Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Sab's Top Ten Paris Sidewalk Slogans: No.5 ~ "République des B..."

POSTED IN:  ~ PlacesTop 10 ~ Slogans ~ Sidewalk

Sab's Top Ten  Paris Sidewalk Slogans
No.5) "République des B..." ~ Introduction 
by Sab Will,  wannabe offbeat Paris street guru

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.5) ~ "République des B..."

Luckily, Paris has a long and incredibly rich history.

Unluckily, an awful lot of people died, horribly, in the process.

I don't know if it can be any other way. Looking around me would suggest not.

There are web sites out there claiming that there are more wars, or 'as-good-as' wars, going on right now than at any other time in history.

You'd think we'd know better. But then again, why would we? We still have primitive genes, primed for violence and victory, which the technology of this society has surpassed, but the reality of it has not.

We still kill each other, and with a vengeance. And if it's not in real life, we spend millions producing simulations of murder, and then spend millions more 'enjoying' it, whether in cinemas or theatres on simply in the comfort and (relative) security of our own homes. The 'relative' part depending very much on which country you find yourself served up to live in. The choice not being yours, as evolution would have it.

Who places these slogans pavement-sent, that I'd love to know. Is it students? Old revolutionaries? Sly street artists? Grizzly grannies? Me?

I don't know, and I never will, and that's just fine by me. I wish I could say something more profound in these paragraphs. After all, and when all's said and done, I'm just a little bit bitter to be writing and imagining someone else's efforts as opposed to mine. Maybe I just don't have the revolutionary spirit in me. Is that what it takes to deface the public walkways, to be photographed by anonymous street snappers and then written about on blogs in a language you may not even understand?

There are many mysteries in life, if we wish not to enlighten ourselves, and the ultimate reality doesn't please everyone. The current reality irritates others. The extent to which they can, or rather can't do anything about it irritates even more. And so they draw, paint, plaster and derive. And in the end, who's to say that hard words on unforgiving tarmac aren't the best way to express our frustrations? There are others I'd prefer to avoid, in these post-revolutionary days. For the moment. For now. For this inter-revolutionary period...

Discover all my Paris sidewalk slogans... 


* Sab Will runs Photo 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...

© 2011 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Suggestions, questions, requests and offers always welcome!

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