanlaw: (The cans and bottles are recycled)

Awesome addendum there.

@SanFranLefty: Do I remember Big Red? DO I REMEMBER BIG RED???!!!!!!

OMFG, of course! When I was in school and went home during breaks, I would make my mother go out and by cases of it for me. (As an undergrad, it was the regular. By law school, however, i’d switched to diet.)

The first time I saw a 2 liter bottle of it in a grocery store here, I just about wet my pants. However, all I ever see nowadays is the regular and I’ve been on diet coke for so long, the frucrosed version tastes weird to me. It’s damn near impossible to find diet BR.

Unfortunately, m’dear, we differ on the subject of the Pibb. I live for the good Doctor and all of her incarations (except for the unfortunate chocolate version. Let’s never speak of that again.). The Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper is like a cool summertime breeze. However, it must be served chilled. Unlike regular DP, it cannot be served hot.

@Jamie Sommers: Diet Big Red?

STFU! No way! I had no idea such a thing existed. I wonder if you can order the stuff online from the H-E-B website.

Nothing better than a Big Red with barbecue. The sweetness of the drink off-setting the tangy vinegary goodness of the barbecue.

I love the Pibb, but my favorite all-time soda is Diet Dr. Pepper. I don’t like the regular stuff, yet another reason I’m suspect in Texas.

@flippin eck: If they were GenX or older, they should have gotten the Animal House reference.

@SanFranLefty: @Jamie Sommers: Darlings both,

I grew up on Tizer. And Iron Brew.

Exactly. And you wonder why the rest of the world wants to be Murcan?

We want to suck up exactly what it was that Lana Turner sucked up through a straw between those pouty pouty lips that drove John Garfield insane.

@SanFranLefty: Re using “coke” as a generic term for “soda”: When the restaurant where Mr Cyn worked was going thru a string of bad bartenders, one of the idiots, who understood “soda” to mean “coke” started to fill an order of Scotch and soda by adding Coca-Cola to the Glenlivet. He didn’t last long, but longer than the bimbo who asked me, in all seriousness, what was in a gin and tonic.

@Benedick: I realize this probably doesn’t shock you, but you’re fired as a Scot. It’s spelled Irn-Bru.

Coca-Cola that is kosher for Passover, and Coke hecho en Mexico, are made with real sugar. Coke fanatatics of all religious persuasions who can’t get to Mexico regularly consult the Jewish calendar for this reason.

@Mistress Cynica: Or as a patron asked a friend of mine who was doing duty as a waitron: The shredded chicken… What is that?

@IanJ: No, darling. Not when I was a wee nipper at my gran’s in Fifeshire. When you bought it at the Lumphinan’s co-op it was endoréed with the title: Iron Brew.

My aunties would order “Iron Brew and vogka” with all the insouciance of the working class on a spree.

What has happened to this nectar of the gods since, and what innovations might have been made with the spelling, it will remain forever in my heart: Iron Brew.

you are correct. it was a marketing ploy designed to fail and benefit the corn sugar interests.
i haven’t had a soda since someone threw a can of the swill out the window of my 442 in 1975 and it ATE THE PAINT. not that i don’t abuse my body, but we need to prioritize.

benedick, john garfield? how about what that pout did to sinatra?

@drinkyclown: Thats my understanding too, they gave everyone a month of new Coke in the hope they wouldn’t notice when they brought back “Classic,” except Classic was not the old Coke. Real genuine Coke, the old recipe, is available around passover, thats the Kosher coke, its all sugar, corn syrup for some reason is not Kosher, and its still made in Mexico, I go to Mexican markets to buy mexican coke, its a real treat, a completely different animal.

Same thing has happened with beers, Budweiser, never a good beer, has become undrinkable, no hops at all anymore, its downright sweet. Miller High-Life was OK through the 90s, but I have found better, good German lagers like Bitburger and Warsteiner, thats what you want if you want a nice refreshing lager anymore.

@nojo: Cork in bottle tops, thats a phrase, a vision, a thing, I have not seen in so long. Like pull tabs that pulled off, that you could make chains out of, in high school I had a chain wrapped around my rearview that was 10 feet long.

@baked: As Ava Gardner said about Sinatra to Limey regent in Africa while filming Mogambo (try saying that with a straight face): “He may be only 120 pounds but 110 is cock”.

Or reference Peter Lawford’s autobiography which details incidents of pestorking Lana Turner from behind at the back of Grauman’s Chinese.

He also cites reason for Nancy Davis’s ‘career’: she gave the best head in Hollywood.

Happy days.

@Promnight: @Dodgerblue: I did not know that they made kosher coke, that is pretty awesome. I totally remember the pull tabs on cans! And the tiny cans of V8 or whatever would have little pieces of foil you pulled off. Cork on bottle tops I don’t remember, when did that die out?

@Benedick: Ah, show business pestorking, its half the fascination of fame, isn’t it? Thats why all the closeted stars, I think, it would ruin the fantasies of the hetero fans.

Benedick, I am in the mood to read one of the classic Hollywood tell-alls. Whats a good one? Bring on the Empty Horses? My Wicked Wicked Ways? I understand that heavyset Brit who played Nero in one of the chariot movies wrote a good one. Hollywood Confidential? I wish I could have had a night out on a pub crawl with Richard Harris and Peter O’Toole, I have heard them hint of amazing things. But I am sure you know better, what would be a good one to read?

May I direct everyone’s attention to the latest post – I found us a PUMA.

@Promnight: Dearest: I will tell you this I wouldn’t tell most.

Movies are not theatre: So, best movie tell-all? Maria Riva’s biography of her mother, Marlene Dietricht. It is the single best book I ever read about being a star. It is astounding.

“Brit in chariot race”; is that Frank Thring? Great big steaming strine poofter? I wouldn’t believe a word he says.

As to the tell-alls: Peter Lawford is pretty good; David Niven is excellent; P O’Toole and R Harris are two second-rate actors and very boring men who mostly got drunk.

Go for M Riva’s book. It is astonishing. There has never been a better account of ‘movie magic’ than this.

As to sex: everyone’s too busy.

i so knew you had juicy tales…..

i must mention here, once again since you bring it up, that i had a shot at peter o’toole 3 years ago. sadly, he looked liked the cryptkeeper and no one lana would be interested in. or me even. so as not to bore you, i will add one of my other almost-fucked-a-star stories. when i was 15 (and looked 20) we had a family vacation at the el conquistador in puerto rico. rod stewart, still fronting “faces” chased me around the hotel for a week. i knew who he was, i was afraid. a late bloomer, i was rightfully afraid of boys. i will regret passing on this for the rest of my life.

@baked: Immortalized in “Hot Legs” are we?

@baked: Cupcake, kisses.

Rod Stewart rented a room in our house when I was a nipper. I don’t remember him but my mother swore that was true. You didn’t miss a thing.

P O’Toole. Eww. Albert Finney was offered Laurence of Whatsit but turned it down. O’Toole walked out on his contract with the RSC to do the movie. Then he got his nose job and ruined his face. It’s a pity: L of A is a fine movie with a piss poor performance at its heart.

no, he was really cute! he was sporting that cockatoo hairstyle and my father tormented him about it like don rickles. we were mortified!
he was VERY cute. damn.

i did perstork someone currently on the local news in nyc.
not drunk enough or after dark enough to talk……

@baked: You are to be congratulated for not fucking Rod Stewart. He isn’t Barry Manilow yet, but he’s descending into Michael Bolton territory. You should never encourage these people.

And remind me later to tell you the story about the time I bumped into Mercedes Ruehl. Oy.

@baked: The only celebrity I have ever met (and I use that term loosely here) is Justice Souter. As adorable as he is, the little hermit, I wasn’t exactly trying to get in his pants, nor he in mine.

@Promnight: You had to pick out the cork to get to the rebus. That’s entertainment!

@Promnight: They put corn syrup in beer these days. Have you read any of Michael Pollan’s books?

jon, jerry, and richard lewis were my aces in the..uh..hole.
but you got me beat.

fun fact: i was actually fixed up on a blind date with richard lewis. this is very discouraging to have come to my friends minds when wondering who that disturbo might like. very.

@mellbell: Also you’re not on Justice Souter’s team. He’s on Team Tommcatt, or rumor has it.

@mellbell: I have to go to bed now imagining a world in which Justice Souter is a sleb. How can that jibe with JLo’s ass?

@Promnight: Peter Ustinov played Nero in Quo Vadis. He wrote an autobiography (published in 1977), Dear Me. As you can see from its title, it’s worth reading (although I don’t remember there being many Hollywood steamy stories in it).

@SanFranLefty: Lord only knows. I have an aunt who is nearly sixty and unmarried, and I think some people see that and wrongly assume that she’s a lesbian, rather than a woman with some missed opportunities who now has better things to do with her life, so I wouldn’t go by his “confirmed bachelor” status alone.

goodnight all…oversharing big mouth going to bed. night night.

souter? really?

“come out come out wherever you are”

@mellbell: Maybe my ghey boyz liberal friends in DC are engaging in wishful thinking, but they swear, swear that Souter’s on their team.

@baked: As to the tell-alls: Peter Lawford is pretty good; David Niven is excellent; P O’Toole and R Harris are two second-rate actors and very boring men who mostly got drunk.

OK, you just dashed all my Hopes. Thank you BAKED! Anyway, if I mostly get drunk, can I have a chance to sleep with the gods? Well, not when they’re dead of course, that would just be creepy. I mean the New Gods of course.

@lynnlightfoot: And Peter Ustinov played “Box” in Logan’s Run, and I once met P. Ustinov (but didn’t fuck him, there’s the pity), and I’m sure PU at some point played with PO in some costume drama, so I’m like three degrees of separation from fucking PO, right? Do I not deserve congratulations?

Why didn’t any of you east coast eeelites tell me that my secret lesbian girlfriend Rachel Maddow was going to be on Jon Stewart tonight? Thank FSM I’m staying up late working on cover letters for jobs and caught her.

But why does she insist on wearing those glasses off of her show? She has beautiful dreamy eyes and she hides them behind those rims.

Oh, and I think that baked’s boyfriend Jon Stewart has a crush on Rachel. Who doesn’t?

@SanFranLefty: I’m looking forward to watching it online tomorrow.

Sorry about that, but I passed out soon after TDS aired.

She sort of looks like Harry Potter when she wears her glasses.

I like Rachel. Very smart lady with character. You can tell she genuinely enjoys intellectual convo.

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