The Hateful Column

-=- Throwback Thursday -=-

People who suffer from a fear of heights ought not to journey to the top of tall buildings. Say, the Eiffel Tower. How do I know this? Because… in the spring of 1983 I traveled to Paris with some friends – one of whom required my assistance on the trip back to terra firma from the top of the you-know-what. The image may be a bit blurred, but I still have a few divots in my shoulders from Lauren’s vice-like grip.



Tour Eiffel.

Blog Aside of the Day: Seems that whenever I go off in search of something useful, I bump into something interesting. Ferinstance, I just zipped over to Wikipedia to find how many steps to the top of Tour Eiffel, because I was going to wax dramatic over the 1,710-step crawl down the Tower.

But then my eye got caught on a passage about the opposition to the construction of this landmark – which came mostly from the community of artists in Paris. They formed a “Committee of 300” and published this petition in the newspaper:

“We, writers, painters, sculptors, architects and passionate devotees of the hitherto untouched beauty of Paris, protest with all our strength, with all our indignation in the name of slighted French taste, against the erection … of this useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower … To bring our arguments home, imagine for a moment a giddy, ridiculous tower dominating Paris like a gigantic black smokestack, crushing under its barbaric bulk Notre Dame, the Tour Saint-Jacques, the Louvre, the Dome of les Invalides, the Arc de Triomphe, all of our humiliated monuments will disappear in this ghastly dream. And for twenty years … we shall see stretching like a blot of ink the hateful shadow of the hateful column of bolted sheet metal.”

Just shows you how wrong you can be, eh? Because what’s better than this ‘giddy, ridiculous tower’? Absolument rien.


The End (so far)


  1. I’ve been following that advice for a number of years now. I’ve grown very fond of looking up at tall buildings. The view of the city probably isn’t as great but the view of the building tends to make up for this.


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