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Scars, Scarves, and Secular Sainthood [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Jean Moulin

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Hmm.... [Nov. 4th, 2008|12:43 am]
Jean Moulin


Frankly, I thought they'd run out of non-fiction a lot sooner.
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Call It Bad Weather [Nov. 26th, 2007|02:40 am]
Jean Moulin
[music |"Staple It Together" 'He shot the future in the foot with every step he took...']

Fine. We'll discuss Caluire.

For starters, hands up everyone who was surprised? (Not counting you, BIP W. Your optimism was part of your loyalty.)

I can still type now because my hand isn't raised. Surprised? Surprised it took so long, at best. I'd mentioned my upcoming betrayal to London, along with my request to be sent a successor I could train before it all came crashing down. "Please send me that which I have the honor to request." Only the problem with being irreplaceable was that no one wanted to face this truth. The decapitation wouldn't have been nearly so desperate if someone had just listened to this plea.

Beyond that there was nothing else for it. I had my false papers, I even had a doctor's note sending me to the specialist whose home we were using. Some armchair patrons historians will tell you we should've picked a home with a back door. While perfectly correct, their argument neglects the fact that private homes which commonly and safely deal with strangers coming and going that have both front and back entrances and ample windows for surveillance that can be found on short notice and rented from people not associated with the Resistance but willing to face Gestapo interrogation on its behalf are not what my American friends would call a dime a dozen.

I agree that they should've applied the 10-min rule and left when we didn't arrive on time, but beyond that it was just another typical, hair-raising, Resistance experience: Half improvise, half compromise, and a dash of pure luck. But luck changes, just like the weather.

As for Rene Hardy, I know no more about his guilt or innocence than you do. (I probably know less due to not wanting to hear about it.) In the end it didn't matter who did it, it only mattered when. Sooner or later the luck was going to change.

This is why I've been avoiding this discussion. The point of Caluire isn't the importance of elementary security rules, it isn't that no location is perfect, and it's certainly not the scandal of finger-pointing I've been trying not to hear about for the last sixty-odd years. If Caluire has a point, it's this: The loyalty of others is an impossible variable. You can't predict it. You can't control it. Your power over loyalty goes only as far as your skin.

But in that space you can make it mean the world.

After that, all you can do is staple it together and call it bad weather.
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Seeing Red [Apr. 16th, 2007|02:42 am]
Jean Moulin
I must admit (and, yes, I do admit to things from time to time) my main response to those plucky accusations of Communism is... Well, I'm touched.

First we must lay our scene. My delightful and tragically interesting life was lived at a time when modern democracy was experiencing... let's call it an adolesence. As Winston said "Democracy is the worst possible form of government, except for all the others." Sadly (and fatally), at that time many people had not yet grasped the second half of that statement. The Fascists thought that if everyone had a the vote they might never submit disagree. The Communists realized the same thing, but they hid it better. The only thing they could agree on was democracy was unfairly fair and unjustly just. 'How were you supposed to squash people's freedoms if they could vote you out of office?' was the question heard 'round the world.

Into this time I was born a Republican to a family of Republicans from a line of Republicans. For my new American acquaintances, I should explain that a Republican in France was one who believed in the ideals of the current form of government, the Republic, and did not wish to corrupt them with a monarchy, a theocracy, or an Austrian with a comedy mustasche. Rights, to a Republican, are rights. They are not munificently granted privileges generously bestowed by a wise parent-ruler. They are the cost of justice. They are the guardians of peace.

It's true, some of my closest compatriots were Communists. It's also true that some were Jewish, some were married, and some were De Gualle (he counts as two people, just ask him). Yet other than a devastating brief experience of marriage in my youth, I wasn't any of these things. Not Communist. Nor Jewish. Nor De Gualle.

The best term for what I was, other than Republican or Radical Socialist, might be 'an individual.' If the concept is unfamiliar, look it up.

So I worked with people I disagreed with for a common good. It's a concept many people are able to grasp. Unfortunately, it seems Mssr. Frenay can't do the same due to the fact he can't stand his well-earned rep as the Resistance's kid in the class with his hand raised that no one wants the teacher to call on simple colorblindness. He can only see two colors, red and more red.

Yes, when I was released from my post as Prefect, I made contact with Communists of my acquaintance. I made contact with everyone I thought might have a lead on how to keep up the fight. Including Mssr. Frenay, so it's interesting to see him paint me red with a guilt by associations brush. But when I presented my findings to De Gualle I warned him that Communists in the Resistance were one of the most powerful reasons why the Allies needed to take it in hand, lest the they corrupt it for their own ends.

In fact, the only leading Resistant who ever tried to sell out the Resistance to a foreign power was Frenay himself, to the Americans. But I'm sure that had nothing to do with his allegations.

De Gualle himself (who I'm still not, thank you for asking) once exploded at someone who insinuated this about me. "He was as straight as a die!" he famously snapped. As touched as I am by his response, my own is quite different. I can't help but be charmed by these groundless-accusors. They have the faith of children! They truly believe if you swing blindly at the same empty space for twenty or thirty years, sooner or later a pinata is bound to appear.

Can you blame me for not defending myself too conspicuously? It'd be like killing Father Christmas for them.

(But, if it's not too much trouble, could we possibly dispatch with the Moulin Rouge references? It was a good line for a while, but now it bears more than a faint whiff of lazy writing. Merci.)
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I didn't know there were enough pieces left. [Mar. 2nd, 2007|01:47 am]
Jean Moulin

It was the same when Foch died, without the operetic monologue.

I've long since tired of everyone talking about how cold it was that day, but I admit it looks cold. Someone once said they buried a ghost. I never thought we made good ghosts. Something about the French character just doesn't tolerate half-life.

I don't know who this person is but I'm glad they found him useful.
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(no subject) [Apr. 4th, 2006|02:12 am]
Jean Moulin
While we're waiting for the next bottle of absinthe the Deadmentalking memberhip to process, I'd like to take this moment to clear up a rumour that is most distressing to me. To wit, that I've somehow 'won' the posterity 'game' and that some of my rivals coworkers have 'lost.'

This is flatly untrue. While it is true that some may have, under the stress of battle, resented the fact that I was the Lord their God right-hand man and plenipotentiary of Le Symbol and had absolute power of life and death funding over each of their units, I can assure you that we all held each other in the highest esteem. This is how I know that Pierre Brossolette and Henri Frenay feel nothing but honour over the way history has celebrated the light that shone through our work during those dark years by naming all over France streets, parks, schools, and a university after... me. Contrary to rumour, when the lights of Paris were extinguished so that all the city could see the powerful tricolor beams that lit up the night sky at the moment my ashes were interned in the Panthéon along side the likes of Voltaire and Victor Hugo, Henri Frenay was not shaking in impotant rage. It was simply very cold that night.

As for Pierre Brossolette, I hear he appeared on a stamp at least as nice as my own. I'm sure this means one day people will write movies and plays about his life, too.

The waitress is here now, so I'm afraid that's all for the moment. Damn, I'm short on tip - does anyone have a two franc piece?

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(no subject) [Mar. 19th, 2006|01:51 am]
Jean Moulin
As stated previously on the biography form, the goal of this file will be to record responses to and/or clarifications of the rumours that persist about myself and my work. Filling out this form is also required before joining deadmentalking.

I should've known death wouldn't be the end of paperwork...
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