The shock and outrage I felt yesterday rendered me speechless. Today I can't help but remember the words of my late father in law, the wise old country vicar, who said decades ago that Islam would be the end of all of us, eventually.How do you fight people like this? Except by defiantly just carrying on and hoping to be safe?You can't reason with people who think they have a right to kill anyone that they feel offends them or doesn't conform to their ideas, and for every one that's tracked down and brought to justice there seem to be plenty more to follow on. I'm not sure I'm entirely comfortable with the idea that it's acceptable to publicly poke fun at others in the press or any media, and don't see journalism as an always honourable profession, but would rather live in a world where people are free to speak out without fear than one where fear rules every daily activity.
Jean, when you think of the horrors and atrocities that Europeans and Americans have perpetrated against each other — so many dead for what cause in 1914-18, and again in 1940-45, not to mention Algeria, Vietnam, and Iraq — well, it's hard to figure out what to think. I'm very pessimistic at this point. And journalism, like all professions, has its honorable and its corrupt practitioners.
I'd like to think that in the twenty first century we have moved on from the awful ways our ancestors behaved towards each other. It seems that not all cultures have. Some have beliefs that are still entrenched in the worst eras of the history of the human race. That is scary because with modern weapons and communications they are far more deadly than our own ancestors ever were.When a nation is at war with another atrocities are, although evil, expected. This is not a war but a campaign of terror and all of us are potential targets unless we submit to their will.
We are all mourning this despicable act. We all feel connected. Your photo is wonderful. I feel like I have walked down this road many times. It looks so familiar to a place I grew up in the Midwest. My gggmother immigrated from France and when I see certain photos from France I think she must have felt at home when she saw a place like in this photo. I also know why our food that we ate was/is more French than the neighbors food.
I wonder where in the Midwest you grew up. Wisconsin? Michigan? Where I lived, on the prairie of central Illinois around Champaign-Urbana, didn't look a lot like that Saint-Aignan forest scene. Thanks for your good comment...
One of the things I hadn't realised is that Charb drew for kids magazines, so a lot of kids really genuinely grew up with him and that's one of the reasons people are reacting so strongly. The connection to these guys is lifelong and powerful.
SusanI was watching Envoyé Spécial last evening. These thugs lived in the area of Butte Chaumont and they do their dealings in the parc.
Hara-Kiri and Charlie Hebdo were publications that I grew up with from the age of 20 when I lived in Paris and other cities in France. Wolinki was 80 years old and Cabu 76 when they were killed, so they had been well known for generations. Several generations have strong connections to the people who were executed.
I've reminded my students that, just as the idiots of Westboro Baptist Church (who picket at soldier's funerals, blaming them in some twisted way for their own deaths, and carrying their "God hates faggots" signs) don't represent the rest of the Christian population, neither do the Islamic extremists represent the whole of Islam or all of the good Muslims in the world.
Judith I wished there are other teachers and journalists like you in North America.If only our so-called leaders put those funders/financiers of these thugs against the wall and make them face reality. Instead, they are willing to deal so that their defence industries make money selling the latest war gear to them.
Let's hope there really is a light at the end of the tunnel.Btw, Ken, there's an op-ed piece in today's NYTimes about the "tumbling, stumbling" euro. Must be helpfulfor you and Walt to be dealing with $1.19 rather than$1.35. Of course, I guess it depends on when youexchanged your funds.
Dear Ken Hi,Votre post de dimanche dernier me fait penser qu'il vous arrive de vous ennuyer.Puis je me permettre de vous demander si vous savez monter à cheval? Dans l'affirmative une promenade de deux heures au trot énergique une fois par semaine ne manquera pas de contribuer à vous faire voir la vie en rose; dans la négative, si vous n'y êtes pas opposé, apprenez cela vous occupera grandement.Par ailleurs que diriez vous si je vous suggérais d'apporter votre aide en tant que volontaire aux Restos du Coeur ou au Secours Catholique s'il y en a près de chez vous.Dernière question : avez vous lu un roman de Balzac intitulé "Eugénie Grandet" ?Je termine en vous souhaitant une bonne et heureuse année 2015 et en vous remerciant pour votre blog que je lis régulièrement depuis plusieurs années et j'espère que vous ne me tiendrez pas rigueur de mes propos un peu trop "directs" (circonstance atténuante : je suis votre aîné);yoursclaude vergne email@example.com ; my great gran(mother was born in Irancy in 1860 odd. I have never been there myself.
Bonjour Claude Vergne, et merci pour ces idées. Je ne m'ennuie pas vraiment. Comme tout le monde, je peux avoir des états d'âme et des doutes, mais j'ai beaucoup d'occupations que me protègent de l'ennui. Et puis j'ai Walter...J'ai dû lire Eugénie Grandet il y a 30 ou 40 ans. Peut-être que je devrais le relire. Un ami m'a recommandé Le Lys dans la vallée de Balzac et je l'ai acheté mais je ne l'ai pas encore lu. Faut que je trouve le temps.Quelle coïncidence en ce qui concerne Irancy !
Thanks Ken- there is light at the end of the tunnel never fear. Judith, I'm glad your students have a teacher like you. You do more good than you know.Bonjour et bienvenue Claude, c'est bon ici toujours meme aujourd'hui. J'ai monté au cheval dans mon jeunesse et cette photo made me think of those days on horseback where just riding gave me happiness. Ken has his vines and a good dog for long peaceful walks. This too shall pass. We'll all work for peace and justice together one day at a time.
Evelyn, yes, the walks with the dog are therapeutic. I agree about Judy's good work.
I do love the beautiful and serene picture you posted... I/all of us need such moments of peace
But how eloquent your photograph seems......
And more awful news today. You and France are on my mind always.
Silence, can be lovely sometimes
I have felt the same way about a lot of things. I maintained my Thursday morning English class on the subject of "product development and description." I didn't have the heart to prepare a special English class about Wednesday's events, but the whole class felt a little futile and ridiculous too. And tonight we have more to mourn, although we can hope that perhaps this is an end to it all too...for now...
Dear Walt, reading all the blogs for years, and with great pleasure traveling to France every year, since 1978, wishing I could retire there, I must say about Jean's comment, that I'm glad her wise old father in law wasn't working at the Alfred P Murrah Federal building on April 19 1995, when T McVeigh, a white Christian racist murdered 168 people here in Oklahoma City. Best regards, William Schmitt
What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?