John Oliver Praises French Culture As Proof The Paris Attackers Will Never Win
On Sunday's episode of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver had some pretty harsh words to share about Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris, which killed at least 129 people and wounded hundreds more. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the suicide missions carried out Friday, and the late-night host called the people who orchestrated the attacks "gigantic fucking assholes." After continuing with some choice profanity to criticize the people who carried out the deadly attacks, Oliver went on to praise French culture as a reminder that the country of culture will rise above the horrific tragedy.
It is important to remember nothing about what these assholes are trying to do is going to work. France is going to endure. And I'll tell you why: if you're in a war of culture and lifestyle with France, good fucking luck! Because go ahead, bring your bankrupt ideology; they'll bring Jean-Paul Sartre, Edith Piaf, fine wine, Gauloises cigarettes, Camus, Camembert, madeleines, macarons, Marcel Proust, and the fucking croque-en-bouche. The croque-en-bouche! You've just brought a philosophy of rigorous self-abnegation to a pastry fight, my friends. You are fucked! That is a French freedom tower.
There you have it. The French have Camus, wine, and macarons, so good luck beating that. Oliver's approach is funny, of course, but his treatment of the weekend's events was incredibly serious, too. The national tragedy has brought France closer together, and Oliver chose to focus on that aspect of the attacks, rather than giving the people who orchestrated them any more attention.
French President Francois Hollande has promised a "merciless" response to the Paris attackers. And after ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks, France sent jets to bomb ISIS strongholds in Raqqa, Syria, with airstrikes. Hollande also referred to Friday's attacks as "an act of war." If the attacks were, indeed, intended to start a war, it'll take more than macarons to fix the situation — but Oliver's point that the attackers won't prevail still holds true.
We don't know for certain who the "gigantic fucking assholes" behind the events are, but Oliver's description of the attackers is spot on. His speech about the Paris attacks on Last Week Tonight Sunday perfectly toed the line between comedy and tragedy, and his harsh words about the Paris attackers are just what we — and France — needed to hear.