Police sirens ring throughout Paris as I sit in shade by the Place of the Bastille at a busy intersection. The memorial of the French Revolution was not a far walk from Charlie Hebdo, and I cannot help but think of “the violence inherent in the system,” as Monty Python so comically put it so many years back. What else can we do besides laugh, one asks.
I think of Turkey, and now Dallas, and I am saddened. My ex brother in law, Jeff Compton, wrote a good response to systemic violence that’s worth a read. He discussed the complicity of those of us who do nothing while systems abuse, much like the bystander who does nothing in the presence of a bully.
The memorial beside me only serves to reinforce the idea of bloodlust being birthed from profound abuse and neglect. I plan to visit tho Louvre soon, which will, hopefully be a reminder of a more loving and gentle side of the brain, a less dark side. But the Bastille is ever close to all of us.
(July 8th, 2016)