Saturday, February 16, 2019

Who is my audience? Who's in the crowd?

Tourists at the foot of Sacre-Coeur surveying the hordes of tourists on the street leading to the foot of Sacre-Coeur.

 No, really:  I'm asking. Yesterday I got a high number of hits and visits. Yippee, said I, and clicked on the audience stats to see who these people were. Almost all the hits were from Moldavia. Um, OK, I said, glad you liked my stuff enough to click through my blog.

The Paris Metro, with the continuous cars of Line 1, 5 pm on a weekday.

Then I looked to see what websites were the sources. A gratifying number were from links at journals where I've had work published, but a disconcerting number were from a free porn site. I don't know quite how that happened. Perhaps it means simply that people are complex, not to say complicated.

The police forces out en masse for a group of teachers, from pre-school through university professors, protesting cuts to education funding. btw, gendarme means "people who are armed" with guns, not simply truncheons.The short couple in the center are about to be taken into custory.

Maybe it simply means that I'm not nearly as narrow/obscure/esoteric as I sometimes feel. Hi-ho.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Values on parade: eavesdropping at the Louvre


Back in the day, on our second trip to Paris, we moseyed through the gallery the Louvre docents had given to the Italian Renaissance. Most visitors were not moseying. They were trotting, hustling even, on their way to the room with only one access and no exit that houses La Jaconde, La Giaconda, aka Mona Lisa. We were enjoying the art and lingering, but not everyone felt the same way. One American (Madras shorts, loafers without socks) held forth in the middle of the room, proclaiming that no one really liked Picasso, that his fame was all a scam put forward by a cabal of critics. (As it happened, Walter adored Picasso, so he made some extraordinary faces to keep from laughing out loud.) However, there were also two guys who were thrilled by what they were seeing. They stood for some time before some master's painting of the martyrdom of St. Anthony, namely, the muscular yet lissome saint being riddled with arrows. Then one said to the other, with some exaltation and exhilaration and reverence, "You can't call yourself a man if you don't make Art."