I cried a lot. I felt horror and shock and awfulness. I think a lot of people did.
Then I started hearing from people that said that we shouldn't be feeling so bad about the Paris attacks because bad stuff like that has been happening in the Middle East for a long time. And it's funny (but not in a ha ha way), because I'd been thinking about the very same thing, the day after it happened, while I was driving my car. I'd thought, like, wow, this is the same as all the bad shit that's happening in Syria, and Beirut, and all that.
And people're saying that feeling worse about what happened in Paris is racist and stuff.
On one level, I get what they're saying. Why is suffering in one part of the world any worse than suffering in another part of the world? Intellectually, I get what they're saying.
But here's my response (and I'm not posting it on Facebook, because it might be too incendiary. The nice thing about having a blog that hardly any people read is that I can post whatever I want and not care about very many people seeing it).
My response is, first of all, these are my feelings. I'm sorry that my feelings are politically incorrect - but, any time someone has a feeling and they ask me "what'm I supposed to feel?" I say, "what you're feeling." What I feel is horror. I feel awful and terrible. I cried. Don't tell me how I'm supposed to feel. That's what I feel. End of story.
Second of all, these attacks really have changed our reality in a very real way. There used to be this feeling of safety, y'know? Maybe it was illusory, but before this week, I felt like, oh, Paris, what a neat place. It has great food. And culture, too. And it's France. There was a certain measure of security, knowing that you were in a place like France, or Britain, or the United States. Now, I admit this feeling of safety might've been illusory, given that there're tons of shootings going on here and there've been bombings on and off, too. But there was this feeling of safety, nonetheless. And now it's gone. The horribleness and chaos in the Middle East is spreading out. Now there's nowhere to go that feels safe. Maybe it's stupid to feel and think that way, but nevertheless, there it is.
Third of all, I don't think it's unreasonable to be upset about an ally being attacked. Like President Obama said, they're our oldest ally. It sucks that our ally was attacked.
I dunno, man. There's just something upsetting about a place that's similar to where we live being attacked like that. It's just plain upsetting. It's rocked my world and a lot of other people's worlds. Maybe it's politically incorrect, but I don't give a shit - that's how I feel.
And on to the refugees. It's funny because I'm having the exact opposite response of what those Republican governors are having. When I saw Paris being blown apart by those isis fuck-heads, I thought to myself, shit, dude. That's what's happening to those poor people in the Middle East. I feel like now that this shit's going on in the Western world, I feel a certain measure of unity with the refugees. I mean, I've felt bad for them all along, but now there's an extra feeling there. Why wouldn't we take in people who are suffering at the hands of the very terrorists that are threatening us? Why the fuck wouldn't we?
Sure, some people're saying that terrorists might disguise themselves as refugees and all that. But I have a couple responses to that argument. I don't think these terrorists have been having much of a problem getting around. They don't need to do that. They're already going places and blowing people up. If the concern about them sneaking in with the refugees is valid at all (and I dunno if it is or not), then we can go ahead and vet the refugees. Just be real careful about looking into people's backgrounds. Stuff like that. Besides, a lot of those assholes that terrorized Paris were European citizens. So I don't think it's really a valid argument that letting in Syrian refugees means we're letting in terrorists.
Damn. I wish I could convey my feelings better on this point. It's weird. I just feel like, hey, dude. Let's stand in solidairity with the refugees. Their enemy is the same as our enemy. Why would we be mean to people who are suffering at the hands of the very same people we hate? Doesn't make sense, man. No, none at all.