The French have an art, which has been cultivated over several hundred years. They write witty pieces...coming from the heart....which captivate and challenge the mind. A Tale of Two Cites begins with the the best opening lines of literary history ("It was the best of times......"). The Count of Monte Cristo lays out an epic story of terrible wrongs done to an innocent man and how he ends avenging these wrongs. Bel-Ami goes into great detail of man's desires to use anything to accomplish his desires, and hurt many of those around himself. Fantomas was an evil character created by Marcel Allain (1885–1969) and Pierre Souvestre (1874–1914)....who was absolutely ruthless....to the ninth degree.
The French also believe in skepticism.....showing the willingness to toss humor and wit against just about anything, to remove some special claim or status. This even includes religion. For hundreds of years.....the Catholic and Protestant faiths in France....were accepted targets. Over the past couple of hundred years.....you could make virtually any joke over Jesus, the Pope, and God.....that you desired. You could write an entire play over the immoral behavior of the Catholic Church in the 1500s, and it was totally accepted.
Today....three Islamic thugs walked into the offices of a Paris humor magazine....which had done comical pieces over Muhammad and the Islamic religion. Presently, twelve dead, to include two cops who arrived and tried to shot the event. The three got away, and presently.....all of Paris is under a state of 'red-alert'.
I am reminded of an George Orwell quote, which fits for the occasion: "It is not so much staying alive, it's staying human which is important. What counts is that we don't betray each other."
Some of us have isolated ourselves, and our mental processes from society. We take an active imagination, enraged frustrations without value, mental capacity of marginal proportions, and allowed people to feed us tidbits of thug enthusiasm.
To think and rationalize in society today....you need an open mind. You have to be able to form conclusions on your own, without some fool feeding you through your fifth-grade education....some garbage and hoping you will react the right way to the motivational 'drink' given to you.
In this case, we have a class of people who've isolated themselves from society.....bound themselves in some rituals, acting like thugs, and hoping that we feel.....'all is lost'. Typically, with this 'all is lost' will....you do stupid things, let thugs get away with 7th century behavior, and just keep trying to be agreeable when new guests arrive to tell you changes are necessary....mostly for their comfort and sake.
Tonight, sixty-six-odd million French men and women sit and ponder over this event. Most are not amused. Most have some aggravated feelings. Most feel the necessity to question those around them, and if those people are.....as Orwell put it....'staying human'. Their chief question is.....will this man or this woman....betray them? In their mind....either you are French and part of the French culture.....or you are something else. And rather than defining forty-four different cultures, as you might see some bureaucrat accomplish....you might only see two divisions of character. Those who act and behave in a French fashion, and those who don't.
For those of us outside of France? The best we can do is support them, their lives, and their values. At this time.....of all times....we should not betray them. Today, we are all French.