Vivre Ivre ou Mourir

July 16, 2007 at 3:01 pm | Posted in spectacle | 2 Comments


The sound broke through the summer heat Saturday morning as we were hanging around the apartment, recovering from the previous night’s festivities. Brumaire ran to the window.

“Look!” he cried. “Come quick!”

Bleu Blanc Rouge

Apparently the French air force (l’Armée de l’air) had patriotically decided to break the sound barrier right outside our window. Bon Quatorze!

Later that day, we joined some folks out at Invalides to drink wine in the sun, watch the various festivities, and wait for the evening’s fireworks. I was a little surprised, however, by the military character of the celebration:


There were helicopters and tanks and paratroopers everywhere you looked. But isn’t Bastille Day about celebrating the Revolution — the triumph of the citizens, liberté, égalité, fraternité? What does a government sponsored military parade have to do with any of that?

I don’t mean to criticize the army folks — they were fun to watch, and they looked like they were having a good time, despite the heat. I guess I was just hoping to see a guillotine on display, or maybe some guys selling Phrygian caps.



  1. It was lovely to talk to you this weekend! 🙂 Next time we’ll get even more scrupulous and figure out how to actually play the game.
    You actually missed the most fun part of the whole military manoeuvering – when there were hundreds of men all running around in their little uniforms. Now that’s entertaining.

  2. You too, Katia! I can’t wait for your next meet-up.

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