domenica, novembre 15, 2015

Guess which is which.

Well, now, everybody has turned tricolour on Facebook and gives all sorts of fucks about dead people because they're in Paris, and not Lebanon, or Iraq, or Myanmar, or under a fuckton of mud in Brazil. But it's not just about racism (though it is about racism) and not just about identifying more with the French because they have a developed economy that's familiar to us and so we understand a little better this could happen to us elsewhere in the developed world too (though it is about that) and not because we only recognize terror when it's wearing a balaclava and explosives and not a suit or uniform (though it's also about that).

 Paris has a special meaning to a lot of North Americans and Europeans. I'm guessing about half the people I know have been there, and most of the other half would like to go there. Personally, I was there for three years, and they were, you know, fucking formative sorts of years, that have left me with a love hate relationship with that place that has only really swung back toward love since I entered the middle class, because that is a shitty town to be poor in.

But even when I wasn't middle class I went to shows at the Bataclan and got falling down drunk around the Bastille and had an apartment I shared with a bunch of fucking mice a few blocks from where those restaurants got shot up and sometimes I had a really fucking good time, and I know I feel this attack differently than I feel others around the world because it happened in places I know and love, in my fashion.

Nonetheless, there are a lot of arguments for open borders and travelling as much as you can, to as many places as you can, meeting as many people as you can, and one of them - far from the most important thing but still so important - is that more places have more emotional meaning to you, more people are REAL to you, and your heart is a little more open to understanding that tragedy always deserves a response.

 So I bet you ten bucks that if you watch your conversations in the coming days, there will be a split in people's thinking about refugees coming into Europe or North America from the Middle East. The split will be between people who have never moved out of their socio-economic/cultural comfort zone, and people who have. One will react to the atrocity in Paris by calling for a shutdown in refugee intake, and the other will react by understanding that the fear and sadness they feel over what happened in Paris is the same fear and sadness that are driving millions of people to leave their homes against their will and look for a safe haven elsewhere, and that those people should be welcomed, because there is not all that much separating us.

2 commenti:

aglaiketstirk ha detto...

Just read an interesting post here:

Yip. This is what Daesh or Isil or Isis thrive on - what any 'terrorist' worth their salt wants: division; suspicion; fear; hate; war and death. Social instability. Chaos.
The only folk to benefit will be the arms dealers and the power-hungry seeking to consolidate their grip on their increasingly xenophobic populations.

We're disappearing down the arsehole of 'humanity'. It's started already here. The vicious legislation passed by the Commons last week and authorising mass interception, monitoring and enforced storage of 'personal data' - well the calls have started already for it to be brought forward.

We are fucked.

All the fucking surveillance they have already and it couldn't stop Paris or Beirut or (though who cares about Beirut and the rest? eh?). But hey. We need to lose a little more freedom. A little more privacy.

Execrable headlines in the British press (which is always pretty shitty but has managed to outdo itself) call for immigration to be halted; for all-out war (against whom you fuckwits - you're already bombing indiscriminately mostly everywhere you want 'regime change'). The Poles have already withdrawn from the 'immigration quotas agreement' indicating their borders are now closed. The French National Front, groupings such as Pegida in Germany - every fucking nasty scary right winger across the continent is going to make hay.

And the only politician to urge caution here has just been labelled 'Jihadi Jez' by that fucked up moronic and super popularist Sky News.

I'm away to drink myself into oblivion.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

I have been dreading this sort of thing all weekend too, and I know it's worse in the UK - but it was already worse in the UK. I don't think anybody's minds are going to be changed by what happened in Paris. Though their hearts may be hardened.