Good ol’ Major Rucker – trying is best to get people to stop killing each other.  We could use people like him here in the Real World.

Naturally, I’m referring to the atrocities committed in Paris this week, and all the follow-on from that.  I think it’s basically global news, now, of course, with a lot of soul-searching and navel-gazing and censorship and pro- and anti-religious propaganda on all sides because of the overtones of fundamentalism to the whole thing.  And naturally, I find it personally upsetting, given that it was a strike at cartoonists, and, you know, I’m a cartoonist, myself.  And also, the French are, to use an expression culled from English, “les Nôtres.”  They’re “our guys,” our sister republic, a nation born in the same spirit of revolutionary democratic fervor that has since swept the civilized world.  And although it’s a sort of cliché that Americans like to take pot shots at the French and their way of doing things, it’s no exaggeration to say that there would be no America without France.  Their soldiers supported us, their fleet protected us, their ideas inspired us, and their diplomats laid the groundwork for our peace, trade, and eventual alliance with the British and Canadians, which allowed us all to overcome the fascists in the last War.  So when someone attacks France, it feels very personal.  At least, it does to me.  And I mention the fascists for a reason, by the way, because when you lay aside all the religious nonsense, the perpetrators of the attacks on France were really just a bunch of fascists.  Actually, if you take note of the real heroes of the mess in France, many of them were moslems themselves.  So the whole thing about Islam is utterly irrelevant – we’re dealing with fascists, here, plain and simple.

Americans, being a hot-headed and reactionary kind of people, as new-world provincials like us are wont to be, have an instinct to strike back with maximum force when someone screws with our friends.   A lot of people are going to be making sweeping statements about moslems and drawing pictures of Mohammed just to spite these guys, but that, it seems to me, is just part of the trap.  The whole point is to provoke the civilized world into further reactionary acts of violence or repression or so-called “provocation,” so that our enemies can point to it and claim that it’s our own intolerance that forces them to do what they do.  The truth is that you can’t stop this kind of thing from happening in a free society like we have in the West, any more than you can stop a bomb from falling once it’s left an airplane.  That’s because these attacks aren’t really crimes, they’re more like bombs dropping in the Blitz, and the perpetrators are really just weapons themselves, tools of their own ruling class filled up with empty rhetoric and worked up into a kind of insanity, and who didn’t realize until it was too late that they were just being used.

But for all the bombs that fell in the War, liberty still prevailed.  And for all the attacks we have seen and will see, that doesn’t mean we can’t fight back in other ways.  Some people have proposed that everyone do something offensive to moslems just to “get back” at the enemy, but that just seems childish and pointless to me.  I have no interest in insulting people just because I have the right to do it.  And I’m not going to buy or display a copy of Charlie Hebdo, because I don’t really have any interest in it.  Nor am I naive or pretentious enough to believe that anything I’m doing with my art is having any kind of broad social effect, or that I’m making any kind of major cultural impact, because that’s not what I’m trying to do.  I’m just here to entertain people who happen to like what I have to offer, and in the end, that’s the role I have to play in all of this.  My method of retaliation is not to be baited or intimidated into doing anything other than what I was going to do anyway.  If I’m to be a soldier in all of this, then my art is my weapon, and my enemy is fear.  We may lose the battle, but I remain confident that we’re going to win the war.

Solidarité, mes camarades.