Je ne suis pas Diesel

The world is barking mad and yes, it’s meant to be a pun. This melancholy observation took shape at the sight of the outburst of cloying sentimentality following the death in Paris of a police sniffer dog named Diesel.

It’s as if the tawdry response to Diana’s death came back to remind us of the salient difference between sentiment and sentimentality, real grief and PC effluvia, dignity and vulgarity. It’s as if the mob’s capacity for screaming slogans starting with ‘Je suis…’ wasn’t exhausted by the PC-mandated sorrow about the victims of Charlie Hebdo.

Even as in 1997 a mob, whipped up to frenzy by Blair’s government and the Blairite press, was bellowing at the Queen “Ma’am, show us you care!!!”, so are today’s lot busily decorating canine and sometimes even their own chests with Je suis Diesel signs.

Diesel died during a French police assault on a Jihadist stronghold, when a Muslim ‘it’ girl detonated that essential fashion accessory, the suicide vest. As a side theme, the girl herself is quite interesting, for before she tarted herself up according to the latest Islamic haute couture, she had drunk like a beached sailor, smoked like a chimney, uploaded semi-nude selfies and took men by the dozen.

Such behavioural patterns aren’t normally associated with fundamental Islam. In fact they are so contrary to it that one can be forgiven for thinking that the young lady was motivated not so much by her love of Allah as her hatred of the West.

That of course greatly exonerated her sins in the eyes of Allah, for evidently having such venomous emotions is more germane to his will than even abstinence from the basic pleasures of life. But that is by the bye, for it’s not the slapper-for-Allah who’s my main theme today, but Diesel.

By all accounts the Belgian shepherd was a nice little doggie. Well, not really little but definitely nice, a good pet when he wasn’t at work. When on the job he’d turn into a son of a bitch in more ways than one, but then that’s what he was trained to do.

On the basis of what I can glean from too many confusing reports, Diesel was the only member of the French police force to die in various shootouts. Except that, and I don’t know how to put this without offending the dog lovers among my friends, Diesel wasn’t really a member of any police force.

He was but a tool. Typologically and functionally he was closer to a police truncheon than to a police officer. Diesel was many good things: lovable, trainable, obedient, effective. There was one thing he wasn’t though: human.

Hence he wasn’t a free agent when he was picked out of many puppies to be trained for sniffing duty. He no more chose to sniff his way to glory than a truncheon chooses to come down on a truculent head. And it pains me to have to repeat that the ability to make free choices is the exclusive property of man – a simple fact known for at least 2,000 years but now well-nigh forgotten.

Neither did the anthropomorphised Diesel choose to rush towards his death. He was sicced by his trainer to do that on the correct assumption that, unlike police officers, Diesel was expendable.  

A canine life is worth next to nothing when compared to the cosmic value of a single human life, and those on the cutting edge of the on-going fight know this because to them such knowledge is a matter of life or death.

But even policemen have bosses, and some of them are more interested in public relations than in public safety. Hence Diesel was decorated with service medals for his distinguished career, and I hope he barked all the right sounds when receiving his awards.

More menacing is the general public reaction to Diesel’s death. Someone who puts a Je suis Diesel sign on his own chest, or even for that matter his dog’s, is denying his own humanity. Someone who praises Diesel for his ‘heroism’ and ‘bravery’, knows the words but not their meaning.

Both concepts derive from free will, that unique property of man that Diesel didn’t possess. The human victims of the Muslim atrocity did, yet even they can’t be legitimately described as heroes because their free will was disengaged.

They were victims – an important distinction. Similarly, most passengers of the 9/11 airliners were victims, not heroes. The heroes among them were those few who feely chose to fight the murderers, thereby probably preventing their plane from falling on the political heart of Washington.

Such little semantic nuances aren’t the whole edifice of our civilisation, but they may well be the nails holding it together. It’s for want of such nails that our civilisation has been lost, or as near as damn.


P.S. You can find many such subversive thoughts in my book How the West Was Lost, now available in its second (paperback and electronic), edition.  





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