Paris, platitudes and prayers

Jennie McNulty columnBY JENNIE MCNULTY

What the heck are we going to do? After the recent tragedy in Paris, all I can say is I’m a bit scared. Not so much at what terrorists will do next, but at the fact that no one really seems to have the answer and, worse yet, we don’t really seem to be trying to find it.

Oh, we’re yappin’ about it. We’re putting the lovely blue, white and red stripes on our Facebook profiles. We cry. We pray. We are truly saddened by this, but what actions are we taking?

Then again, what actions can we take? I’ve heard some people say the only answer is to just “bomb the whole region?” It wouldn’t work and, it’s slightly uncool, wouldn’t ya say? These terrorist cells are everywhere and gaining members. This was PARIS for goodness sake! We can’t bomb Paris. Although, Jeb Bush says the answer is to send more ground troops to Iraq. (Ya know Barb and George the first, couldn’t you have just passed down a gene for left-handedness or being colorblind or anything else besides Iraq-invading?)

Even the Dalai Lama says, “It’s a problem created by humans and we can’t call on God to solve it.” And, if even HE says “prayers to God” isn’t a solution?

Apparently, taking my shoes off at the airport helps, but I sure don’t feel safer. Honestly, does that really make you feel safe? In fact, if you count the worry about viral and bacterial spread from people’s funky feet, technically, I feel less safe. Then there’s “If you see something, say something.” But, again, be honest, how many of us look any farther than our phones or iPads in an airport. The last flight I took, in the gate waiting area, a woman had left her phone plugged in next to her backpack and left to go to the restroom. An elderly gentleman was all over it. Constantly looking at it, talking to his unconcerned wife about it, looking around some more, then he finally went to the gate agent to report it. The suspect came back, unplugged her stuff and sat down and, the first thing he did was plug in HIS phone. Concerned citizen? Nope, dude outta juice.

The attacks on 9-11 took a level of innocence away from this country and the world. But, clearly, our response then did not change things much. So what do we do now?

Maybe there is nothing else we can do. Although, love is a good answer. It’s what the Dalai Lama suggested and love conquers hate, right? That’s what all our HRC T-shirts say. So, we spread love. How? Another good question. A Muslim man in France blindfolded himself and stood in Republic Square with his arms open and a sign below him that read: “I trust you. Do you trust me? If yes, hug me.”

I feel that there is other intelligent life out there in the universe besides us. And, I’m starting to think that either being taught peace by them or us uniting against them (most likely earth’s first reaction) may be the only way we come together on this planet.

So, I guess we go on with life. Try to act with love. Either that or wait for aliens and hug a Muslim. Hey, maybe we can make up bumper stickers that say, “Want World Peace? Hug a Muslim” Now, there’s a good ole American plan: when in doubt, capitalize on it.

Jennie McNulty was named one of Curve magazine’s Top 10 lesbian comedians. She can be heard weekly as co-host of LA Talk Radio‘s “Cathy Is In: The Cathy DeBuono Show.”

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