That review of David Downie’s PARIS, Paris: Journey Into the City of Light is coming very, very, very soon, but this is a bit of a “news flash” item that I kind of got myself into posting. You know how you get yourself into stuff and then wonder how it was that you did, and then it also comes with some strings that you didn’t imagine it having?
Well, yeah. I managed to do that, but it is about something interesting.
Read more to find out about what!
Here’s the story, morning glory.
Some time ago, he received an invitation for a vernissage (opening) for something called the Salon de la Mort — the Death Fair/Expo.
I had to stop there just to laugh my ass off a little because this is really kind of, well, funny, in that “dark comedy” kind of way.
A Death Fair? Really?
More backstory: Paul and I started blogs for a few reasons, one of which is to practice our craft (writing). We also try to use the blogs as an excuse and/or motivation to get out and do more things in the city. Some of you may remember the post I wrote ages ago where I explain that because Paul has lived here for more than 20 years, he treats Paris as his longtime wife. I should probably make that past tense — he treated Paris as his longtime wife. These writing gigs have given Paul the opportunity to go to events as a journalist of sorts, and see and do things he might normally not. It’s been working! Paul is renewing his interest in Paris and getting out to see and do more things.
Well, while I have been able to join Paul in some of these endeavors, what had started to happen is that Paul was getting a lot of solitary invites to events, and going out on his own to report on them. This seemed sort of counterintuitive to me. I mean, I was kind of hoping and thinking that blogging about things in Paris might get us out doing things together. That was part of the “mission,” I thought. So when he explained that he would be going to the Salon de la Mort and that it was going to be in the Carrousel du Louvre, I was all “Heyyyyy, I have wanted to go to the Carrousel du Louvre for a long time now and have not had occasion to do so!”
I asked Paul to see if I could tag along on his assignment.
In order to do so, Paul had to email the contact person, and let her (I think it was a “her”) know that I, too, have a blog and would like to attend with Paul. Paul informed me last night that it was a “GO,” but, oh yeah, it sounded like I should indeed post something about the event on my blog, too.
The event is time-sensitive — it’s happening this weekend. Et voilà. You have this post.
Salon de la Mort
Here are the deets, peeps. (That was slang for “Here is the information about the salon, my friends.”)
WHAT IS IT?
After the automotive, marriage, boating, and student fairs… this is a “Living Death” Expo. The goal is to bring together 200 exhibitors, from the classic funeral providers such as mortuaries to funeral caterers who can create after-funeral buffets.
“Death affects us all, but it’s an event about which we do not talk. I want to make this show happen so that finally we can discuss our own death, about our future, and about being prepared for the eventuality of death,” says the organizer of the event.
WHY HAVE THE EVENT?
Also from the Memorie des Vies article:
[Having a fair such as this] allows for meetings and exchanges that a person normally would not receive. A fair concerning “Living Death” can begin to break down taboos by creating a dialogue between exhibitors, speakers, and visitors. Press and media can amplify the message.
It makes sense to me to have this kind of event.
I just finished watching all five seasons of the HBO series “Six Feet Under” the night before last, and it feels really appropriate having done so to visit this kind of fair, actually. As we all know, the only certainty in life is death, and I think it is probably true to say that the majority of us are woefully under-prepared for that eventuality. Dying without some kind of Living Will or other provisions can, at the least, leave family and friends in the lurch, paying for death services and being at odds about what to do, about what the person (you!) would have wanted in noting his or her (your!) exit from this planet.
For more information, read the entirety of the Memorie des Vies article (using Google Translate, if necessary — it is built into the Chrome browser that I use, thankfully).
WHERE , WHEN and HOW MUCH?
Here’s all you need to know. Information is from the La Gazette des Salons website.
Duration: 3 days
Opening Date: Friday, April 8, 2011
Closing date: Sunday, April 10, 2011
- Friday 8 and Saturday, April 9, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
- Sunday, April 10, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- 10 euros full fare
- EUR 5 half-price
Carrousel du Louvre, 99, Rue de Rivoli , 75001 Paris
(the website for the Carrousel du Louvre explaining access is linked)
Organizers: Senior Entreprise
Phone: 01 53 75 00 17
There is a lot more information (in French) on the Salon de la Mort website, including videos about why the event exists and the schedule of programs/talks being given during the expo.
The salon also has a Facebook Fan Page (who doesn’t these days?) here.
There you go. A Death Fair. Hopefully a reportage will follow, depending on what I learn there.
Hasta la pasta, amigas (y amigos).
(an alien parisienne)