Paris – A response



What happened last night in Paris is awful. It’s another strike in a war that can never be won and retaliation for it is pointless. Revenge is not a reason. If you want to strike back you have missed the beginning of this ongoing saga – it’s the striking back that has got us here in the first place.

You and I cannot control these big decisions taken by politicians and defence chiefs. We cannot make a difference even though in the coming days we will likely see public shows of solidarity from the French and around the world. Standing shoulder to shoulder against a belief system from a bastardised view of a loving religion will look good, but do nothing.

It’s not defeatist – it’s the truth. We will always have someone willing to take arms against their vision of a sea of troubles. But we have a real decision to make again today – just as we did last time something happened.

But I do have a solution.

I’m not being contrite, sarcastic or ironic in any way when I say we have a solution in the most simple of gifts: Joy.

Go to your gig and dance and sing

Go and watch football and cheer and shout

Go to the cafe and meet friends and laugh

They can’t stop joy

Go to the theatre and cry

Go to the tops of mountains and contemplate beauty

Go on holiday and relax

They can only hold you up at the airport

Go and play with your kids

Go and laugh with your friends

Go and hug your other half

They can’t take those feelings from you

Go on an adventure you’ll tell your grandkids about

Go and watch a pointless reality TV show

Go to your neighbours and have a cuppa

They can’t remove what you’ve done

Go to France and climb the Eiffel Tower

Go to France and visit Mickey and Friends

Go to France and enjoy the wine

Just the same as we went back to London and Madrid and New York and Mumbai and Bali and Egypt and Turkey and Tunisia and Munich and Saudi Arabia and Sydney and Washington and everywhere else they have tried to stop us.

Google “terrorist attacks” and you will find lists of attacks every year around the globe. Are you really saying that eight men are in charge of joy in the world? Those eight angry men who attacked Paris last night?

If you are, then never leave the house again.

If you aren’t then I’ll see you outside.


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