Today France Is Happy

photo: trouville bar central
Near the desert of the Ecole Militaire,
the café of the same name.

If You Won the World Cup Last Night,
You Would Be Too

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 13. July 1998:- The French team winning the World Cup last night has launched all sorts of dreamlike speculation, including some of my own.

Apparently ladies got tired of twiddling their thumbs while their men-friends lapsed into total SportsFan mode for 32 or 33 days, and they joined the ranks.

I don't know if this is going to last. Alert ladies will have surely noticed that soccer is run by men and men run most of the TV, and they sneakily program game times so that ladies have pauses in which to cook meals.

Nevertheless a lot was made of it and you could see a lot of ladies trading shirts with guys on the Champs-Elysées. This will add an interesting feature to this street if it isn't just a temporary fad.

As everybody doubtless also knows by now, France won the World Cup Championship. I know I already more or less said this in the first paragraph, but it is worth repeating.

Except for some obscure rugby matches, France hardly wins anything except the shoot-yourself-in-the-foot competitions. It isn't that France is good at this; but France is often the only entrant and wins these things by default.

Actually winning something and doing it in front of a very big audience, may have the effect of making the French appear to be competent in public.

This in turn may suggest to some people here that it is not a shameful thing to do. This may lead natives into thephoto: cafe waiting for game habit of doing it on their own initiative - and nobody knows what this might lead to.

Only three hours to game time and the café still has free places.

Basically, the World Cup was won by a clever trainer and 22 ordinary French guys. Although having the backing of the state and its administration, and an organization supplied by the FIFA and the CFO - it was these ordinary guys who actually won all the matches they had to.

They did a darn good job. They deserve to be the heros they are.

Looking For The Revolution

With Bastille Day coming up tomorrow, I was wondering last week how it was possible to live in France, in Paris, for over twenty years - and not know where the 'Museum of the Revolution' is.

I have no idea how many museums there are in Paris or the Ile-de-France, but not having a museum devoted to the most pivotal event in French history seemed to be an impossibility to me.

Yet, when I arrived at Invalides - which I was pretty sure was not the right place - I was amazed all the same that nobody there seemed to know either.

After passing the Champ de Mars - blockaded for the 'Three Tenors' performance on Friday night - after hearing that the France-Croatia game was not playing on the big screen at Trocadéro on account of a rehearsal for them, the Revolution was higher in my mind.

Thirty seconds was all it took to learn that there are no 'Droits de l'Homme' in the Musée de la Homme, regardlessgraphic: expo at the musee de l'homme of the so-named Parvis of the same name right outside. The other twenty minutes spent there were used to discuss certain of these contradictions with the guard, who was quite up on his history.

Now showing at the Musée de l'Homme at Trocadéro.

On Friday at Paris' Musée Carnavalet, I noticed that its collections are well-manned by watchers. On off days it is probably a bit of a boring job, but I've found that the minders often know quite a bit about their charges - and are usually willing to talk to civilians.

Imagine my surprise to discover a guard, with a sort of Lenin-like moustache and goatee, in the 'Revolution' section - who readily admitted to being a royalist.

I somehow sensed he would be, if for no other reason than not many ordinary people visit the Revolutionary part of the museum. He has a grudge against the Revolution because he has to sit and guard it all day, on the off-chance somebody will bring a group of school children around to see it.

Even so, I intend to go back someday, because the museum is full of Paris. Like Paris itself, there is a lot of history in this museum. It shouldn't be second on anybody's list of things in Paris that they have to see.

Coming Events Are Not Here. Again.

What this means is that I haven't had time to find any, what with 'Looking For the Revolution' and being a part-time SportsFan.

Although Paris sort of closes down after Bastille Day, there are still lots of events still going on. Outside of Paris, France is in its usual summer 'Festival' frenzy and if you can't find a dozen of these with your eyes closed, you must be overdosed on sports.

Metropole's World Cup News and Links

This week you will find what most likely will be the final Pre-and-Post-World Cup report, as the lead to the Football Links Page. These links started out at the beginning of the year at the end of the 'Au Bistro' column, in the guise of 'SportsNews,' then graduated to their own page.

Even though I wrote last Monday, "Next Monday, it's going to be gone," this last game is such a hair-raiser for France - ending near midnight last night - I think letting it dribble into this issue is only right.

Soccer Bug Hits The Tocqueville Connection Too

This week's 'The Tocqueville Connection' starts its soccer report with a Washington dateline, then moves quickly to where the real action was last week - in France.

Other items in Friday's issue included a report about Airbus scoring over Boeing, a US fir not buying the Tour Eiffel, and the ongoing strike by some of Disney's 'characters' out at Disneyland Paris - but the main news was soccer fever.


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