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Laughing in the Face of Adversity

Always with some tragedy, some good comes of it. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of quotes devoted to this subject, like “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” (Alexander Graham Bell)

And so it is with the recent tragic events that have not only taken place in Paris, but in places far from the City of Light…like Mali, where 19 were killed in an attack on the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako Saturday.

In a knee jerk reaction, my daughter, Erica Simone, produced a graphic peace symbol using the shape of the Eiffel Tower, as did many others like her. But it was hers that was chosen by the Scorpions, a German rock band celebrating its 50th anniversary (Yes! It was formed in 1965 by Rudolf Schenker) to be the prominent backdrop at their performance Saturday night in Lille!

“Their best-selling album Crazy World (1990) includes the song “Wind of Change,” a symbolic anthem of the political changes in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s and early 1990s and the fall of the Berlin Wall. It is one of the best-selling singles in the world with over fourteen million copies sold.” (

The Scorpions will not be deterred from playing in France, in spite of the attack on the Bataclan while the Eagles of Death Metal were playing. Tomorrow night the Scorpions are performing at Bercy here in Paris and in Strasbourg on the 26th! Perhaps Erica’s symbol of peace and the message it conveys will travel with them.

Eagles of Death Metal lead singer, Jess Hughes, spoke for the first time yesterday, about the attack, revealing that one person survived by hiding under his leather jacket. He surmised that “A great reason why so many were killed is because so many people wouldn’t leave their friends, so many people put themselves in front of people.” That shows a lot of courage for someone to sacrifice themselves to save others.

Naturally, as a result of the terrorist attack on Paris, the tourism industry has suffered. November is already ‘low season,’ particularly for American tourists who prefer to stay Stateside to celebrate Thanksgiving with their families, but it’s gotten even lower ‘thanks’ to the fear of more attacks. This is the ‘not so good’ results as hotels and apartment rentals suffer from cancellations, restaurants are less crowded and lots of auxiliary businesses are paying the price.

According to reports, “the terrorists who killed 130 people in Paris, triggering waves of air strikes on Syria and security alerts around the world, may have spent as little as around 7,000 euros ($7,500) to stage their attacks.” ( That tiny investment has now sparked one billion euros worth of additional security measures by France and Belgium. That expenditure won’t bring back the lost bucks by the tourism industry, but the security industry is ‘laughing all the way to the bank.’ Want to invest in something sure to make profits — this is it. And there are sure to be lots of other industries and individuals that will benefit from the demise of of these recent events.

Interestingly enough, while many have cancelled their trips to France, others are hopping on planes considering that Paris at this moment is likely the safest place on the planet, thanks to all that security and the immediate measures taken by the authorities to rid our planet of would-be assassins. Belgian police arrested 16 in their raids — 16 less we have to worry about. Salah Abdeslam was unfortunately not among them, but what’s fascinating is how those who show courage will fill our streets and make Paris a stronger, safer place.

Herbert Spencer coined the phrase “survival of the fittest” — after reading Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species – in his Principles of Biology” (1864), a natural selection based on the races ability to struggle for life. That’s what we have here. Those of us who have the courage and the will to defend and protect will survive. The terrorist cause will not survive, as long as we are able to fight back and defend ourselves against all odds.

This is my Thanksgiving message to all of you: Give thanks for all we have and laugh in the face of adversity.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

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P.S. Thanks to every one of you who have taken the time to email me with your support for Paris and France following the horrific terrorist attacks. Your kind words have helped me resolve to stay strong and get back into life in this city I love. Schuyler and I are doing our best to respond to each one of you. Thanks again!


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