I was very happy to see that the French flag was raised on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge yesterday.
I owe a lot of my inspiration from the last ten years to the French. A short sojourn and subsequent re-visits to France was the core inspiration for Le Noeud Papillon Of Sydney, as our name might suggest.
I spent a whole spring/summer riding around the streets of Paris on a bicycle reading Hemingway and Fitzgerald, writing a journal and just basically performing the role of being the overly indulgent romantic tourist that falls in love with Paris.
It was an experience that I shall never forget and you take Paris with you wherever you go, or as Hemingway once put it, 'Paris is a movable feast' .
As for the values of the French, my thoughts are that as much as they can be difficult and inflexible on aspects of their lives, their value systems are in another stratosphere compared with those that would butcher innocent human beings before blowing themselves up. I do not consider them monsters, I think they are just brain washed kids. The monsters are those that instruct them and the ridiculous ideas they subscribe to. And I applaud President François Hollande's comment that:
'We are going to lead a war which will be pitiless. Because when terrorists are capable of committing such atrocities they must be certain that they are facing a determined France, a united France, a France that is together and does not let itself be moved, even if today we express infinite sorrow'.
I think it is possible to interchange the nation 'France' with most Western nations that have had enough with terrorism and the ideological beliefs that drive it.
Wishing our French friends safe and happier days ahead.