This is the seventh post of Sally O’Dowd’s seven-part series dedicated to free speech following the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and elsewhere last week in Paris. Click here for: First post/Les Misérablessecond post/Bruce Springsteenthird post/Edith Piaffourth post/Enigmafifth post/songs from the 1996 movie Romeo and Juliet, sixth post/Tears for Fears.

“A mythical bird that never dies, the phoenix flies far ahead to the front, always scanning the landscape and distant space. It represents our capacity for vision, for collecting sensory information about our environment and the events unfolding within it. The phoenix, with its great beauty, creates intense excitement and deathless inspiration.”

—The Feng Shui Handbook, feng shui Master Lam Kam Chuen

I just love the image of the phoenix, don’t you? In mythology, the phoenix rises from the ashes and reinvents itself.  It’s the image heading this website because I believe in resilience, the need to carry on and dream big no matter the circumstances.  The multicolored wings keep the bird in flight. (More on the design here.)

Designer: Luz. Photo: AFP. Website source: Washington Post.
Designer: Luz. Photo: AFP. Website source: Washington Post.

The phoenix is likewise  the perfect image for Charlie Hebdo, whose team has risen from despair to publish a much-awaited edition just one week after the deadly Paris attacks. I believe today’s cartoon is dear. As a non-religious person, I would want my god to be merciful, to have feelings, to understand the human condition. To empathize, like a best friend.

And that is why I have chosen a song that leads with the image of the great bird for the final post in the Charlie Hebdo series. It’s none other than the 2014 mega-hit “Get Lucky”  by Daft Punk, the French duo consisting of musicians Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter.

After a week of violence and tears, speeches and analysis, I am completing this series with a happy song. It’s the only way I know to celebrate this resilient team of journalists.

get lucky stillThe song starts this way:

Like the legend of the Phoenix
All ends with beginnings
What keeps the planets spinning (uh)
The force from the beginning

(Look)

We’ve come too far to give up who we are
So let’s raise the bar and our cups to the stars

Yes, I could have chosen something from the French group Phoenix but I like “Get Lucky” for the very simply reason that we are lucky. We have the right to self expression, to our individuality. And while sometimes we think social change is too slow, democracy in the last 200 some years has proven to be the best solution for governing.

Meeting on Twitter via #charliehebdo: Shaz Muller
Meeting on Twitter via #charliehebdo: Shaz Muller

As I complete this series, I’d like to explain a bit further why this project has meant so much to me. Journalism is in my blood. Many moons ago, my grandfather, whom I never met, was the editor of the Decatur (Ind.) Daily Democrat. I, too, was a newspaper reporter and magazine editor. I love to write and don’t do it enough. I needed to use this part of myself to stand with Charlie Hebdo.

In addition, my catharsis has something to do with my name. Sally, the verb, comes from the Latin salire, which means to jump or leap forward. That is why my tagline is Media Will Sally On. Media will always leap forward, it will sally on, it will take on different forms. Just like the resilient phoenix, just like Charlie Hebdo thanks to the people keeping it in flight.

So, get your groove on and dance a little. And thank you so much for reading.


“Get Lucky”
(feat. Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers)

Like the legend of the Phoenix
All ends with beginnings
What keeps the planets spinning (uh)
The force from the beginning(Look)We’ve come too far to give up who we are
So let’s raise the bar and our cups to the stars

She’s up all night to the sun
I’m up all night to get some
She’s up all night for good fun
I’m up all night to get lucky

We’re up all night to the sun
We’re up all night to get some
We’re up all night for good fun
We’re up all night to get lucky

We’re up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night to get lucky

The present has no ribbon
Your gift keeps on giving,
What is this I’m feeling?
If you wanna leave I’m with it (ah)

We’ve come too far to give up who we are
So let’s raise the bar and our cups to the stars

She’s up all night to the sun
I’m up all night to get some
She’s up all night for good fun
I’m up all night to get lucky

We’re up all night to the sun
We’re up all night to get some
We’re up all night for good fun
We’re up all night to get lucky

We’re up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night to get lucky

(We’re up all night to get
We’re up all night to get
We’re up all night to get
We’re up all night to get)

(We’re up all night to get (together)
We’re up all night to get (let’s get funked again)
We’re up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night to get lucky)

(We’re up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night to get lucky)

(We’re up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night to get lucky)

We’ve (we’re up all night to get lucky)
Come too far (we’re up all night to get lucky)
To give up (we’re up all night to get lucky)
Who we are (we’re up all night to get lucky)
So let’s (we’re up all night to get lucky)
Raise the bar (we’re up all night to get lucky)
And our cups (we’re up all night to get lucky)
To the stars (we’re up all night to get lucky)

She’s up all night to the sun
I’m up all night to get some
She’s up all night for good fun
I’m up all night to get lucky

We’re up all night to the sun
We’re up all night to get some
We’re up all night for good fun
We’re up all night to get lucky

We’re up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night to get lucky

We’re up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night to get lucky

–Sally O’Dowd is a former journalist and founder of Sally On Media, a business strategy and integrated marketing company in New York. 

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