In considering just how many 'Top 10s' I could drag out of the actual streets themselves, the more I thought about it, the more daunting a task it seemed.
In terms of what people are currently writing under our Parisian feet, there are artistic (and non-verbal) works, anarchic or political slogans, and more recently advertising from well-known high street brands. Not to mention lovelorn lads laying open their souls on the cold hard concrete; I'm thinking of the plethora of 'Alice je t'aime's which surround the Denfert Rochereau RER station, presumably on the daily route to work of Alice herself...
So, although I'm tempted to specialise my street top tens, I'm going to create one for all verbal expression for the time being and see how long it takes to reach double figures. Another shall be dedicated to less wordy expression. Eyes down: here we go!
Sab's Top Ten Paris Sidewalk Slogans No.4 ~ "Jack Sparrow It"
Johnny Depp has a lot to answer for. Not that this sidewalk scrawl is particularly Parisian, apart from the fact that I photographed it in Paris, so therefore it is.
'Fuck everithing and become a pirate', exhorts the legend. And when you come to think of it, that's not such a bad idea. Look at the Somalians. Look at the web sites selling millions of copies of other people's creations. Look at Jack Sparrow, for freak's sake!
He's cool. He's so unbelievably cool it's not funny. We all want to be pirates really, I reckon. Even as I type I'm looking out of MxDxnxld's window onto a rotating ad thingy, one of which is a bunch of chipmonks led by a certain 'Alvin' (of 'Alvin & The Chipmonks' fame...) on a raft looking to all intents and purposes like a furred up version of something from Pirates of the Caribbean, and if only I were making this up.
Then there's the sociological angle. Who would have written this? What would have pushed them to do so. And what are they trying to say? Surely they aren't really suggesting we, <ahem!> fuck everithing and become a pirate...
Or maybe they are. Maybe they are part of the new 'FEABAP' movement. Party even. After all, it is election year again. That would make a pretty cool party I reckon. An 'as cool as Johnny Depp' party.
Jack Sparrow for president! He could show Sarkozy a thing or two. He and Vanessa. They'd ride the waves of the opinion polls like the king and queen Nico and Carla will never be. All of France loves them. They're icons, they're legends. Go Cap'n Jack!
* Sab Will runsPhoto and Curios Tours in Paris, and also manages a variety of Paris and photography-themed sites and blogs. He writes an illustrated Paris Chronicle every day, runs a Meetup group for Paris lovers, interviews Paris personalities and reviews Paris books (on this blog), and even contributes to the city's street art (shh), so feel free to browse some of the links below and in the right-hand column to find out more about what he gets up to out there...