Certain graphic images have caught my eye lately…
…like this sign, which at first glance seems just a friendly reminder to chess players of how the rook is allowed to move across the board:
Turns out it’s an indicator of nearby pylons that raise up from the pavement to prevent cars from parking there. Sometimes the real explanation behind things is such a letdown!
Next was a high-voltage sign proving that in Paris, even when one gets fried with hundreds of thousands of volts, one must do so with style and theatrical flair:
A couple of sightings in the subway highlight two things about the city’s locals: a) they know how to market a movie,
and b) they’re not afraid to say what’s on their minds (“We want art, not ads!”):
Elsewhere a door hides behind it the tantalizing ambiguity of a “general dream”:
I’ve always been a fan of the government-imposed cigarette labeling in France, most famously the frank “Smoking kills” that takes up half of each pack:
But recently I’ve seen some creative variations on the theme, complete with photo illustrations and messages that move from the shocking “Smoking causes cancer”…
…to the sympathetic “Your doctor or pharmacist can help you quit”, to the slightly comic cheesiness of a mom pushing the stroller of a child that never was, due to fertility problems:
At any rate, I commend these in-your-face reminders of how terrible tobacco is, although I suppose a smoker might try to convince me otherwise. Maybe I wouldn’t be such a proponent if similar labels had been attached to my Darth Vader Burger…
If there’s one cigarette warning that might be considered a backfire though, it’s this one, if only for the wording:
“Smoking severely damages the health of you and your entourage”. Well jeez, who doesn’t want to be the cool guy with a freakin’ entourage? I almost want to light one up now.
To finish on a lighter note, the bottom of a child’s worksheet lists what a duck gives us: eggs, meat, and…pâté?!
There’s something fantastically French about teaching a 5 year-old about pâté. To be fair this product should probably have a graphic label or two showing how the ducks are treated beforehand, but you have to draw the line somewhere I guess. Besides, I could never give up my duck liver addiction, as my pâté entourage is just way too cool.