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June 25, 2017

C'est La Vie (MJ)

Our civic debate and the intellectualism surrounding it has become boring. We all know the prism through which Charles Blow (racism), Thomas Friedman (globalism), or any left leaning publication will present its view. Everything the Left does is predictable.

The Right is oftentimes similarly rote, although there exists a stronger willingness to debate an issue beyond the merely emotional. It's more about the construct than the destruct; the depth and breadth.

Whereas speech is the hallmark of the Right, it is anathema to the Left. Their adherence to a limited cadre of acceptable words has led directly to their stunted and sheltered views.

I believe this unwillingness for honest diagnosis is leading to a growing, if not already fatal wound in Europe; the pinnacle of Leftism.


Two hours after I got to my hotel, word came of a terror attack three blocks away, on the Champs Élysées. I asked the woman at the desk for directions and she said, in low and measured terms, “I’m sorry madame, there has been a terrorist occurrence. You should not go there.” I said “Yes, I’d like to go see it.” She brightened: “In that case, go left, left, then final left!”

Soon I was in a small crowd being held back by a handful of police. They protested: My work is there. I must go there. I walked for a few blocks, to a small park off the Champs. Police had put up police tape, but as soon as they turned away people ducked under it and continued on their way.

No one in the crowd—workers in the shops, mothers with children, tourists—seemed the least put out or concerned, never mind scared, which they were not.

Such is life, until it isn't.

As I lingered over dessert. A colleague emailed an alert from a private security firm: Continue to avoid the vicinity of Champs Élysées and Avenue Montaigne. I replied: “I am literally on Avenue Montaigne and nothing is happening here but bitchy gossip in the cafe.”

“At least you’re having a very French experience then,” my colleague replied.

I was. Forty-eight hours later, en route to England, I saw the front page of the Times of London: A suspected terrorist had been shot and killed by soldiers in a Brussels railway station. He had attempted to detonate an explosive vest or belt. The story was illustrated with a photo of a handsome young passerby who’d been staring at his phone and suddenly turned toward a flash of light behind him: the late terrorist.

Nothing feels different, all looks the same, no one is letting the discomfort get in their way, but in Europe, terrorism is the new normal.

Decollage--It's all coming apart, but try not to make a fuss. That would be sooo pedestrian.

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posted by Open Blogger at 07:00 PM

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