Fool for France

What now?

This will be our reply to violence:
to make music more intensely,
more beautifully,
more devotedly than ever before.

That was how Leonard Bernstein handled these kinds of situations. And me?

Back when I was putting out an antiwar, underground paper, I took a look at what being a professional gadfly did to a person’s life. It wasn’t pretty: poverty, broken relationships, it was a mess. I decided I wanted a more stable life, so I took a step back, got on with my education and got a series of real jobs.

So now some guys who continued the struggle, guys who could have been my mentors, were slaughtered by a couple of idiots who somehow thought that taking Kalashnikovs to a couple of old men armed with pencils, plus whoever else happened to be around, was a heroic act. Jeez.

So what can I do more devotedly than before? Shop, I guess; I’m good at that. Take a few photos. Go to a feelgood demonstration.  Subscribe to Charlie Hebdo. Am I sorry I went into architecture instead of journalism? No, to be honest, not at all.

2 Replies to “What now?”

  1. That quote is beautiful. Thanks. Isn’t it great that since this sad event, the world has reacted with so much more cartooning and satire? Derision , satire, criticism are all essential for a world to evolve, whatever the feelings of those who wish to backpedal into darkness. Interesting comment about journalism – I decided that I would not do into journalism when I saw the handling of the Hillsborough tragedy by the press.


    1. Thanks. My friend sent out that quote after 9/11. It stayed with me so I thought, why not, and used it again.

      You’d have been a terrific investigative journalist. Satire is more fun though and, done well, a brilliantly effective way to skewer lies and hot air of all sorts. My current life goal is to hole up in my little house, my new hot date, Charlie Hebdo, on one side and, on the other, Jon Stewart reruns, the real thing being unfortunately out of my league. And, for the best gossip around, lunches with Lucia and Mrs. Playmo.


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