Hollywood Elsewhere was a thriving business and a happy workplace for roughly 13 or 14 years. After launching in August ’04 ad income …well, it was touch-and-go for a while but found its footing sometime in early ’06. And then it grew and grew…offering stability, adventure, intrigue, annual European travel and a thriving lifestyle.

The worm began to turn with the horrific election of Donald Trump in November ’16. From that point on and certainly by the end of ’17 and into early ’18, you could feel the first tremors of wokesterism, triggered by perceptions of obstinate patriarchal whiteness as represented by the various bad guys of the moment (the Trumpster mob, Harvey, Woody, Roman and all the other alleged ogres who were being called out, many deservedly so).

Before I knew it the furies were swirling all over the place…anything that smelled even vaguely of older-white-guy attitudes or viewpoints became a form of evil. HE’s ad income began to drop in ’17 and ’18. It’s been a hellish four years.

I was reviewing all this after stumbling upon a post about a private evening tour of the Louvre’s Egyptian exhibit. It happened on 5.13.17, or four and two-thirds years ago. Life is never a bowl of cherries, but things felt relatively happy and settled at this point. The calm before the storm. Here’s how it went

HE’s own Svetlana Cvetko and David Scott Smith invited me to join them early Saturday evening at the Louvre. A connected friend of Svet’s escorted us inside to a restrictedaccess tour of the Egyptian exhibit. I had never before wandered through this world-renowned museum as an invitation-only cool cat. No crowds or lines to cope with. The Egyptian statues, sarcophagi, relics and artifacts were nothing to sneeze at either. The highlight was the 4000 year-old chapel of the tomb (or “mastaba”) of Akhethotep, a bigwig in the Old Kingdom who was close to the king. (Egyptian rulers weren’t called pharaohs until the New Kingdom.)

Svetlana Cvetko, David Scott Smith at Louvre cafe — Saturday, 5.13.17, 7:50 pm.


The following year…

The first fashion mannequins appeared in France in the mid-19th century. Ethnic (i.e., non-caucasian) mannequins began appearing in the ’70s, I think, but they’ve all had the same slender physique since forever. Tonight, for the first time in my life, I saw a fat-guy mannequin in a store window. (A small shop on rue Gregoire du Tours, just off rue de Buci.) A sign of the times, I’d say. Clothing manufacturers and retailers have seemingly concluded that the corpulent-male market is sizable and growing, and are looking to reach out. Has anyone ever seen an overweight-woman mannequin? If so, where and when?