Big news from France. Big, bad news. And where there’s bad news, there’s usually hand-wringing. Tonight was no different.
If you have the internet, you won’t have just read the stories, you will have also lived them; lived them through the collective eyes of close friends, distant relatives, and coked-up Candians you met at parties. There they all were, gathered in the hallway of your internet browser, tiny dots of perpetual ad-revenue, clicking and sweating, sweating and clicking, swearing cultural (and culinary) solidarity with their Gallic brothers and sisters. Some said they’d read more poetry. Others said they always had. Almost all, however, agreed to cook with new adventure, incorporating, where possible, crushed garlic and crushed anything.
John from Leeds, despite never having shown any previous loyalty to a God of any description, went further, got on his knees, and prayed to a God of no description.
Sinita from Surrey got the updates on her phone, repeating in the carriage to a packed train the phrase, “I’ve nothing left to give.”
The great many made smaller concessions: deed-polling the names of their first-born children over the phone in the dead of night to more continental names like Robespierre and Grendall and Tokyo Saga 7.
Ultimately, it is those who went furthest that shall not be forgotten.
They are the ones who, with no thought for their own safety, waded into the waters of social media and altered a photo to reflect the colours of the French flag. They did it for the dead, they did it because the button said click here. The point is, they did it. For several hours. For several days.
That is when they knew the West was won.