Can't lie, I've had enough of waking up, grabbing my phone, and learning of another few dozen dead bodies lying under blue sheets. Things are ramping up aren't they? 89 at the Bataclan, 50 at Pulse, and 84 so far in Nice. I spend a lot of time wondering at the brutality of these attacks. I've been to lots of gigs, less gay clubs, admittedly (but not none) and plenty of street festivals, and I find myself imagining my night being interrupted by young men with assault rifles or a runaway truck reenacting GTA. 'What a shock that must be', I often wonder. 'That must be just like a movie!' And then I shake my head, and look at my shoes.
A lad at work today was musing on the creativity of it all, how these terrible terrorists must sit in their 'caves' plotting the most evil ways to destroy these prime examples of secular 'liberalism' which they so 'despise'. And I didn't engage, because I couldn't be arsed, but I've been musing on that today. And it isn't that I don't agree, because I do agree. I'm sure they do think of the most shocking and traumatising ways of attacking the west that they can imagine. But from a cave? Come on. The Nice guy (that doesn't sound right) grew up in a suburban flat. And an attack on liberalism? An attempt to put an end to the Daesh-despised Liberté, égalité, fraternité? I'm not having that either.
France - and the West in general, I'm certainly not singling out France - need to open their eyes to what is actually happening here, and accept that every attack is a consequence of their own recklessness. There was nothing else to expect than a retaliation in kind, when an entire campaign has been conducted out of our sight in order to demean, disrupt, and ultimately decimate a whole region of the world in the name of 'freedom'. I was thinking about how awful it would be to attend an Eagles of Death Metal concert, and then I moved on to how awful it would be to be shot to death with a gun during it, when I realised that it's just as bad to be at some Pakistani market of a Thursday, when a drone drops a fucking bomb on your head. It's not more terrible or more movie-like because it happens in France. It's the same. And they'd drone the fuck out of us if they had the means. But they don't. So they drive over us.
"They're the evil ones", said Hollande in yet another sad-face national address. There's no evil here. Stop de-humanizing them. Dehumanisation is exactly what Hitler did to the Jews, and look what happened there. I'm not saying Hollande is Hitler. I don't even think Trump is Hitler, he's bad enough on his own. But calling these terrorists evil, referring to Daesh as 'Islamic State', all this does is distract from the real issue and widens the divide. There is no evil in terrorism and there is no Islam in Daesh. There are angry - so, so angry - marginalised and disaffected young men attacking countries that have marginalised them and bombed their brothers and sisters. Muslims are connected to each other in a way that we cannot ever comprehend. An innocent death in Syria is felt more painfully in Rusholme than a white French death is felt by anyone in Leeds. Combine that sense of unfairness (and make no mistake, the situation in the Middle East is unfair, and it is our fault) with a marginalised, radicalised mind, and is it any wonder that they're rising up for revenge? I really hope that I don't need to clarify here that I'm not condoning terrorism, by the way. I'm not, just in case you're dumb enough to think that I am.
So, what do we have to look forward to? Well, the far-right is rising up across Europe to face this radical Islamic threat. The head of Internal Security in France is predicting a civil war. Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton (neither better than the other) is going to be the next US President and, in the UK we've voted to leave the EU due to the horror of being controlled by unelected ministers in Brussels, leaving our unelected Prime Minister to attempt to unite a divided country and remove us from a European Union in which she voted to remain. And we'll surely be attacked soon enough. As long as we keep going as we have been, it's absolutely inevitable.
Have a good weekend.
Love, Smithy x