Readability

Flowers for the graves

Last night I watched a Canal Plus video from its Petit Jour­nal pro­gram inter­view­ing a dar­ling lit­tle boy. Canal Plus banned it on YouTube for copy­right rea­sons but you can watch it at the HuffPo, which also translated:

In an inter­view posted by the French news broad­cast Le Petit Jour­nal on Mon­day, a reporter asks a young French boy if he under­stands why ter­ror­ists attacked Paris on Fri­day, killing at least 129 peo­ple and injur­ing 350.

“Yes, because they’re very very very mean,” the boy replies. “The bad guys aren’t very nice. And we really have to be care­ful because we have to change homes.”

His dad coaxes him, say­ing, “No, don’t worry, we don’t have to change homes. France is our home.”

“But there are bad guys, Daddy!” the boy says.

“Yes, but there are bad guys every­where,” his father counters.

“They have guns, they can shoot at us because they have guns and are bad,” the boy continues.

“Well, they have guns, but we have flow­ers,” the father says.

“But flow­ers don’t do any­thing,” the boy argues.

“See all the flow­ers?” his dad asks. “They’re to fight against the guns.”

“Are they there to pro­tect?” the boy asks. “The can­dles too?”

“There you go,” his dad says. “It’s to not for­get those who left us yesterday.”

“The flow­ers and the can­dles,” the boy con­cludes, “they’re there to pro­tect us.”

The reporter jumps back in and asks the boy, “So are you feel­ing better?”

Yep,” he says. I’m feel­ing better.”

Now, I under­stand that Le Petit Jour­nal is a pro­gram inter­view­ing kids, and that Dad may be hav­ing a Kum­baya moment in front of the cam­eras not to alarm the lit­tle kids in the audi­ence, but … my reac­tion was “ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND, DAD?”

Even the five-​year old (excuse me for the guess, he may be older) is aware of the fact that “flow­ers don’t do any­thing,” other than, per­haps, give you a feel-​good moment.

You may recall that last Jan­u­ary 7 Islamist ter­ror­ists killed the Char­lie Hebdo staff. Last Friday’s mas­sacre was also well-​planned, pre­med­i­tated, and meant to be an attack on civil soci­ety, be it in France or any­where in the world. Like Friday’s attack, the vic­tims were unarmed.

Like there were in Jan­u­ary, there are now a lot of pub­lic dis­plays of grief, with flow­ers, can­dles and sundry tchotchkes, includ­ing a guy who car­ried his piano on his bicy­cle so he could play Imag­ine in front of the Bat­a­clan, where five score peo­ple were massacred.

Like in Jan­u­ary, the per­pe­tra­tors inflicted chaos on a peo­ple who could not imag­ine what they were up to:
Noth­ing is a more reli­able indi­ca­tor of a lack of imag­i­na­tion than singing “Imagine”.

While we were “liv­ing for today”, Islam was play­ing for tomor­row. When you sing “Imag­ine”, you’re say­ing you can’t imag­ine any­thing beyond the tor­por of the moment. You can’t imag­ine that there are peo­ple who don’t think as you do, and who regard the cob­webbed boomer-​pop sol­i­dar­ity as con­fir­ma­tion of noth­ing more than your flac­cid passivity.

Our ene­mies under­stand how myopic we are. They attack a con­cert by Eagles of Death Metal, which is not with­out a cer­tain blood-​soaked irony: In our world, “death metal” is a genre at iTunes. [UPDATE: Those who know these things tell me Eagles of Death Metal is not a “death metal” band, which I sup­pose makes the name an ironic com­men­tary upon a genre at iTunes.] In our ene­mies’ world, the term is lit­eral: They bring real death metal to our “death metal” con­certs, and pile high the corpses. In our world, it’s all pose and atti­tude. In theirs, these words still have meaning.

As I write this post, the police were met with heavy gun­fire (in a gun-​free zone) as they raided an apart­ment in their search for Friday’s mastermind.

The HuffPo weeps that “only love can pro­tect Paris.” Let’s hope things don’t get to the point that only Patton’s army can pro­tect Paris, because this time — with Sec­re­tary of State Kerry con­ced­ing “legit­i­macy” to ter­ror­ists’ motives — Pat­ton isn’t coming.

There will be a lot more flow­ers on the graves.

UPDATE:
Linked to by Bat­shit Crazy News. Thank you!

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin Amer­i­can pol­i­tics, news, and cul­ture at Fausta’s Blog. As for weepy can­dle­light vig­ils, I’m with Iowa­hawk (NSFW)

Last night I watched a Canal Plus video from its Petit Journal program interviewing a darling little boy. Canal Plus banned it on YouTube for copyright reasons but you can watch it at the HuffPo, which also translated:

In an interview posted by the French news broadcast Le Petit Journal on Monday, a reporter asks a young French boy if he understands why terrorists attacked Paris on Friday, killing at least 129 people and injuring 350.

“Yes, because they’re very very very mean,” the boy replies. “The bad guys aren’t very nice. And we really have to be careful because we have to change homes.”

His dad coaxes him, saying, “No, don’t worry, we don’t have to change homes. France is our home.”

“But there are bad guys, Daddy!” the boy says.

“Yes, but there are bad guys everywhere,” his father counters. 

“They have guns, they can shoot at us because they have guns and are bad,” the boy continues. 

“Well, they have guns, but we have flowers,” the father says.

“But flowers don’t do anything,” the boy argues.

“See all the flowers?” his dad asks. “They’re to fight against the guns.”

“Are they there to protect?” the boy asks. “The candles too?”

“There you go,” his dad says. “It’s to not forget those who left us yesterday.”

“The flowers and the candles,” the boy concludes, “they’re there to protect us.” 

The reporter jumps back in and asks the boy, “So are you feeling better?”

“Yep,” he says. I’m feeling better.”

Now, I understand that Le Petit Journal is a program interviewing kids, and that Dad may be having a Kumbaya moment in front of the cameras not to alarm the little kids in the audience, but . . . my reaction was “ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND, DAD?”

Even the five-year old (excuse me for the guess, he may be older) is aware of the fact that “flowers don’t do anything,” other than, perhaps, give you a feel-good moment.

You may recall that last January 7 Islamist terrorists killed the Charlie Hebdo staff. Last Friday’s massacre was also well-planned, premeditated, and meant to be an attack on civil society, be it in France or anywhere in the world. Like Friday’s attack, the victims were unarmed.

Like there were in January, there are now a lot of public displays of grief, with flowers, candles and sundry tchotchkes, including a guy who carried his piano on his bicycle so he could play Imagine in front of the Bataclan, where five score people were massacred.

Like in January, the perpetrators inflicted chaos on a people who could not imagine what they were up to:
Nothing is a more reliable indicator of a lack of imagination than singing “Imagine”.

While we were “living for today”, Islam was playing for tomorrow. When you sing “Imagine”, you’re saying you can’t imagine anything beyond the torpor of the moment. You can’t imagine that there are people who don’t think as you do, and who regard the cobwebbed boomer-pop solidarity as confirmation of nothing more than your flaccid passivity.

Our enemies understand how myopic we are. They attack a concert by Eagles of Death Metal, which is not without a certain blood-soaked irony: In our world, “death metal” is a genre at iTunes. [UPDATE: Those who know these things tell me Eagles of Death Metal is not a “death metal” band, which I suppose makes the name an ironic commentary upon a genre at iTunes.] In our enemies’ world, the term is literal: They bring real death metal to our “death metal” concerts, and pile high the corpses. In our world, it’s all pose and attitude. In theirs, these words still have meaning.

As I write this post, the police were met with heavy gunfire (in a gun-free zone) as they raided an apartment in their search for Friday’s mastermind.

The HuffPo weeps that “only love can protect Paris.” Let’s hope things don’t get to the point that only Patton’s army can protect Paris, because this time – with Secretary of State Kerry conceding “legitimacy” to terrorists’ motives – Patton isn’t coming.

There will be a lot more flowers on the graves.

UPDATE:
Linked to by Batshit Crazy News. Thank you!

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog. As for weepy candlelight vigils, I’m with Iowahawk (NSFW)