Let there be light

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Are the French out of their Gallic tetes? The world won't know for sure until Bernard Bled, the Paris official in charge of the City of Light's millennium festivities, gives the oui or non to a mind-boggling plan that would cut off all the lights on the Champs Elyssees just before midnight on New Year's Eve.

The push to darken the historic thoroughfare is the brainchild of architect Patrick Bouchain, who contends that the millennium spectacle he has concocted would be diminished if traffic lights, streetlights and commercial lighting were to be left on.

In an ideal world, even in a remotely sane world, Bouchain's plan to blacken the Champs Elyssees prior to a dramatic light show would not be such a big deal. But here on Earth, packing masses of champagned people into a confined space and then turning the lights off is the stuff that pickpockets' dreams are made of. What are these people thinking?

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