I’m not sure what I feel about Paris. About the attacks taking over the web, the news, TV, radio, our minds. I wasn’t even sure if to say something and join the flurry of thoughts that everybody seems to feel compelled to share.
So I’ll just say something really naive—no doubt about that—but honest. Something that doesn’t reflect a political view nor a school of thought. And I’ll share it not because I think it’s somehow relevant, but because it’s been on my mind since Friday and writing is the only way I know to let it go, at least temporarily.
I feel like Homeland, The Americans, House of Cards, and hundreds of other conspiracy TV shows and movies have numbed any surprise effect, fear, worry, shock. Whenever something like this happens, I don’t feel scared, or surprised, or worried, or shocked. Maybe I should, because in real life there’s not going to be any Carrie Mathison or President Underwood to come and solve the situation.
What I feel, though, is confused.
We fill our Facebook with words about the attacks, we overlay our profile pictures with the French tricolour, we share quotes on the Eiffel Tower background and prayers for the French people. Some write about their fear, worries, surprise, concerns. Others say, I knew, they’re coming, this is just the beginning. Others think of how frightened, defenceless the French must feel right now.
As for me, I feel confused.
What’s the difference between Friday and any other day when WE bomb, attack, shoot THEM? When somebody somewhere presses a button to activate a drone that will kill dozens of innocent people, does it matter where? Is it that it’s Europe in the gunsight? Is it that it’s us? Near us? Is it that we feel it’s normal there, but not here? Are their innocent people somehow less innocent that ours? Is it that we somehow have the right to feel safe at home and they don’t? Is their fear somehow less heart-breaking than ours? And what’s all this pointing fingers? Who’s responsible. Who is to blame. Who attacked who first. Does it really matter? What if the real problem is that WE and THEY is actually a thing?
I have no answers, I don’t know if anybody has any and if some of them are smarter than others.
All I know is that we are probably all equally responsible for what’s happening in the world and my generation in Europe has been a very lucky one. Until now?