Restating my points about Charlie Hebdo, art, culture, etc. Elaine Sciolino understands [or start here] what pedants don't.
Didion is an empiricist, an observer of others' illusions, without ever denying her own capacity for having them. I'd made comments elsewhere last week referring to her piece on the Central Park Jogger, but I hadn't made the connection clear on this page.
Islamic extremism is a remaking of the past, and after Zionism and libertarianism one of the last of the radical/reactionary enthusiasms that were the products of Modernity. Laïcité is another, and like them is fading. Secularism is expanding, not by command but at its own pace.