“Shall I tell you what the real evil is? To cringe to the things that are called evils, to surrender to them our freedom, in defiance of which we ought to face any suffering.”
– Lucius Annaeus Seneca
And yet again, we face the indescribable depravity witnessed in Paris. One hundred and thirty-nine murdered and scores more critically injured in support of the warped, nightmarish ideals of ISIS.
The human race has and will continue to face such awful dilemmas in a variety of ways, but one stance we can never adopt is to be cowed and made to be fearful in how we live our own lives. To bow to this, to choose the avenue of appeasement such that Chamberlain did towards Hitler, is the ultimate abasement of the human spirit. I will, and urge you, to stand and show your defiance right now against ISIS, any way you see fit.
Both the British and French nations are strong, indomitable entities, hardy to threat and utterly resistant to adversity. Observe two, wonderfully flamboyant aspects of this which, in different yet common ways, demonstrate that the evils perpetrated against us will never succeed.
Yesterday, a section of the French resistance movement began in typical Gallic fashion by robustly getting on the sauce from around 12.30 with cold glasses of rosé.
One leading resistance activist said “These vile terrorists are trying to attack our way of life. That’s why this lunchtime I ordered one more bottle of wine than usual, bringing the total to three.” And this sentiment was echoed across the country, with French people seizing the chance to demonstrate their patriotism against the face of terror.
Continuing, this brave freedom fighter said: “After coffee I would have usually returned to the office at about 3pm; as a mark of defiance however, today I had several cognacs, a cigar and have not yet returned at all. Voilà.”
“I’ve been training my whole life for this,” said teacher Sophie Gayme, topping up her glass. “These people are messing with a nation of hardened professionals.” Tell us something we don’t know, Soph.
“And let’s not forget Cote Du Rhône,” said retired taxi driver Emile Roche. “There’s nothing that says ‘fuck you ISIS’ better than a perfect blend of Syrah and Grenache grape varieties. Vive La France!”
But not to be beaten, we have our own style in this matter as well. When the UK was battered by savage storms, gales and floods, did we give in? Was our national essence sapped? Did we lie down and put all four legs up in the air? Did we hell.
We fought the elements on the roads, on the floodplains, on the beaches and most importantly, in the pub.
Now that’s Britain for you. Near Leeds, did these two Knights of St. George allow themselves to be diverted from their sacred quest in pursuing the fabled elixir of life? Absolutely not. Braving the elements, and risking their family jewels in the process, they upheld, just like their Gallic counterparts, the very best traditions of defiance against hardships faced. True warriors of resistance and positive human spirit all.
And yet seriously, we ordinary citizens must be the same. And the reason that the covering picture that I selected to illustrate this piece, the French farmyard rooster (albeit the Blue plinth version displayed in London so especially relevant here), is that it is a unique bird, one that always sings its best even when standing in shit.
And me? My final contribution is this, and it sums my feelings of defiance against these subhuman creatures called ISIS up perfectly. Use Google Translate if you want to figure it out.
“ Pedicabo ego vos et Isis adulteri camelos tu sedentes in oppidum.”