While NYC prepares for an occupation, Paris celebrates a liberation. A neat, although somewhat spurious, antithesis. LI is home from NYC, and our impression is that the Republican convention really should have been held, as Tom DeLay suggested, on cruise boats outside of Manhattan. DeLay’s suggestion was prompted, apparently, by his belief that New York City isn’t in America. Also, isn’t the Republican Party about yachting before everything? Alas, it appears that DeLay’s party is locked into various landlubber’s contracts forcing them to celebrate the most incompetent administration since Harding’s in various suspiciously smelly venues physically connected to Satan's lair.

Paris, at the moment, is more concerned with the Liberation that happened in 1944. In the Independent today there is an article about one aspect of the celebration. The French government is encouraging volunteers to dance down the streets of Paris. But not boogey – not that “rocknroll mayonnaise.” Alex Duval Smith was embedded with one group of potential lindyhoppers who were being groomed by a government sponsored dance instructor.

"Five, six, seven, eight..." The counting of my impatient dance teacher, Michael Casajus, is still ringing in my ears. "Girls and boys, I will have none of this rock'n'roll mayonnaise," he shouted as he restarted the Glenn Miller track, hoping desperately for some improvement in our dance steps.The trouble was that Casajus is a professional dancer, hired by the City of Paris to knock the dancing shoes of 1,000 Parisians into shape for the celebrations tomorrow of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the French capital. His pupils, myself included, mostly saw the class at the Gymnase Saint-Merri, opposite the Pompidou Centre, as an opportunity for some free fun courtesy of the French taxpayer.”

I am hoping to hear more from this from LI’s correspondent in Paris, LI’s friend M. The Liberation festival will end in a ball. Here’s another graf from the article:

“The preparations for the Liberation commemorations - which include poetry in the Metro and photographic poster displays in the streets - have successfully brought together Parisians of all ages. The volunteer dancers - who were mainly recruited through adverts in newspapers - are expected to dress in period clothes that they have been encouraged to make - or alter for the occasion - at a sewing workshop in the 4th-arrondissement town hall. There have also been sessions in 1940s hairstyling, and even one called "dying your legs with tea".

Perhaps Michael Bloomberg should have thought about something similar – issuing, for instance, gray or pea green uniforms, with CSA sewed onto them, to commemorate the true spirit of the GOP at the moment – the party of Jeff Davis, Strom Thurmond, and Gone with the Wind. The note should be Richmond, Virginia, circa 1862.