...Continued from page 1

The nickname for this is the 'Expo That Missed Its Deadline.' Last week I wrote that I tried to visit this Ville de Paris' exhibition, but was a week too early.

On checking, I discovered that 'Liberté à la Une' - Freedom for the Front Page' should have started last Monday. So I put this date into last week's 'Scene' column, with the mention that it continues until 15. May.

But the city's info magazine 'Paris Le Journal' didn't come out on time on the 15th of the month - or it didn't get delivered to the 14th arrondissement on time, so it was a week late when I got my copy.

And behold! Now the start date given for this 'Freedom of the Press' exhibition is given asphoto: restaurant smoke bar Tuesday, 29. February - and it is to continue until Sunday, 14. May. With city institutions being closed on Mondays, these dates make sense.

Paris is not a paradise for the smoke-shy. This bar incorporates a warning on its sign.

This exhibition - if it ever gets started - is supposed to involve a history of the freedom of the press, so I will have a certain interest in it because Metropole Paris is in this line of activity. Also, the city plans to open a permanent press museum, to possibly be called 'Cité de la Presse.'

There is some doubt that regularly-published online magazines like Metropole are 'the press.' This year's gigantic CeBIT exhibition in Germany which shows everything new in the line of computing - including the Internet - is refusing to accredit any online reporters.

To be an accredited as a journalist in France, one must prove that their major activity is working for the press - mere diplomas don't count. This 'proof' is usually in the form of salary slips.

Employers don't like these, because the Code de Travail requires that the journalist be treated like any other salaried employee - even if paid 'by the piece.' Salaries also mean that employers must pay their part of the social charges - which adds about 30 percent on top of what the journalist gets.

As far as online reporting goes, the professional status is moot. The last I heard, the commission that attributes official press cards in France, refuses to recognize online reports as a form of journalism.

My personal 'Carte d'Identité des Journalistes Professionnels' expired in 1991. Even if I paid myself a salary plus the employer's social charges, I probably could not get the card renewed - because I am also Metropole's publisher.

Yet it is the publisher - who hires a journalist to do reports - who essentially decides who is and who is not a journalist. This is another sample of French 'logic' as well as being a classic example of Catch-22.

Café Metropole Club's 20th Session

The 20th weekly meeting of the 'Café Metropole Club' came off with more than its usual panache last Thursday. You can read all about it on last week's 'Club 'Report'' page.

Starting this week, last week's 'report' will be re-run in this week's 'Clubphoto: passage d'enfer News' feature, so you won't have to go back to read about it.

From either Raspail or the Rue Campagne-Première, you can shortcut through the Passage d'Enfer.

However, this week's 'Club News' will not be an exact copy last week's 'update' version. At the meetings, club members give 'Ed' tips and other news. Often these can only be included later, for Monday's regular edition.

For example, today's version will have some different or new photos - and the repetitive PR nonsense will be cut back.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 4.09 - 1. March1999 - The Café Metropolephoto: passage d'enfer column was headlined: - 'Strolling for Stories.' 'Au Bistro' had 'Ohhhh - The Winter!' This issue had two features, entitled 'A View of the Musée Fournaise' and 'On the 'Route des Impressionistes." This issue's 'Paris' Scene' had 'Now, the Russians Are Coming.' There were four 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned 'Skip Hamlet!'

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago:

photo: freud psychoIssue 3.09 - 2. March 1998 - The Café Metropole column was headlined 'The Endless Search for the 'X-Generation,' which I never found. The 'Au Bistro' column was titled 'Beware of Fake Taxis and Good Money.' This issue had three features, entitled 'Who Am I? Who Are We? Find Out in Paris,' 'East of Bastille, Work and Play' and 'Photos: February Scenes in Paris.' There were four 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned 'Eat the Exhibits.'

The Metropole Paris Countdown to 31. December 2000:

Even though readers are not asking for any countdown to the probable beginning of the next century and even more importantly, to the next millennium, this boring countdown continues mindlessly with the 9th issue of 2000 because once something silly like this is started the longer it goes on the more idiotic it gets.

This new countdown will last only 366 days, minus the 58 days already gone. The official reason for doing this is to give the Tour Eiffel a new chance to 'get it right' - and for a leap year it ought to - because so many count-down fans missed shouting 'Zéro' on Friday, 31. December 1999. The 'unofficial' reason will be revealed in due time.

There are about 308 days left to go until the 3rd Millennium.
signature, regards, ric

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