After a buzz through Facebook and the usual blogs, it is interesting to see articles that criticise those who write memes. I often do so myself, latching onto a blog or news article that fires my imagination. However, I try to give an original view of it, adding to the wealth of the internet, rather than simply reproduce someone else’s work, which would be plagiarism. The word meme (pronounced “meem” in English) would be defined as an idea or information that spreads from person to person via the Internet. Though most definitions do not say so, the word is strikingly similar to the French word même meaning “same” or “even” according to the context. Respectively, Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose – The more it changes, the more it is the same thing – and, Même si les intentions du gouvernement étaient libérales – Even if the intentions of the government were liberal.
What seems to be the most reprehensible is when ideas are rehashed without critical thinking. For example, we get the meme saying that there would be peace in the world if religion were outlawed and we were all atheists, or if the American Air Force sent a plane to destroy Mecca with an nuclear bomb. Of course, the atrocity in Paris is going to provoke a lot of more of less thought-out ideas. Were the Daesh terrorists targeting religion? Apparently they were targeting people who like football, heavy metal rock “music” and people enjoying a quiet meal and a drink in a fashionable district. Was the atrocity a message or something like a Nazi reprisal by which the SS would go and kill the entire population of a village like Oradour sur Glâne? The Nazis were doing that sort of thing in 1944 when they knew they were losing.
Another meme going around is the idea that within a year or twenty years, Europe is going to be under Islamic totalitarianism like Saudi Arabia, all the cathedrals and churches demolished and public executions in the streets. For a start, most European countries have now shut their borders. So, when I go to England next weekend to go to Richard Mulholland’s diaconal ordination, I will have to show my passport and have my vehicle looked at when I return to France. For me it is a minor inconvenience because my journey will be entirely within the law.
Bring back compulsory Christianity for all, seventeenth-century Protestantism or fourteenth-century Catholicism! Is that what we want or think would make a difference? The atheists were taking hundreds and thousands of people to the guillotine in the 1790’s, and that was in the “City of Light”! We go round and round in circles with what kind of society is best for us. Another idea going round is that it isn’t the Muslims we have most to fear, but people who will be microchipping us and bringing about something like Orwell’s Big Brother or Huxley’s Brave New World. Are we not already in such a world?
War now seems a foregone conclusion. Daesh alias ISIS, Al Qaëda, Hezbollah and all the other wild-eyed head-chopper units will have to be defeated like the Nazis in 1944 and 1945. There is no way that this kind of darkness can be man’s normal state where only hatred and the cheapness of human life reign. The only thing now is Russia, France and the US keeping out of each others’ hair – or more precisely their hi-tech guided missile sights. Can’t we all cooperate and concentrate on this cause without which there will never be peace in this world?
I am concerned with these matters, and they trouble me. What can I do? Buy a rifle or a shotgun? Join the French Foreign Legion? Only yesterday I was reminded again to prepare for the worst happening in the summer of 2016. Should I leave Europe? Go where? It seems to me that I have done the best thing possible – live in the country far away from the cities. That being said, when the Nazis occupied France in 1940, they got as many people as possible out of their houses and either killed them, sent them to the camps or into cities. What can a man with a gun do against that kind of force? Yes, I have seen the classic French film Le Vieux Fusil. I refuse to fret about it, because I have a Christian view of death. Anything can happen in this insane world, and we can only hold on until the evil is defeated by those who can do it, and some era like the 1920’s or the 1950’s and 60’s comes about. We will bury our dead, wipe the tears from our eyes and rebuild our cities – and commit the same errors over again twenty years down the road.
News reporters get information and report it, sometimes truthfully or through the lens of the ideologies of their paymasters. Bloggers make comments, and those comments get more comments. Most comments have some insight. Others are plain daft. I’m not at my best all the time, but I try to contribute something wise and useful in this building or rebuilding of our culture. I think we will get our world war, whether or not it goes nuclear and kills millions. Some of us will die and some of us will live through it in some kind of determination to leave something to our children or other people’s children. The prospect is frightening, but we must not be afraid, to quote John Paul II. I have every reason to believe that this kind of evil can make Hitler look like an innocent choirboy, but it will not finally prevail. If we are Christians, the worst it can do to us is to kill our bodies!
I encourage bloggers to keep writing and expressing their intuitions even when they don’t have new facts like a journalist. Even if there are ideas that seem asinine and frustrate us, they can still add to the thinking and criticism – and this is all part of fighting the war. I am too old and not fit enough to be a soldier, and I would be a danger to my unit, but I am as committed as any other to the cause of human life, freedom and dignity, and ultimately to the true understanding of divinity and spirit.