Oldies but goodies

It is sometimes difficult to imagine (especially for whippersnappers) that grizzled old codgers were once cute babies and energetic, attractive grownups. But as unbelievable as it sounds, they were.

These people might be now up in years, but as the name “oldies” implies they were once very popular.
You might be surprised to discover who those individuals are and how they turned out.

IMG_0025As promised, I have assembled a collection of pictures that are at least 30 years old and pertaining to people that you know or heard of.
Many of these shots are in black and white, but are in some respects more striking than color pictures.

I have not identified the protagonists of this exhibit, but if you show me yours, I will show you mine or at least tell you later who these mystery people are.

If you care to look at this album you will see that in my bag of goodies, I have a bunch of oldies, babies, nannies and grannies but no boobies, booties or selfies (all patented by Kim Kardashian).

Enjoy, and as soon as I get your old pics I will include them in this album.

Alain La Foudre

PS: To look at these photographs and listen to the accompanying music, turn the sound on, and click on the light blue link “My Photos” located on the right side of this page.


What is worth a thousand words?

c9Ml7I-jBJCDqNisYJwmYP9Rff0Does the name Gustave Eiffel ring a bell?
It ought to.
It is the name of the French engineer who conceived and supervised the construction of the Eiffel Tower.

The Tower by the way, was built in two years, two months, and five days. Quite a technical achievement in those days.
For the record, it is possible to walk to the top but there are 1,665 steps and if you feel a little winded after climbing two flights of stairs I would strongly advise against it.
And you should not be afraid of height. Some people freeze mid-way (it happened to me once while walking down -not up- from the 2nd to the 1st floor) and it was a rather hair-rising experience.
Most people wisely elect to take the elevator.

The Eiffel Tower was inaugurated on March 31 at the 1889 Word Fair to mark the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution.
Last March 31st was the 125th anniversary of that famous structure.

At this occasion I read somewhere that some publication was asking readers to send old pictures of the tower.
This is one of the reasons why I posted two pictures of myself (with the tower in the background) on Facebook.

Those pictures were probably taken about 40 years ago and some people find it hard to believe that the person shown there is the same guy that you see nowadays dragging his feet on local pétanque courts.
I understand.

With time, we all go through some kind of metamorphosis and after forty years of wear and tear, few of us manage to look like the superb creatures (yes) we once were.

IMG_0012I thought that it might be fun to publish pictures of what we looked like before the introduction of the personal computer and challenge everybody to put a name on those mugs.

Who do you think is the person on the left?

So that’s why I am asking you to send me pictures (preferably electronically) of what you looked like before your warranty expired, and shortly after that I will publish them in a special album accessible on this blog.

What do ya think? Can I count on you?
You might be very surprised and amused by what you will see.

So don’t procrastinate and send me your best (old) shots as soon as possible. Merci.


My photographs don’t do me justice – they just look like me. Phyllis Diller.

Love them flashmobs!

Flaky French Flicks

The unbearable lightness of being… a French movie watcher.

My main reason for subscribing to TV5 (a French TV channel) is that it is totally devoid of commercials.
On TV5 you can watch news, documentaries or movies without being pelted every few minutes with a slew of ads.
That is good, that is very good.

citygirl1What is not so good though is the quality of the movies shown there.
It seems that many French film directors have embraced the peculiar notion that movie endings should be left to the viewers’ imagination.
Absolute non-sense!

After leading you on for 90 minutes, the director don’t think it necessary to conclude, to tie up the loose ends, to let you know who killed the widow.
To me, it feels like Coitus Interruptus. Or like being suddenly dropped in the middle of the New Mexico wilderness.

Talking about New Mexico, one of the most satisfying endings I have seen lately is the final episode of “Breaking bad”. All the villains (including fallen angel Heisenberg) die in a hail of bullets.
No ambiguous wishy-washy ending here. Just a good old-fashion bloody American resolution!

I sometimes wonder if the French scriptwriters ran out of ideas or if the producers ran out of money. In France, with Socialism in full bloom, money and ideas are in very short supply.
Either way, it is extremely annoying.

The most irritating part of it all is that a TV viewer has no immediate way of expressing his disapproval. He just endures.
That’s why I prefer the theater.
A live performance provides immediate feedback.
Judging by the public’s reactions, the author, the director, the actors, everybody immediately knows if spectators are enjoying the show.

The future of television lies with Interactive TV. In time to come, with the click of a button, viewers will be able to give immediate feedback to producers.
Producers will instantly know what’s pleasing or annoying and this might discourage them from churning out more schlocky, pretentious, open-ended movies.

No more “we leave it to you” artsy endings.
When watching a movie, all I want is a neatly wrapped conclusion with a bow on it.

Est-ce trop demander? (Is that too much to ask?)

I think not.