Rock around the world

Charlie had a chocolate factory and also enjoyed hiding in the crowd... Now that was fun (Edit: just realised that in English, it's not Charlie but Wally who is hidding in the crowd. Why the hell did they change the name of this cartoon, just to ruin my introduction I assume). But the web has brought something funnier, more engaging, and certainly more international. So I could not avoid publishing a little article to hail this pointless, and thus valuable, initiative.

Around the world.

Matt, a 31-year-old American who decided to change life after a promising career start in the video game industry. Similarly to my friend Flavien, the bicycle fan who resigned from his area manager role to cycle around the Mediterranean sea to meet the locals, Matt opted for an international journey around the world. Except that his traveling mate was not on wheels but on tape. In his profile, Matt puts his story so nicely that I decided not to reinterpret his thoughts but extracted the quintessence of it:

In February of 2003, he quit his job in Brisbane, Australia and used the money he'd saved to wander around Asia until it ran out. He made this site so he could keep his family and friends updated about where he is.

A few months into his trip, a travel buddy gave Matt an idea. They were standing around taking pictures in Hanoi, and his friend said "Hey, why don't you stand over there and do that dance. I'll record it." He was referring to a particular dance Matt does. It's actually the only dance Matt does. He does it badly. Anyway, this turned out to be a very good idea.

(...) In 2006, Matt took a 6 month trip through 39 countries on all 7 continents. In that time, he danced a great deal.The second video made Matt even more quasi-famous. In fact, for a brief period in July, he was semi-famous.

Things settled down again, and then in 2007 (...) he wanted to travel around the world one more time and invite the people who'd written him to come out and dance too.

Well, guess what? Matt has done it again. He has recently published a third video, the 2008 edit, of him jiggling in front of a video camera all around the world. This time he is no longer on his own in random places. He is dancing with the people he encountered in random places, which makes the fun even funnier... I particularly love the North Korea segment with the emotionless soldier staring at our fellow, and the bollywood sequence.

Useful and useless.

This is a brilliant idea. Simple and pointless, and that is probably the reason why I am so hooked to it. In our society everything needs to be calculated, planned, organised... so from time to time, it is just great to take a deep breath and dive into some none-sense. However none-sense does not mean stupid to me. I am no fan of Jack Ass for instance, but I loved the
free hug project on the other hand.

I guess that I am charmed by the good vision of humanity that transpires from people like Matt who just decides to do good for no specific reason. Thumbs up and keep on rocking. Because you do rock.


Quote of the day

"When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable."
Clifton Fadiman (1904 - 1999)


Parisian, head of crustaceans...

Le Parisien is a regional newspaper with national reach - actually adapted in the rest of the Hexagon under the title "Aujourd'hui en France".
For a few years they have used a tagline that says "Le Parisien, il vaut mieux l'avoir en journal" (The Parisian, better read than met) and used very funny TV commercials that bring that line to life. The latest released is now available and enclosed to this post.

Although it is still using the same creative vein, it is still very good. The idea is simple: Parisians have a reputation and these ads capitalise on their worst cliches. They are gross, unfriendly, unpolite, don't like tourists and proudly support a football team that is avoiding relegation every year... So yes, definitely, you'd better read the Parisien.

La tour Eiffel - Le Parisien

Note: On the billboard... "Kiss my ass if you read this text"

More about The Parisian excellence here. And if you wonder why I came up with this post title, you probably don't speak French... So here is a quick rational: we have a riming pun in French that says "Parisien, tete de chien. Parigot, tete de veau" (literally "Parisian dog face, Parisians veal face"). It does not mean anything per se, but simply mock the Capital indigens. So tried to give back the same idea with an English rime...