…the world was a different place. Somebody else was in power over there, and over here, and the other place, well other’s were in power too. Seven years ago, the world was a different place.
I was motivated to write this post, because today in Paris, the mercury climbed to 42°, a record that will be beaten next year, and the year after I am sure. But seven years ago, no one thought of forty two – it was just a number. Now it’s a record since records began – perhaps since civilisation burst forth from the cradle of humanity 2.3 million years ago. It won’t last long, as ancient records go…
Seven years ago, there was a dove in the whitehouse, and an amateur liberal diplomat at No.10. At the Elysée Palace, a diminutive Sarkozy was about to exit stage left, only to enter stage right into a court of investigation and and insinuation, of nebulous horse-trading and broken mirrors. Seven years ago, Trump was a philandering T.V. bully, Johnson a circus clown. Seven years ago, Macron was doing his homework.
And Paris, well, Paris had been emotionally unchanged since the student uprisings of 1968, and practically unchanged since the Revolution of 1848.
And then, we turned on the news one February morning, and witnessed the attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo. I joined the peace march, a million thronging singing choristers, multiple heads of states. Placards of doves, and mementos of another time – but the innocence was leaving. The innocence knew.
The Bataclan followed, 130 dead, 350 injured. The Parisians mourned and then went back to life en terrace – because nothing changes here, it’s simply the most famous and most visited museum in the world. It doesn’t change. Except it had.
The old political dogma soon fell apart – the communist’s breathed their last and the conservative right wing committed suicide, and the only choice became the daughter of a facsist, or a Rothchild’s puppet. The puppet won of course, like they do everywhere these days.
And France won the Football World Cup, and the Gilet Jaune erupted – a people’s movement of a million who rioted and snarled and misunderstood – and still further violated the political rote – ‘we do it like this, we’ve always done it like this.’
And to today. France is burning, melting under an Algerian heat. Trump resides in a nascent reich, Johnson is choosing his circus acts. Macron is playing God.
Seven years ago, the world was a different place.
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