What Lola’s murder reveals about our politics

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SUNDAY NOTEBOOKS. The atrocity suffered by the teenager has put insecurity back at the center of public debate. Pay attention to recovery and avoidance.

By Herve Gattegno

Éric Zemmour during a demonstration in tribute to Lola, whose body was found in a trunk.
© SAMUEL BOIVIN / NurPhoto / NurPhoto via AFP

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LIs the death of 12-year-old Lola, whose martyred body was found in a trunk, a simple news item? Yes and no. Roland Barthes considered, in his famous Mythologies, that the news item proceeds “from a classification of the unclassifiable” and constitutes “the unorganized waste of formless news… disasters, murders, kidnappings, assaults, accidents, thefts, oddities”, everything that “refers to man , to her story, to her alienation, to her fantasies, her dreams, her fears…” In this, the assassination of this little girl belongs to this category of information that has become almost banal through repeated repetition, except that n any news item is “simple”, precisely. Without waiting to know the motives or the details of this crime, some have seized on this atrocity for…

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