I generally endeavor to keep my politics to myself, much in the same way that I keep religion to myself. I’m a firm believer that everyone is entitled to their own opinion on things of this nature, and as such they don’t need my beliefs rammed down their throats. Now if they ask…that’s an entirely different, and most likely alcohol fueled, discussion. Not that I’m a drunk per se, but I find that heavy discussions over a few drinks keep things nice and easy, and serve to make us all a little more honest than we might otherwise be. I like honesty, you see, in everything.

I’ve had a few days to marinate on the events in Paris, and I have some thoughts on this subject. Sure, I could use my more or less dead personal blog that no one reads, but since I’ve pretty much abandoned that in favor of the blog here, that I also rarely use, I figure why not. Plus it’s linked to my Facebook so I don’t have to copy and paste. I like ease of use as well, after all. (read: lazy bastard)

This, all of it really, this isn’t about politics or religion. There’s far more to it than that. You see, I fought the good fight, back when the enemy was easier to define, easier to see, and far easier to hate. We had a firm target, and we aimed everything we had in the bag at them, ready to wipe us all off the planet. As my father’s war was so vastly different from mine, my son’s seems destined to be even farther afield and more bloody, and that brings me to tears just thinking about it.

There is no salve I can offer to anyone, either directly involved in this tragedy or not. Reports are just coming in now that they’ve killed or captured the last of the suspects, but that won’t bring anyone’s family back, and it wont take away what is undoubtedly one of the most profound senses of outrage the comic and cartoon industry has seen in decades. This hit too close to home for so many of us around the world. There will be a scar there forever. It also won’t help anyone to learn that though these extremist idiots are dead or in custody, we’re no safer now than we were before they rampaged through Charlie Hebdo, and most likely we’re even less so.

So what do we do?

Create. Be bold, not scared. Be strong, not wounded. Be defiant, not timid. Refuse not only to be cowed by a bunch of simple-minded terrorists, but also to accept the things people want to press on us as ‘acceptable norms’. We are the weird kids, the strange birds, the folks living so far outside the box we’ve rarely even glimpsed the damn thing. We need to start acting like it again. We have to push boundaries, start conversations, make people scream in outrage again. That’s how we have always effected change. We have to bring ourselves back to the point where we questioned everything and refused to sit down and just take it.

Sure, it’ll be slow, and painful in ways we can’t imagine right now, but it’ll be worth it in every sense of the word. To do anything less is to let them win, and that’s completely unacceptable.

Be good to each other and shock the shit out of someone today. Then get up and do it again tomorrow.

Je suis Charlie