Every year, the Galeries Lafayette and Printemps in Paris put on the most whimsical Christmas displays inside the stores and in the windows.
Every year, the Paris department store, Galeries Lafayette puts on some of the most impressive Christmas displays in-store and on their shop windows. This is an artistic rendition of Cinderella’s coach. It’s so whimsical and festive.
Veterans’ Day in the United States is used by politicians, most of whom have never seen battle or served in an ambulance corps, to celebrate the virtues of glory, honor and courage. They do this to make themselves look patriotic and to convince a gullible public that spending money on useless wars and sending other people’s children to die are just and proper.
It’s much better to remember what the great American writer, Ernest Hemingway, wrote in “A Farewell to Arms” in which the main character, Fredric Henry, an American ambulance driver in Italy during the First World War, describes the horror and futility of war:
I had seen nothing sacred, and the things that were glorious had no glory and the sacrifices were like the stockyards at Chicago if nothing was done with the meat except to bury it. There were many words that you could not stand to hear and finally only the names of places had dignity. Certain numbers were the same way and certain dates and these with the names of the places were all you could say and have them mean anything. Abstract words such as glory, honor, courage, or hallow were obscene beside the concrete names of villages, the numbers of roads, the names of rivers, the numbers of regiments and the dates.
The Gorgon’s head has been used since ancient times on amulets and warriors’ shields, and at entrances to buildings to protect against unwanted intruders. These Gorgoneia above the portals to the Cavalerie and Artillerie sections of the Ecole Militaire in Paris look menacing enough to deter anyone from attempting to break into the building. To me, however, it looks as if these grimacing faces are warning trainee officers of the difficulties and the dangers they face at the military school and in battle.
You can spend endless hours waking around Paris gazing at beautiful, intriguing details on buildings such as these.
I love Smashing Magazine’s monthly desktop wallpaper selection which features beautiful desktop calendars created by people from around the world. You can download the calendars to your computer; you can also download the wallpapers without the calendar. This month being October, I’m in a Halloween mood and the one I like most was created by Mohamad Khatib featuring a black cat silhouetted against a yellow harvest moon with ghosts and bats in the background. You can see the other October desktop calendar wallpapers on Smashing Magazine.