Some honest thoughts coming your way today.
If you missed it, the great cathedral in Paris, Notre Dame, caught fire yesterday and burned a fairly decent amount to the ground, including the spire. Naturally, this is horrific.
Even more horrific though, is every person who has ever been to Notre Dame rushing to social media to post a picture, talking about how devastated they are, that they’re crying at work while watching the Notre Dame fire on the news, etc, etc.
It’s the pinnacle of virtue signaling.
It’s like when there’s (yet another) mass shooting, and people change their profile images to overlay that country’s flag. Meanwhile, if you asked them to donate $5 to the victim’s families, they wouldn’t. Yep, all those Facebook profile photos are really, really helpful to the true victims of the tragedy.
(Side note, have you noticed that we have become so immune to mass shootings that people are actually not doing this anywhere near as much now?)
Anyways, Notre Dame Fire.
This one hits home especially for me, but not because I’ve been to Notre Dame (I have). And it’s not because I’m upset. It’s because I can’t help but roll my eyes to see all the people playing victim on the internet for attention.
The reason why is because I’ve seen my own house burn to the point of uninhabitable in front of my very eyes.
This story was originally published in 2016 and I’ve made a few modifications to illustrate the social media clown world we currently live in.
“Kyle, the barbecue is on fire!”
I heard as I was upstairs jamming away on the guitar.
Well, that’s not good.
So I rushed downstairs, fully expecting it to be…well, a barbecue fire.
Something that would be manageable; I figured I’d grab the fire extinguisher and have the thing out in no time. Not quite.
Instead, I walked downstairs and was met by a searing pain in my eyes. The entire kitchen window, roughly six feet wide by four feet tall, was ablaze. All I could see was a bright orange, resembling the sun. My life flashed before my eyes momentarily before I came to my senses. And it’s a good thing I did, because my mom certainly wasn’t thinking clearly (I think she was attempting to fill a pitcher of sink water or something).
Realizing that all hope was gone, I pushed her towards the front door, grabbed our dog by the scruff of the neck to drag him outside, all whilst fumbling in my pocket to pull out my flip-phone and dial 911.
It’s hard to describe what it’s like to literally watch your childhood home crumble to the ground in front of you, and I don’t even know if I can try to put it into words.
All I remember is me comforting my mom as she sobbed into my arms.
While it might seem unfair in hindsight that she wasn’t comforting me, this became one of my first realizations as a young man that you must always be the pillar for women.
It is simply the way life is; at least a mother’s love is unconditional.
There I stood, at 17 years old…watching the flame engulf the house. Hearing every window in the house shatter like a gun going off.
Dozens of cars drove up our cul-de-sac to get a glimpse of it. To my anger, many of these soccer moms ended up blocking the fire trucks from getting to the house quicker. If this had been the age of cell phones, they would have all been live streaming it. If not for all of the cars blocking and people gawking, it’s possible more of the house could have been saved.
(Instead, our builders left one wall standing so it would be considered a “remodel”)
I distinctly remember going up to one car and screaming, “Get the fuck out of the way, you dumbass!”, and she responded with a look of horror that I would say that in front of her children. The humanity. One family is losing their home and you’re in the way, and I have the audacity to swear. Her witnessing the event was more important than the people suffering from it.
Those last couple paragraphs are what make me disgusted by most people’s behavior towards the current situation in Paris.
People want to bear witness to a tragedy more than they want to help it.
And in the internet, it’s all the worse.
People want to show they were a part of it, some way, somehow.
Below is an image from the aftermath back in 2008.
Yours Troubly’s Thoughts On The Notre Dame Fire
I’ve been asked for my take on it, and while I try not to get lead down the path of tinfoiled-ness, I’ll give my honest thoughts.
It’s important to note that I was in Paris for the first and only time back in 2016. I wrote an entire article with my thoughts on it, give it a read. I have zero desire to return there, and doubt I ever will – though someday I’ll get out to the Côte d’Azur.
Anyways, my thoughts.
#1: I find it hard to believe that another major Parisian church was just on fire a few weeks ago.
#2: This Notre Dame fire was right in the middle of Holy Week, too…
It’s gonna take a lot to convince me this was an “accident”.
At the same time, if this thing really started 5 minutes after closing that also doesn’t add up.
Terrorists don’t care who they kill. On the flip side, what matters is the monument and the symbolism.
#3: Were there really 12 other churches attacked/vandalized recently?
#4: How do no western media outlets bother to share this kinda stuff?
And, my final thought about the Notre Dame fire…
What do you think, though?