Hats, Hope, and Escapes in these Dark and Unsmurfy days…

I am saddened by the horrible violence and hope that it will not beget more.

In my reflection, I was struck by a tweet, quite possibly retweeted from a retweet six times removed, that I can no longer seem to find in my search history.

So, now, I paraphrase a person who, could possibly be a reasonable genius or an Internet crackpot, I’ve never actually read any of his writings. In any case, a tweet attribute to him captured some of the thoughts jumbled in this brain-heart-stomach pit of despair.

The majority of deaths in modern wars are civilian. We may all be Paris, but why aren’t we also Syria, Lebanon, Iraq…?

This is bit heavy for me, on any day, but even more so on this day.

Yes, this point in time that for so long was a golden memory, epicenter of all things good, happy, and pure. So, selfish beast as I am, I went in search of it:

Saturday morning.

Guess what? Even there – there are inescapable strands of reality. So, rather than plunge myself into an unworthwhile trip down Denial, I embraced the strange juxtaposition of life, history, and triviality.

I wound up down this path, partially because in this age of logocentric news coverage, there’s already been a flood of talk of the symbology of war, death, peace, and how best to represent “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité” on CNN’s newscrawl and the Empire State Building.

In search of something to pin my hopes on, I, too went looking for a Francophilic emblem of hope and found it. That thing imbued with so much historical significance, yet miraculously preserving my childhood days of wonderment:




Yes, seriously.

No, I haven’t (quite) fallen off my rocker.

To be clear, it’s not so much the blue goblins I’m referring to, as the hat atop them.


french_revolution_costume_liberte-242x400 liberte

There is much in the annals of French history about the Phrygian cap that was adopted during the French Revolution (also known as bonnet Phrygian, bonnet de la Liberté (Liberty cap) or bonnet rouge (red cap)).

Reality is harsh right now, but least of all for me. I recognize the privilege of freedom and ignorance that allows me the hubris to take the violence wrought on people around the world and turn it into this vanity exercise in self-pity.

Yet, all this realization shows me is that my sympathy isn’t helping anyone, which is, itself, further disappointing. So, forgive me for wallowing deeper in the embrace of ignorance. Maybe I need to get lost in the fascination of history and of childhood escapes.

I know cartoons are no answer to world peace, but even Gargamel doesn’t look too bad right now.