Things have blown up on the Internet over what the hell happened in Paris yesterday on Friday the 13th. To some extent I can identify what Parisians are currently going through because I live just 20 miles from the Pentagon, which was one of the terrorist targets on September 11, 2001. Anyone who was anywhere between New York and Northern Virginia on that terrible day 14 years ago would understand what the people in Paris is going through.

Last night I went to Artomatic because there was a DC Drink and Draw event that I wanted to check out. In the midst of consuming my one beer (I tend not to drink too much these days if I’m driving) I decided to do this Paris themed art that also tapped into an old literary character from my childhood.


It’s Babar the Elephant crying as he’s holding a newspaper with a headline announcing the terrorist attacks in Paris. Babar was created by a Freanchman named Jean de Brunhoff. I used to check out many Babar books out of the library when I was growing up. (I read the English translations of those books.) I loved reading about how Babar became King of the Elephants. I even used to watch the TV specials that were based on the books when I was growing up. So I thought it was appropriate to have Babar cry over what happened in Paris since he originated in France.

This morning was Saturday the 14th so I decided to do this photograph as well.


The Eiffel Tower is actually a hand soap pump that I purchased from Kmart when that particular store was having its going out of business sale earlier this year. The doll is the mini doll version of American Girl’s special 2015 Girl of the Year, Grace Thomas. I purchased her earlier this year at Target for a fraction of the cost of her 18-inch counterpart. This photo is not only a response to what happened yesterday, it’s also the latest entry in my ongoing Occupy the Dollhouse series (which I update every now and then).

It’s very appropriate that Grace should be part of the Internet response to what happened yesterday in Paris. Her default meet outfit includes a t-shirt which features a drawing of the Eiffel Tower that says “Paris, Je T’aime.”


Ironically my church is having its annual auction next week and it plans on serving a French dinner as part of the occasion. That French dinner was decided on months ago so it’s a sad irony that it’s now running concurrent with the aftermath of what happened in Paris.

I have never been to France and I’ve always wanted to go there. My great-grandfather, Wilhem Karle, was an ethnic German who came from the Alsace-Lorraine region that’s now a part of France. (How an ethnic German came from what is now a French state is an entirely different story.) I also want to visit Paris. I’ve seen replicas of the Eiffel Tower at both King’s Dominion and the French Pavilion located at Disney’s Epcot theme park. It would be cool to see the original. I want to visit the Louvre and see the famous Mona Lisa painting as well as other great works of art housed there. I want to visit the area where the famous Moulin Rouge nightclub is located. I want to walk along the Left Bank and visit the cafes in the area.

Despite yesterday’s terrorist attack, I still want to go to Paris. If someone were to offer me a chance to go to Paris tomorrow I would jump at it. Washington, DC didn’t die when one of those airplanes hit the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 so I’m expecting the same from Paris.