Friday, 15 October 2010

Paris and I ~ 'Flogging A Dead 'Orse'

iPhone Photo Chronicles
~ Flogging A Dead 'Orse ~

Sitting in a café in some Ile de France outpost where i've been dumped for an hour and a half during one of the SNCF's fun-fun-fun strikes, i got to reading a few blog posts on my trusty mobile phone and thinking about Paris bloggers, and Bloggeuses (the female version) in particular.

The occurence of the Female in Paris Blog (let's just call them Flogs) has reached epidemic proportions. There are literally hundreds of the things. And in case you hadn't noticed guys, the Hermès gloves are off.

Just take the pally little get together between a bunch of the most prolific Paris girlies recently, complete with cheesy grinning photos on their Flogs to prove it. This was the first sign.

Was this really a chance to finally meet up with all the other like-minded displaced sisters in this city of confusion and caprice? Yeah, right. Know Your Enemy, more like.

Did you make it through the mutual mentions and yearning eulogies to each other following this monumental meeting of minds and macaroons? Don't be fooled. It's all a ploy to lower the competition's suspicion levels so they can slide insidiously under each other's guard and siphon off their best ideas for future postings of their own. Weaken Their Defences.

Could you fail to spot the feigned regret in references to 'those who couldn't make it'? Don't believe a word of it. Never forget. Never forgive. You had your chance. Now you're on your own.

Hear some of them plead that they'd love to have been there had it not been for that unavoidable foreign business trip? You either missed the boat, honey, or you didn't have a ticket in the first place...

And girls. About the subject matter. Just a word. We don't give a damn that you think you have just eaten the. most. sublime. macaroons in the whole of Paris.

Yes, Paris is well known for cakes. Yes, some of them taste ok if you like sugar and artificial flavourings and colours. Yes, we know what they look like and don't need some pointless pictures to 'get it'. And then you spend the rest of the posting (or a new one) whining that real Parisiènnes are so slim. Real Parisiennes don't have blogs dedicated to macaroons either.

And then there are the Flogs (False Frogs?) which claim to offer us a glimpse of the 'other' Paris. The secret, hidden one, you know? Yes, that's right - the one crawling with expat bloggeuses teetering around in their new Jimmy Choos, melting macaroon in one hand, buffed bamboo in the other, thinking they're the first non-Frenchie on earth to have visited the Catacombes or the Canal Saint Martin.

Obviously, not all female expat bloggeuses are like this. Some are worse. But then there are a handful that admit that most of these on-line wannabe schoolgirl diarrhies, probably including theirs, are just unoriginal, personality-free, regurgitated tourist guide crap, with, hmmm, let me see now, oh look: a picture of the... Eiffel Tower (not any old tower, mind you), just in case we'd all forgotten how bloody française our favourite bloggeuse has truly become.

So give us a break, girls. i don't give a damn how many hits you get; funny how there's about 50 of you hard-core Floggeuses out there, and you all get about 50 messages per post. All saying exactly the same thing. Generally about macaroons. Or chocolate. Or shoes. Or those to-die-for matching leggings and scarf ('Do they ever go anywhere without a scarf ???') you saw on a real Parisiènne the other day. Or the latest risqué photo exhibition of borderline teenage voyeurism to prove they can't be shockée, or perhaps that they really were (cue faintly funny anecdote about fickle French morals, usually starting with 'I know I live here, but...').
Now us guys don't mess around with all this sort of smarmy smugness and pretentious prattle.

For a start, each of us knows that our blog is the best, and there's not really any competitive place to go when you start from that basis. And even if we know that our blog is total crap or utter shite, we are quite happy in the knowledge that, not only is it crap or shite: it's the crappest or the shitest, and we can relax with the satisfaction that we are number one in that category and get on with the important stuff in life. Like paying a fortune to swallow vast quantities of poisonous liquids until we vomit it all up again, with no refund! What a laugh! Or watching other grown men playing with their balls and hugging and kissing each other at the end of a particularly exciting ballplay.

Of course the stakes are far higher for the ladies. While they're longing for that book deal or regular column in Metro, or the holy grail: a serialisation in Vogue or Cosmo, or even just Marie Claire would do nicely, we guys know the crap we spout wouldn't even be printed on loo paper unless we paid for it, so the thought doesn't even cross our booze befuddled footy funked up minds (what's left of them).

Us chaps have simple needs, and simple rewards such as a pat on the head, a heartfelt 'good boy' or surprise six pack of our favourite brew suffice amply. We couldn't hope for more.

But let's face it; the playing field's hardly even and we're not really comparing like with like. Any self-respecting guy would give his left, and possibly right testicle to be Rob Zombie in this video. Paris Floggers, on the other hand, would like us to believe that they are constantly being badgered to attend exclusive vernissages and constantly have to turn down invitations to sophisticated Parisian wine tastings the likes of which few foreigners ever get so much as a sniff of. i did manage to find some rare footage of a Floggeuse at one of these exclusive high-society parties, which you can enjoy here. The first minute pretty much says it all.

So ladies; worthy creative expats of the female gender; Fabulous Floggeuses of gay Paris: loosen up! Say it like it is.

Get over the food and frocks fetish. How can i put this..? We Don't Care.

You wanna bitch about being here? Leave.

Got something genuinely funny and original to say about your time in the country which doesn't involve cheap laughs at the French which say far more about you than about them? Great, let's hear it.

Not happy coz it's not like back home? Umm, here's an idea: go back home.

Need some truly original ideas for your next blog post? Just track down a lovely, cuddly, adorable expat guy (i can give you some names), buy him a few beers to enjoy with you (well, you can have a bit of one of them, if you can find a clean glass) as you watch his favourite match on telly together, and maybe he'll slur something about social divides, irony, black humour, irreverent wit, tongue-in-cheek, a city of two halves, the dark side, not taking things too seriously, and realising there's more to life than macaroons and moaning.

Or maybe he'll just throw up on you and ask you to pass him another can.

So, fed up with having to fake interest in replying to some fat 50-something from friggin' Alabama who knows 'exactly what you mean about the leggings'? The answer's easy. Do like i do. Write bitter and twisted shit. Don't get any comments. Don't upset anyone coz no-one's even reading (prove me wrong). Actually, come to think of it... i'll comment!

Just kidding ladies - you know i love you.

P.S. This unusual Paris and I entry was inspired by a recent posting by a Floggeuse who shall remain nameless, as shall the reason she inspired me, unless the person in question directly asks me: Was it me? In which case I reserve the right to lie. I love her stuff though  :-*

(A Paris iPhone street photograph by Sab Will for the 'Paris and I' photo blog)


legrandezombie said...

As one of the chaps pulling only the steamiest crap from my bowels I have to say rewards of six packs would be more exciting if these French could begin bottling quantities larger than 25cl.

Don't get me started on the low alcohol content.

Sab said...

12-packs the answer? Possibly? And I think you'll find that there are plenty of beers in the now standard 50cl size, which is quite simply why I don't drink any more. Work it out for yourself...

Karin (an alien parisienne) said...

Cool! It's here, too!

I commented on the Flickr photo where I first saw this, but I will add here: What a great, snarky (of the best kind!) read. :D Says everything we are all longing too say sometimes and sometimes do ;-) ).

Karin (an alien parisienne) said...

Whoops. "To", not "too." Damn fat fingers!

Paris Set Me Free said...

Hi Karin, well, I noticed you allow yourself the odd rant too from time to time, and why not!

It's all in almost good fun, isn't it?

The pictures and words only go onto Flickr in the process of getting published on the blog, so I don't always see if you've commented there and no-one else does either. So thanks for commenting! Now go and win yourself a Paris Set Me Free on the Paris Photo Quiz (yes, the 'other' one..) :-)

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