In the coming weeks, I actually will have to accomplish some things. And that starts today.
The horrible violence, with the Paris killings the latest, is totally out of control, and there is nothing ordinary people can do. It's silly even to discuss it, because we do not understand the mentality of the jihadists or how they live. Who finds life so worthless that he is willing to blow himself up? And even if we did understand, would that help? So now France is bombing Syria even more than it's been bombing them up to now, along with everyone else who is bombing them, and the Syrians are fleeing, as the borders close.
Like everyone else who has been there I have my memories of Paris. Paris is a place that all residents and visitors have a strong personal bond with. It is special, so full of history and yet so contemporary.
These are couple of my posts on a visit to Paree:
I was reading some posts I did on an earlier visit to France and Paris, in 2006. My I was serious in those days, about myself. Now I'm just an irresponsible elder delinquent.
The late Christopher Hitchins was clear on Muslim fanaticism. Salmon Rushdie was a close friend, and he hated the fatwa against him. He thought the problem is crazy mullahs and jumped-up young religious fanatic guys with guns and considered them to be the lowest form of human beings. He was quite reactionary on this issue. But this latest outrage backs up what he says.
I really enjoyed Hitch 22, a book I picked up from the ship's library. Hitchins hurt his reputation badly in two ways, the first trivial and the second more serious. He said that women were “not funny.” He was trying to be outrageous, of course. Men like him have rather strict ideas on women, who must be beautiful and/or serious. Obviously, he never knew a woman like me! He spent a lot of time with Susan Sontag, who was both beautiful and serious and had no discernible sense of humor. But D.H. Lawrence had no sense of humor either, and no one says that this proves that men have no sense of humor! His wife was funny, though. One day he was choking her and banging her head against a wall (as I recall this anecdote) and he said, “You must obey me. I am the master.” She said, “Well go ahead and be the master, then.” That’s funny. She survived him.
His second faux pas was backing the Iraq War. It's not that he was ever that influential, but he quit The Nation Magazine and made himself a lot of enemies on the left.
But enough! As an attempt at an antidote to the grimness of these times, here are some more photos we took in Sydney just before we boarded our cruise ship. (As usual, enlarge for details.) I never can remember who took the photos, but Terry and I see things about the same way after being together for 52 years. I never crop or photoshop, and my formal knowledge of composition is nonexistent.
Teju Cole has an essay on photography in the Sunday Times. I belong to the gee that's interesting I think I'll take a picture of it school of photography.