Last Paris-London Pot-Pourri. # 35.3

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Tower bridge. This one is for my friend “Edith”. Complete with blue.

As Westminster debated today on Brexit (Again? I mean, make up your mind, Man!), I wondered why politicians of all hue and dye still think we are all dummies. And act no better than their politico counterparts in previous centuries. Lying, maneuvering and deceiving as true Machiavel pupils. Have they not realized that a most – single – important factor has changed over the past century or two? What can that be? See below.

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Pont Alexandre III. The Grand Palais is behind the column.

So what has changed? Democracy? When I see some of the latest results I am beginning to have second thoughts about the reality of that. But yes. Ok. There are more “democratic” elections world-wide. But that is not the point. Yet.

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Houseboat. Near King’s Cross.

What other – major -change? Women’s vote? Definitely. English women were awarded the right to vote in 1928. Not even a century ago. And the Brits – again – beat the French to the line. French women were not given the right of vote until after WWII, in 1946. One of my grandmothers never voted, she died in the winter of 1944. Yes, a major move. Until then half the adult population had no say.

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Do not the dreary weather fool you. That is the Seine. Right bank, near the Alexandre III bridge. (I know I overdo that bridge a bit. But it is lovely)

Changes, changes… Lowering voting age from 21 to 18? Yes. But in the US, you can vote and not drink till 21? Contradictory “innit”?

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David Cameron reconverted as a stone-cutter. (I may have done that – bad – joke before) 😉

Still can’t put your finger on the major change in human history Politicians worldwide are ignoring? Think, think.

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Gare du Nord. Northern railway station, Paris.

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“Theirs”. “Ours”. Not much of a difference is there? 🙂 London. 2016.

Still thinking?

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Paris. Theirs or ours? A very neat Land-Rover set up for antiterrorist operations. Paris, Av. Carnot. 2016. A short walk from l’Etoile. Walked by twice during the day. Not much anti-terrorist activity going on inside or around the vehicle.

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Sacré-Coeur. Unmistakable.

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THE Tower. I pray that a 5 star hotel will NEVER be built there, as in the Post Office in DC.

“Got it? Yes, the lady in the back?”

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Le Pont des arts, in its new guise, padlock-free. The old wire-mesh has finally been replaced by(hopefully) scratch-free  glass panels.

“Please hand the lady a microphone please. Over there. In the last row.”

“Literacy?”

“Yes! Thank you ma’am! A round of applause please for the lady in the back. Literacy is the major change.”

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Maillol. Tuileries garden. Not ours. It is set in the gardens of the Louvre for the whole world to see.

“Literacy? What’sat got to do wi’ the price o’beans?”

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Girl with a dolphin. Fountain by David Wynne, 1973. Title ‘not exactly creative, but the movement is graceful. Near Tower bridge. Again. 🙂

Literacy! Two centuries ago, in 1820, right after Waterloo, only 20% of the world population could read and write. Only 20%! Think about that. Only one in every 5 people could actually read or write. And that had been the way for centuries and centuries and saecula saeculorum. 1820? That was yesterday. Heads of state and ministers and so-called representatives and all petty rulers had a field day with an uneducated populace. Today only 17% remain illiterate. Only 17% can’t read a newspaper.

https://ourworldindata.org/literacy/

Do check that site. Great graphs. Easy to grasp. Who led the way in the fight against illiteracy? The Dutch, the Swedes, and the Brits. With Germany, France and Italy lagging a bit behind. Of course there are still wide variations worldwide. Not to mention the ever increasing proportion of people now completing higher education, college or grad school.

The people of today are by far better educated than our forefathers. Yet, when you look at politicians worldwide, they still hold huge meetings, lift their arms in triumph, promise the impossible, lie all the time, even about what they had for breakfast, and basically act as if – once we’ve voted  for them – we, the People, are still a bunch of illiterate dummies who can be led by their nose.

Or maybe, we do ACT like dummies, by letting them get away with all their theatricals? And not demand scrutiny, accountability and professionalism? Or demand, as another friend put it, that, once elected, they do “act as a President”.  (The latter is not exclusive of whoever you might have in mind.) Think about it, my beloved E-friends. Education has changed the world, it has to change the  way we let ourselves be “ruled”. 🙂

Captain and crew once again thank you for traveling on the Equinoxio Channel shuttle. Until next time, fair winds.

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42 thoughts on “Last Paris-London Pot-Pourri. # 35.3

  1. Love the houseboats. Only time I got to see much of that was the Highlander TV show and the main character had a houseboat in France. I Lived in a 40.4 foot RV and I think a houseboat has to be similar. Hugs

  2. Fair winds, indeed, Brian!
    A captivating ride, once again, through the wonderful memories in my mind. Though, I’m very disappointed. I didn’t see the Girl with a Dolphin statue when in London; something to put on the agenda.
    And, speaking about agendas; yes, education certainly has come a long way over the past couple of centuries. Like everything, though, change is slow. I’m looking forward, Brian, to greater transparency in all spheres of life, not the least politics. We have to admit; at least it is interesting!

    • I think change is uneven. Some areas incredibly fast, others sluggish. I may publish it some day, Transparency International’s corruption index is very highly correlated to GDP per capita. In other words, corruption in any guise, anywhere is just robbing the world blind. 😦

    • If by original you mean stark naked, yes. The whole place (with sun) is quite pleasant. Close to the river. To the Tower. The fountain and sculpture are very… fresh. Do look it up next time you go to London. (No burritos or Margaritas please) 😉

    • Thank you Susan. The fountain and sculpture are very nice. Nice view on the Thames, the bridge and the Tower. The movement of the sculpture is quite good. All in all a very pleasant place to take a break, and look at life going on around. Be good.

  3. Wynne’s “girl” looks kinda… pregnant. o_O (rotate it upside-down for a better view) This time Maillol wins. 🙂
    Le pont des arts is now dull, they managed to kill its image forever. I know the story – too much weight, blah-blah – but the end result is simply sad.
    Nice lizard on Pont Alexandre III and fine graffiti always at Gare du Nord. 😉
    In my book France won this contest with flying colors. 🙂

    • Thank you for your support, “Thorn” I knew I could count on you. Wynne’s girl is very ’70’s. I just read that the artist left us last year. About 90. Years old. 😦

      • He had a long life, hopefully a good one. May he rest in peace.

        We don’t always get artist’s message – or dare I say we seldom do get it. So who knows, maybe the girl has a secret that only her dophin really knows and he won’t tell. 😉

  4. “Or maybe, we do ACT like dummies, by letting them get away with all their theatricals? And not demand scrutiny, accountability and professionalism? Or demand, as another friend put it, that, once elected, they do “act as a President””

    M’sieur Equinoxio, this pretty much nails it. We are acting like dummies, believing in TWATS who tell us that immigrants commit crimes, vaccines are bad and so on and so forth.

    Thanks for the ride!

    Fabrizio

    • Grazie mille Fabrizio. It dawned on me the other day, that the core of the problem is that we have grown. Got better educated. (Not a guarantee though) and we still allow those jerks to behave as in the 15th century? The hell with it. 🙂

  5. For all the ”education”, wisdom still seems to be dragging its heels.

    If Wisdom ever manages to get its A into G and catch Education, or at last get close enough to holler, what will it yell, I wonder?

    ”Oi! What the hell did we spend all that money for learning you stuff if you are going to continue to behave like a Dickhead?”

    • Agreed. I’ve seen enough A-holes with a Phd to confirm that. However, there is some correlation between education and deveolpment, education and the decrease of violence… It is not wisdom but maybe maybe it will et us closer? If not, then we are doomed as a species.

  6. There’s a saying in the theatre, Brian, that tries to explain the appeal of watching a group of actors perform on stage when there are things like films and the internet to entertain us all. The human trait that allows us believe the people and story being performed in front of an audience who, for a a couple of hours, choose to be transported to another world: “The suspension of disbelief”.

    I think it applies to our willingness to believe the half truths and full-on lies of politicians and political movements. Lovely post, shame about the imbeciles who sit in the UK Parliament voting for destruction when they could have saved the day.

    • Suspension of disbelief? And Coleridge at that? Thank you for the concept. It most certainly offers an explanation. And is probably tied – on the speakers’ side – to Cognitive Dissonance. The idiots end up believing their own… discourse. 😦

  7. I was smiling throughout this post cause we coincide in so many places we visited here 🙂 I would like to remain on this shuttle, but have to step out for now. Le monde vas de mal en pire, j’en suis sure, et voir les parties droites presque partout venir au pouvoir me fait peur.

    • Glad you smiled. And yes we have walked some of the same places.
      And yes I am concerned too at the turn of events everywhere… Let’s hope for the best though. (And prepare for the worst?) (Espérons que non.) Bjo e bom fim.

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