A shocking full stop has been stamped into our own personal post war timeline. This may be selfish in the light of the endless war which has raged worldwide for ever but after this weekend it’s come home to roost in hail of bullets and hatred.
This is not a new world order but a new world war. Terror is the key word of these times and a million fault lines have cracked.
Paris left everyone reeling as the horror of the 21st century finally arrived right into the middle of our world.
That doesn’t mean we or anyone else has no empathy with Kenya last year, Syria last week or everywhere else all the time. Those are permanent worries as well.
The events in Paris are a wake up call though because they are a direct hit on everyone in out little world and put a full stop in our lives and history. Not because the people who died are more important than people who die every day in the endless wars across the planet, not because western blood has more value, not because we don’t care about the death and misery caused by all ideologies and motives all across the world. The pop culture society of the spectacle has been turned upside down and turned into the terror spectacle, what was once a song is now a kalashnikov. How do we react? do we still stand for what we believe in? Do we swing to the draconian? do we give up freedom?
History is knocking on our doors and is no longer a headline but a day to day reality. The frontline has been shifted to our front door and the great post war period of peace, of a slumbering Euro-west cosiness is now truly over.
No matter what your reaction to the situation is, it feels hopelessly small – a mini facebook debate, a misinformed hail of opinions and one liners, a pedants stream of one upmanship and cant. The pop culture that once seemed to want change to change the world is now X Factor or toothless or easily ignored – can a great piece of music defeat a machine gun in the hands of a zealot?
In 2015 the reaction has become a babble of voices across facebook contradicting each other. Voices range from fear to compassion, from attempts to understand to calls for all out war, from trying to reach out to a swing to the right. The tragedy has become the online narrative with endless finger waving about atrocities elsewhere in the world from people who have never posted about them before as people react in different ways to the shock. No-one is an expert here.
Compassion towards the victims of the Bataclan written on our music website had a couple of comments saying stuff like ‘what about the rest of Paris?’ and it’s not just about a ‘fucking nightclub’ – comments that we must forgive for being spur of the moment reactions as they breath takingly brush over the the fact that our comment was from one part of the music community reacting to an attack on its every core and fibre and not about forgetting all the hate and war in the rest of the world. This assumption that it’s only about the Batalcan is so arrogant. The reply about the ‘fucking nightlcub’ seems to flippantly seems to brush away the pain and terror of the Batlaclan attack. We hope they had the chance to rethink this and to stop assuming moral superiority.
French flags on facebook pages are criticised for not embracing other terror victims from the rest of the world typed by people who have never cared to mention these incidents before. It’s all a bit of ‘my compassion is better than your compassion’.
The internet is also full of conspiracy theories where people don’t believe the news but believe any rumour that is posted online – wild opinions and scraps of information become fact and create opposing reactions and confusion. There are is no solid ground in this new world. Terror is everywhere, agendas are everywhere and confusion is the keyword of 2015. They always say truth is the first casualty of war and it looks like truth has been digitally destroyed.
All the old certainties are gone, enemies lurk in shadows, politics are blurred lines and the truth is just another causality in the random hail of bullets and opinions. We now live in truly deadly and dangerous times and how the liberal minded and how pop culture reacts is paramount to our community.