I have been following these last few days a story from the weekend, out of France and with a sufficiently low body count that it made minimal headlines beyond. But it has an almost too obvious symbolism for all of us - French, German, British, American, and especially for those who think it possible to draw a line under the unraveling of the world.
The Drôme is a département south-east of Grenoble, parts of which I know very well and others not at all. In Crépol, a small commune among the latter, they were holding their annual bal d'hiver - a "winter ball", which is a bit of a fancy term for a convivial community knees-up in the salle des fêtes attracting three or four hundred teenagers from the village and its immediate neighbours.
The night was just winding down when a dozen or so fellows arrived from a soi-disant "deprived" neighbourhood in Romans-sur-Isère, a town of some 33,000 people twenty kilometers to the south. There's no good reason why the cool kids in the big burg would want to go to some hicky bal d'hiver in nowheresville at two in the morning. But, as it turned out, the lads were there for a purpose: They produced their knives and commenced stabbing people.
"It was not a brawl, they came to kill. They intended to kill," one lady who was present in the village hall told BFM TV. "The room looked like a slaughterhouse."
The mayor agrees: "A gang came to kill people," she said.
Yes, yes, I know what you're thinking, but don't leap to conclusions. Instead, do as the briefly fashionable "far right" (per the Beeb) presidential candidate Éric Zemmour did, and slyly sidle up to conclusions:
Thomas, 16 ans, n'aura sans doute pas de minute de silence à l'Assemblée.
Ses proches resteront dignes et ne provoqueront pas d'émeutes. Comme d'habitude, certains tairont son assassinat par des racailles venues à Crépol, un village de la #Drôme, pour tuer des jeunes français.... pic.twitter.com/jJ85UIKmHl— Eric Zemmour (@ZemmourEric) November 20, 2023
Which means, more or less:
Thomas, sixteen years old, is unlikely to merit a minute's silence in the National Assembly.
His loved ones will remain dignified and will not provoke riots. As usual, there are those who will keep quiet about his murder by the scum who came to Crépol, a village in the Drôme, to kill French youths.
My thoughts are with his family, the wounded, and the people of this bereaved village.
So it was a targeted attack on "French youth" ...which presumably means the perpetrators were not French? The hashtag "Francocide" began trending, and M Zemmour's insinuation immediately became the principal point of interest for a media otherwise apparently unmoved by the story. Headline from France 24:
Far-right fans controversy after French teen killed at village party
When a sleepy village of five hundred people is targeted by a gang of butchers willing to drench it in blood, that's sufficiently unusual - even in today's multicultural utopia - that any healthy media ought to be eager to figure out what's behind it. Yet, other than the "far right", very few players in French public discourse seemed interested in "fanning" anything about the rural bloodbath at all. The gang fled into the night, and, as is now customary, a veil of official silence descended. Remember the old days when the media would interview eyewitnesses for descriptions of the wanted men? Not anymore. That might discombobulate social tranquility.
Meanwhile, on Twitter, the metropolitan sophisticates sneered that the "far right" were trying to oomph up a rural tragedy of no broader significance into a "pogrom".
Pogrom is a word the rest of the world learned from Tsarist Russia, where members of Ethnic Group A (the stronger) would ride out to the village of Ethnic Group B (the weaker) and butcher them.
Which obviously is entirely different from what happened in Crépol, okay? Two of the locals reported that the attackers said they were here "to stab white people" and to "put whites in the ground", but who ya gonna believe - us or your lying eyewitnesses? Marine Le Pen's niece, Marion Maréchal, called the new sport "hunting for Gauls", but did we mention she's Jean-Marie Le Pen's granddaughter?
On The Mark Steyn Show last year, discussing demographic transformation, I caught David Starkey in unusually complacent mode: Oh, sure, London was no longer a British city, if by "British" you mean Anglo-Celtic; and most of the others - Birmingham, Manchester - were lost too. But, if you stuck to the countryside and small market towns, England was still kinda sorta mostly England...
I suggested to David that one day, sooner than you think, those redoubts would fall, too. You can head for the hills, or the French Alps, but Mohammed will come to the mountain. There are no "sanctuary cities" for the natives.
French villages have been holding their fairs and festivals for hundreds of years. And then one day a gang show up with machetes. Seventeen years ago, in an international bestseller, a certain "niche Canadian" called what's happening the "re-primitivisation" of the map. More recently, M Macron has referred to "un processus de décivilisation". That works too. The question is what, if anything, he's prepared to do about it.
Today, Tuesday, seven of the alleged perpetrators were picked up over four hundred kilometers away in Toulouse. This story is going nowhere good - and the symbolism too obvious to M Zemmour et al is still unable to be addressed honestly in western media.
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