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Friday, January 9, 2015

Ah, Hello Again

A safe space. Somewhat outside of scrutiny.
A revisiting of writing here, not on Facebook.
Revisiting this space of intellectual freedom, my own vanguard, significantly outside of the politics of social media.

Some heaviness. Charlie Hebdo.

Considering: French colonialism.
Considering: Islam.

Have been reading. And reading. And reading. And reading.

The stalemate in a war of ideas, and the atrophied postmodern Left.

Considering: That I am tired, also... very very tired.
Very tired of cycles of violence, and also
very tired of heightened fear, and also
my impatience about the inability of a multiculturalist Left (including that impulse in myself)
to acknowledge our own fear, because:
terrorism works...

Terrorism works to keep terror alive
to remind us of the fragility of our lives

"Je Suis Charlie" becomes the internet refrain, expressing solidarity with the slain,
a sudden synonymy of Charlie Hebdo with freedom of speech and freedom of expression

...and then I witness, from people who claim solidarity with marginalised Muslims in the West, suggestions that "Je Suis Charlie" is solidarity with racism, Islamophobia, etc... Where were we when the endless brown bodies were blitzed by drone strikes? What sorts of indignations were we protesting then? How could we elsewhere be so numb, when we now side with the privileged Western lives who peddled racist/Orientalist caricature, when we allow them their martyrdom? How could authoritarian governments condemn these attacks and claim solidarity with freedoms of speech when public organising on Palestinian sovereignty is banned in France?

and I feel ... tired.  And numb.
Numb to this critique.

Perhaps it is indeed my own racism.
Perhaps it is indeed that I have internalised the European colonial impulse.

Perhaps. How can I deny that I both share this critique as well as find myself completely numb to it?

Perhaps something else has shifted in me too.
That I lean into the stalemate in this war of ideas, war of moralities. That I lean into this stalemate and find myself sobbing, and sobbing and sobbing, and sobbing, yes:

I had woken up to the news on social media, of these attacks, and I remember
laying in my bed, listening to the fragile peace of the birds outside my window by the Merri Creek, my eyes transfixed on the screen of my Android phone, and I remember my body
shaking and shaking, quivering
and I saw a part of me murdered too.

For the first time in my life:
I found myself mourning the deaths of a group of old white men whom I have not met and who I do not know.

Yes, everyone will read into the news (or out of the news) whatever they wish.
Something will be triggered in all of us, all our pre-existing struggles, fears, hopes, dreams, rages
All of our unresolved, yet-to-be-resolved, and unresolvable tensions.

There are many agendas.

I am tired.

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