Smoking Cigarettes is Like Sexual Abuse?


Yup, that’s the message the French association les Droits des Non Fumeurs (association of non-smokers’ rights) is passing along, and it’s causing quite a stir!

"Smoking is being a slave to tobacco."

Many people are shocked and don’t want their kids to see this. I’m not sure it’s such a bad idea though. I know this is going to sound scandalous, but the vast majority of French teenagers smoke cigarettes and we learn about new sexual abuse scandals on TV every week so it’s not like kids aren’t aware of it. Heck, it could help more of them come out and free themselves!

Yes, this campaign is meant to shock. Does it have a worthy cause? Yes. Should people revile its sexual nature? Well… they sure don’t mind seeing naked women on TV commercials selling them yogurt and movies are full of sex scenes that are way more explicit than what you see in many X-rated movies in the US so I really don’t see what the big deal is…

Here’s a quick blurb from the news for francophones

What do you think?

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Photo Exhibit of Modern China Social Critic


There’s currently an exhibit of photographer, sculptor and architect Ai Wei Wei’s photographs of New York and Beijing at Jeu de Paume, a cool, young, hipsterish art gallery.

Looks like there are some pictures of Paris thrown in the mix too!

As a social critic, he took pictures meant to  display China’s current urban and social reality. His goal is to show the world the things the Chinese people are going through in the name of progress and to impact China’s evolution.

Le Monde (widely-read French newspaper) published an article about Ai Wei Wei describing him as a revolutionary artist and reminding readers that they also named him person of the year for 2011! A few interesting facts from the article:

  • Ai Wei Wei was imprisoned 81 days last spring/summer for “economic crimes”
  • He also had an exhibit about Zodiac heads in LA up until 2 weeks ago (sorry about the late notice!)
  • The Chinese government’s most famous dissident, he has been banished from Chinese media

I think it looks very interesting! Who wants to go with me? =]

PS: there are some other cool exhibits there right now such as this Jimmy Robert one.

Jimmy Robert's exhibit at Jeu de paume in Paris