Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Allow me to underline what John Oliver said (click the link at top of YouTube screen below to watch the clip at their site):

Yes, you sick suicidal motherfuckers, I will see your vile misinterpretation of the Koran and raise it the collected works of Voltaire, Balzac, Stendhal, Baudelaire, Flaubert, Rimbaud, Zola, Huysmans, Proust, Cocteau, Breton, Sartre, Beauvoir, Camus, Robbe Grillet, Duras, Yourcenar, Simon, and even Jacques fucking Derrida....You galactic arseholes just attacked a country where the national anthem boasts about French soldiers watering their fields with the blood of their enemies:

Aux armes, citoyens!           To arms, citizens!
Formez vos battaillons!        Form your battalions!
Marchons, Marchons,           March, march
Qu'un sang impur                Until the [enemy's] impure blood
abreuve nos sillons              Waters the furrows of our fields

(National anthems tend toward jingoistic militarism, but La Marseillaise is especially over the top; it's almost as though it were ghostwritten by the Marquis de Sade.)

I love Paris. In a sense that goes far beyond accidents of birth and residency, Paris is my place, my city, my home. It's the only place in the world where I've ever felt that heimlich emotion of existential belonging. One evening in late April of 2002, while marching in an anti-fascist demonstration at the Place de la Bastille, I looked at all the Parisians marching around me--men and women, young and old, black and white and brown, European, African, Asian, suited straights and leather-clad gays, yuppies, hippies, the works--and I, the foreigner, the American in their midst, was overcome by the certainty that there was no place on Earth where I would rather be, should rather be, than here on this boulevard teeming with Parisians, all chanting over and over in one voice into the chill night air, "Nous sommes tous des enfants d'immigres!". This was my home. J'aime Paris.

And last Friday those unspeakable motherfuckers tried to kill the place I love. Look at their targets and you will know their deepest motive, deeper than religion, deeper than politics. They attacked a soccer stadium, a bistro, a concert hall--places where people have fun, places of pleasure. They could have attacked any number of places and inflicted the same amount of pain--the Metro at rush hour, a crowded funeral at a Parisian church--but they chose to murder people who were enjoying themselves. If puritanism can be defined as the overpowering fear that someone, somewhere, at this very moment, is having a good time, then the attacks of 11/13 can be understood as manifestations of a murderous, religion- and resentment-fueled puritanism. A puritanism pushed beyond the point of obscenity, a puritanism in league with death, that's what attacked Paris last week. We can neither pretend nor attempt to imagine the pain those sons of bitches inflicted before they blew themselves to bits. Their deepest desire was that the orgy of suffering they unleashed would be the only thing to outlive them. Fuck them. Fuck them...  Today I look at the crowds and candles on Place de la Republique and I think: The assholes have already lost. Paris is alive. Paris is life. Paris, je t'aime.

No comments: