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Lupins' photo-journals: Cote Vermeille & Cadaqués

by Lupin Wed Nov 8th, 2006 at 11:20:00 AM EST

It's two years ago exactly, right after the disastrous 2004 election, that Mrs Lupin and I made the fateful decision to leave Los Angeles and relocate to Southern France.

Perhaps in anticipation of today's wonderful turnabout, and taking full advantage of the glorious weather we've been having lately, we've taken a couple of days off to roam through the countryside, explore the beautiful Cote Vermeille, and drive down to the Costa Brava village of Cadaqués, Dali's favorite hangout.

Lots of photos on the links below:

Autumn in the Pyrenees

Destination: Cadaqués

And of course:


Wonderful photos!  Thanks for sharing them and your blog.  Personally, I don't think one needs a good excuse to up and move to the south of France, but since you left after Bush was elected, how are you feeling about the elections today?  A bit more optimistic now, or as pessimistic as the other Europeans?

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Wed Nov 8th, 2006 at 12:02:20 PM EST
Let me put it this way: a good analogy is that someone has now given an IV to the patient.

Will it be enough? I don't know. Is it already too late? Possibly. What might still happen? Who knows.

The country is as divided as ever, if not more, and we won because some of the rightwing base voted libertarian or stayed home, just as some of our base voted Nader or Green in 2000.

Some freepers argue that if Bush had nuked Fallujah, for instance, the Republicans would have won -- I kid you not. The lesson they draw is soft fascism isn't hard enough.

So while we're thrilled by the results, we remain uncertain about the patient's prognosis.

by Lupin on Thu Nov 9th, 2006 at 02:11:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bonjour Lupin!

I like your analogy.  It may be too optimistic.  

I am tempted, against my better judgment, to propose a war analogy:  Stalingrad.  The question: is this election the equivalent of Stalingrad?  At first I said yes; today I say not.

I would like to believe that this election is the beginning of the end for the neocon, imperialist Right.  But the fact is, the US media are totally in the hands of corporate apparatchiks; the fundamentalist Christianists and their allies are large and dynamic - in no significant way diminished by the Haggard affair; the Republican War on Science is well-funded and extensive; the prison-industrial complex is virtually unquestioned; and we haven't even mentioned the military-industrial complex.  

As Howard Zinn said at Boston University last week, "We're on our own."  We can't look to the Courts, the Congress, or the media to save our democracy - or our planet.  It's up to us.  The elections may have stunned the Beast and given citizens time to mobilize.  Will we?

by cambridgemac on Thu Nov 9th, 2006 at 10:33:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hi there friend! Hope all's well in Boston.

My analogy is neither optimistic, nor pessimistic IMHO.  The patient was being unattended, doing worse.  Now he's got an IV.

As I said, will it be enough? Is it already too late? What other symptoms or infections might develop or attack the body?

I do not expect a miracle cure. Fundamentally, the paradigms remain the same.

by Lupin on Thu Nov 9th, 2006 at 10:42:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We're not pessimistic, poemless: we still have hope that you'll continue the good fight to the requisite end. We just have a different idea of how far that end is, I guess.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 9th, 2006 at 05:03:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Doubt it. I think we are in agreement about where the end (the untimate goal) is.  I think we are in disagreement about how important hope is and how significant steps in the right direction are when you've been living in a fucking fascist state for 6 years.  And I thing you sadly underestimate how difficult that first step was.  

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Thu Nov 9th, 2006 at 05:17:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We don't underestimate how difficult that first step was. We noticed - with weariness.

But I think that you underestimate how hard the next steps are going to be: a lot harder than this one. It's too early for hope. It's just enough not to give up.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 9th, 2006 at 06:17:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't need another lecture from another European on not knowing how hard the next steps to saving my country are going to be.  That assumption, that I don't know, is insulting and offensive and is pissing me off.

I also don't need you telling me when it is appropriate for me to have hope.

I am certain you would not want me to do that to you regarding any crises facing your life.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Thu Nov 9th, 2006 at 06:22:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I must say, I am quite disappointed with many of the comments from Europeans here.  They are doing precisely the same thing they condemn Americans for doing: assuming they know everything, they know what is best for everyone, and that the whole world should adjust to their perspective.  Whether you are right or wrong does not diminish the absolute arrogance of that attitude.  And frankly, when Americans do this, they know they are doing it and even take some preverse pride in it, and we are now trying, against the grain, to understand their error of our arrogant ways.  You, however, won't even admit that you are guilty of any bad behavior.  You pretend you didn't even know you were doing it.  You assert that you are just trying to help us.  Because you magically know something how to run our country that we don't.  

Why is it when America tells other nations what to do it is bad, but when Europe does it, they are trying to help?  Did you guys learn nothing from colonialism?

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Thu Nov 9th, 2006 at 06:36:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Speaking as an American, if you don't mind my saying so, this seems to be a particularly silly and pointless argument.

Both you and Jerome agree on the disease and the cure, and your spat is entirely about semantics and how you phrase your opinions.

by Lupin on Fri Nov 10th, 2006 at 03:00:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Consider Europe's complex love/hate relationship with the US. I don't know about Jerome's personal views, but there is a sizable number of people around the world who want to see us fail outright as punishment for real or perceived American crimes while at the same time still holding us up as an ideal or land of untapped potential. I think it's a simple effect of national identity, the structure of which allows projection of human failures and potentials onto national characteristics.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Nov 10th, 2006 at 03:38:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think anyone on ET wants to 'see you fail'. It's a fear of celebrating too early and being content with too little, as Jérôme said.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 10th, 2006 at 04:39:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In that case, I wonder if y'all are addressing the Americans here, or Americans in general. Because to address it to the people here is ridiculous.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Nov 10th, 2006 at 02:27:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bonjour les Lupin! And thanks for these photos!

(Repeat poemless' question... :-))

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 8th, 2006 at 12:14:37 PM EST
Thanks for the kind words!
by Lupin on Thu Nov 9th, 2006 at 02:11:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Spectacular pictures. Much appreciated.

My heart really nearly burst at seeing the pictures of Cadaques. I was there in 2001, doing fieldwork. It was one week before the tourist season, and we were around for some nine days. So we experienced how a lightly dozing village would swell into frenetic touristic overdrive. Your picture of the village at the south coast is where we went occasionally, sitting on the rocks, relaxing with a drink.

Our work terrain was at the Cap de Creus. Incredible wind. Terrible to map the structures. My designated area was drawn around the Club Med Village, and my partner and I behaved like enfants terrible to the people there: waving at them when they were playing tennis, hovering at the outskirts and pretending to take paparazzi pictures. The dogs were not loosed upon us by a hair - but the violent glares were delicious.

The minerals at Cap de Creus are astounding - which is why the area is designated a geological park. So we weren't allowed to bring hammers, couldn't take samples and were hounded by a mistrusting Guardia. At the very north of the cape, there is an area which showcases migmatites - crustal rocks that were on the verge of turning into magma again and then cooled. This brought possibly the best quote from one of our supervisors: "You're not allowed to take samples, so put them in your backpacks". To this day, I've a migmatite in my collection because of him.

Cadaques was also the place were we behaved like enfants terrible.... Some guys after returning late at night from the bar wanted a swim - and jumped in someone's pool with their clothes on. Others decided to row across the bay - with a boat not belonging them, in the hope to catch shrimp (which abjectly failed). And so and so on... Sweet memories. If it sounds as if we had much too much fun and too little work: that's because we were still fresh in the game, Cadaques was our first stop...

I read you didn't get to the museum in Figeures - I can heartily recommend it, even when you're not a fan of Dali. It is as much experience as it is exhibition.

by Nomad on Thu Nov 9th, 2006 at 04:12:45 AM EST
Thank you for the kind words re the photos. Your story sounds fascinating. I'm afraid we're far more tepid, virtually unobtrusive visitors.

We didn't stop in Figueras because the town was sort of ugly and it was late and we were tired... Sadly that part of Spain seems to have turned into something resembling Southern California or Baja and frankly it's not much of a thrill to us.

Cadaqués was nice though.

by Lupin on Thu Nov 9th, 2006 at 06:31:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ach, what wonderful pictures of our region!
Although the mountains bear traces of a change, autumn in Toulouse itself still hasn't really lifted off to a start yet.

ps: I'm not a new user, I'm an old one in disguise who met you at an ET picnic. I'm just in the process of undergoing an anonymisition on ET and elsewhere, to be prepared for the incredible success my blog will have. I'll give gold stars to anyone who now stops referring to me by my old name. I'm also petitioning Nicolas Sarkozy to be allowed to change the name on my identity card to match this one. Think of me now as glomp in Toulouse.

by glomp on Thu Nov 9th, 2006 at 09:27:00 AM EST
You know, if you're going to anonymise, anonymise :-P

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 9th, 2006 at 09:34:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's going to be a long process, so I only need to gradually harden my anonymity.

Since my blog will celebrate its one billionth visitor next year, I have until then to make sure that anyone (new on ET for instance) talking to me knows me only as glomp.

by glomp on Thu Nov 9th, 2006 at 09:43:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Remember to wear the underwear outside the spandex thighs.

Also it's cool to hide your secret identity behind a pair of glasses.

And I'm looking forward to seeing a photo of the glompmobile soon.  Or the glompsignal.  Whatever.

by Lupin on Thu Nov 9th, 2006 at 10:40:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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