Saturday, November 14, 2015

i click "like" for every one of my friends who changes their profile to a french flag image. I do this partly because i click "like" every time i see my friends in general, every time i see their face in any form, and any place. the joy of facebook is keeping those friends in my life, no matter how far away they are, no matter what else happens to each of us.

but of course, "like" is also endorsing their solidarity with france, and the people of paris, perhaps unfairly ignoring the people of beirut or of kenya, or, as one friend pointed out, the hundred per day that are killed by terror in congo. i myself have never changed my profile, to a french flag, to rainbow, to anything. i have never once changed my profile. and i have never "unfriended" anyone either. these are two things i plan to keep doing.

but to get back to the point, by "liking" the picture of a friend who has francofied their profile, am i not contributing to the pro-west "french lives are more important than lebanese/kenyan lives?" i don't think so. i am liking them even as i see them through the french-colored glasses they have put on me. they are saying "see me aligned with the people of france" and i am saying "i like you when you are aligned with the people of france." but i would like them if they were aligned with the people of lebanon or kenya as well. i would like them if they were aligned with nothing but their front yard.

i have two friends in paris. one is the only daughter of two good friends, who i have known for twenty years, who married a parisian and lives there. the other is a former student, korean, who is there for whatever reason i don't know; i didn't even know she was there at the time. facebook told me right away that the korean woman was safe; she was onto the facebook "safety" app and used it immediately. the first friend, however, who uses facebook less, took more time to realize that would help her worldwide acquaintances, and didn't check in with facebook until the following morning. but when i woke up to seeing that on my phone (that she had checked in) i was immediately more accepting of facebook and phones, as useful tools in personal emergencies. the world indeed needs to work together in the present circumstances. constant communication helps.

personally, my whole reaction to it is weary. i am glad my friends are safe. i am afraid for the world we live in and the world i am bringing my children into. i think we need to recognize that we, the west, usa and france, are bombing people every day and therefore we are at war and we should expect war to come and find us. i like to feel like it's not my war, like i have nothing against anyone, that i would not need to kill anyone, but plenty of killing is being done in my name, with my money, so i should not be surprised that someone is coming after me. in fact i am grateful that i live so far away from everything that i don't feel like a target every day, every minute, as my sister did in new york in the 9-11 days. let the world rush in on isis and bomb them to the stone age, in retribution for paris or whatever. i want no part of that war. i wanted no part of the invasion, the bombings, the drones, and the warfare that started it, either. i am weary of the protest against war after war after war.

in times like these, we have to stick by the people we love. we have to help them get through this without sending them off to the killing fields where pretty much everyone dies over religion or whatever it is that they are fighting about. we have to make sure that some people live to carry on, even if the earth is heated up beyond the point of comfort. that's what i'm committed to. i'm committed to survival, and my spirit carrying on, in whatever form. and to my friends. if they became my friend, in whatever way, i'm sticking with them. save travels, wherever you may go.

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