Thursday, 23 February 2012

Sab's Top Ten Paris Sidewalk Slogans: No.6 ~ "Hold Your Head Up"

POSTED IN:  ~ PlacesTop 10 ~ Slogans ~ Sidewalk

Sab's Top Ten  Paris Sidewalk Slogans
No.6) "Hold Your Head Up" ~ 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.6) ~ "Hold Your Head Up"

OK, I realise that this on on the right isn't actually on a sidewalk, but it is on sidewalks all over Paris at the moment and I only just thought it was worth including in my Top 10 Paris Sidewalk Slogans when I saw this one, which, as it happens, isn't.

The reason I initially didn't think it was worth including was because it was always the same and struck me as just another corny, groany wannabe utopian leitmotif more than 40 too late for the '68 student 'uprising' and their 'sous les pavés la plage' (under the paving stones, the beach).

Then I started seeing them in places about the worst thing you could do would be to look at the sky, principally on zebra crossings and other hazardous traffic-rich situations.

Here is another example, and I think the joke must be on them here, because if we are being incited lift our gazes and our spirits above our mundane existence to a higher plane, this construction site crowned by an eyesore of a crane rather squishes the sentiment.

I've seen enough of them in less prosaic places where irony wasn't particularly rife to feel that they might smile themselves if reading this. Who knows. There is no signature and no hint to the sentiments behind those three words, regarde le ciel, (look at the sky) or the person who is plastering them all over Paris.

Maybe it's a new advertising campaign for Free, the new mobile phone operator, and they're suggesting we watch out just in case they manage to get their wobbly transmission signals sorted out at last. Or a new airline about to be launched. Or perhaps there's just a large pigeon population in the trees overhead and the message is purely utilitarian from a concerned citizen.

These are all conundrums I have yet to resolve but rest assured, your roving, permanently rickety-necked reporter will bring you the heads-up as soon as I have more to share. Along with a truly sidewalk-bound example of the above, although if I respect the enjoined injunction, it might take a while...

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Discover all my Paris sidewalk slogans... 

1) OPTICAL ILLUSIONS ~ 2) FLYING THIEVES ~ 3) DANGER TO THE RIGHT
4) JACK SPARROW IT ~ 5) REPUBLIQUE DES B... ~ 6) HOLD YOUR HEAD UP
7) COMING SOON ~ 8) COMING SOON ~ 9) COMING SOON
10) COMING SOON
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* 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...

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

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