Viva Paris

Some people here in the UK don’t seem to get why Brits seem more sympathetic to Parisians than they do to Lebanese and Palestinians. Perhaps you’ve noticed this elsewhere in the West. I wouldn’t have thought that this phenomena wouldn’t be too hard to grasp, but it does seem to be beyond the intellect of a surprisingly large number of people. Hands up who has been to Paris? And to Beirut? The Gaza Strip? I think I see more hands for Paris.

Hands up who envisages London turning into the next Beirut? No one? How about a Paris style atrocity occurring in Covent Garden and Kensington? Sadly, there’s every chance it will happen.  We can relate to Paris. We know Paris. We live just a couple of hours by train from Paris. It’s not, fortunately, a normal feature of Paris life. It still has shock value. We worry about being the ‘next Paris’. Comprende? Failing that, why are you whining about Beirut and Palestine and not Honduras or Mexico?

I’m tired of people of all ideologies smugly claiming some sort of personal victory, valediction or bragging rights every time an atrocity is committed. You predicted this? Really?? Goddamn, just give me next weeks lottery numbers right now, pendejo. Right wingers gloat ‘I told you so’ in their misinformed, prejudiced rants about the dangers of multiculturalism. Yet supported, and still support, the actions that actually led us down this path.

The left wingers who defend Islam as a religion of peace are just as bad. There is no such thing as a religion of peace, Islamic, Christian or Buddhist. The first two in particular boast many scriptures urging violence. At the end of the day, the path of peace or violence is a personal choice for each follower.

Tragedy really does bring the worst out in the sickos of the world. Whether it’s Donald Trump and his fan club claiming that more guns are needed to solve the problem, or others who justify (or simply mitigate) the murders in Paris with the atrocities committed in the Middle East. It may be true that 9/11, 7/7 and 13/11 are everyday Gazan life. But this isn’t a competition. And then there are the conspiracy theorists. Who are perhaps the most deluded, poorly informed and ignorant members of our society. They wouldn’t know reality if it slapped them in the face.

I don’t know where we go from here, other than more of the same. But I have decided that an awful lot of people shouldn’t be allowed to have opinions if they can’t exercise some rational thought and responsibility. In the age of the internet, words have become more dangerous than sticks and stones. Viva Paris.

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15 Comments

  • The truly sad part of all of this is that politicians are rushing to curtail the rights that supposedly are the envy and impetus for these terrorists to attack us. I see that in France, they’ve declared martial law or some state of emergency, which means that civil rights are out the window for now. What does it mean to have civil rights when the government can just toss them out the minute it becomes convenient to do so?

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston,MA
    Where Mexico indeed seems like a refuge from much of this. I’ll take narco-violence over religious terrorists any day.

    • There are always compromises and caveats to all ‘rights’ and ‘freedoms’. But I feel in France’s case, these are exceptions times. For Belgium too. Let’s hope it does not spread across the continent. But I fear for the UK, that it is ‘when’ not ‘if’.

      • For all my complaints about my inept gov’t, at least no one here tried to suspend civil rights broadly after 9/11, even though it could certainly have been considered an exceptional time. Yes, we lost some freedoms due to the Patriot Act, but there were no suspensions of basic rights to assembly, etc.

        And what are the French now prohibited from doing? Protesting the global climate summit! What the heck does that have to do with terrorism? Approximately zero in my book.

        If civil rights are what make a place like France free, then a terrorist attack is the time when those rights are needed most, as the gov’t has demonstrated that when push comes to shove, they don’t really believe in those rights, which is a crying shame.

        • I hear what you are saying. And if they are still in a state of emergency this time next year….well, that’s different. But I’m willing to cut their government some slack for now. At the end of the day, they are well aware that some of the attackers are still on the loose, there are probably others and they are well armed. If they get amongst a large crowd, there would be carnage. This is an exceptional circumstance.

          • Normally, I’m not a fan of “slippery slope” arguments, but I think this is one where it applies pretty well. If people want to gather in crowds in Paris to protest, presumably they are aware of the risks.

            Freedom isn’t free. We need to risk something to keep it.

  • I headed north with my brother just as the Paris affair was under way. Like you, I really do not have many answers. But I do know I will be happy to head south in a couple of weeks. The madness of Mexico is a relief from the madness exercised elsewhere.

  • I argued the same thing that more of us can relate to Paris than Beirut. It does not mean we care less about the people. Religion has brought about so much violence for eons. Will it ever stop, I doubt it.
    We just had a cousin of my husband in the Netherlands who stated she is now so afraid because this is so close to them. Miles do separate us from danger and allows us to go about our daily pursuits, but when it is in our backyard it is shocking beyond belief.The attack on innocents in Paris has been horrific and so many of us think by the grace of .,!?!? It could have been us.

    • Truth be told, if religion had never existed, these sickos would have found another think to fight over. Although it has to be said, the religious aspect does make it easier to recruit suicide bombers…

  • Viva la France. Cut off thie heads of those terrorists or cut off their balls. I used to be a peacenik but IS needs to be obliterated from the face of the earth to allow us to be able to cross our borders without fear.

  • Gary,
    These days I live on the Canadian We’t Coast on an Island in the Pacific slightly below the 49th parallel. We collectively share a similar climate almost Mediterranean, the population is mainly European strangely enough probably because of the seafaring in this neck of the woods. And almost each culture is represented here too!
    Although we live on the other side of the globe this tragedy affects us all in a yet unseen way. Borders will once more be sealed, documentation will become even more stringent. Refugees will be turned home. As a willing immigrant myself I see closed borders and closed minds to those seeking peace, solace, safety and time to heal.
    Where will it all end? I don’t know but I’m so glad to have moved to a place of peace and tranquility away from the sickness and madness that pervades there now.
    So when are you packing your bags?

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