Sometimes there is no way to articulate how we feel about something until the enormity of what has happened is allowed to sink in sufficiently for us to mentally process it.
I suppose, as a species, this sort of internal emotional analysis is what prevents us from reacting to the red mist that inevitably descends when we hear about the kind of appalling atrocity that was perpetrated on the people of Paris on Friday.
Otherwise “we” would have gone to all-out war with “those Muslims” a long time ago, right?
Because “we” are clearly in agreement (if you believe social media is a fair barometer of public opinion) and “we” just aren’t going to take it anymore.
It’s time that “we” stood up to these **insert racial stereotype here**, coming over here with their foreign ways, deserting their own crappy, war-torn countries, forcing their children to walk hundreds of miles across inhospitable and dangerous territory, just so they can infiltrate the society they made such an effort to travel the aforementioned hundreds of miles to get to in the first place, then commit heinous acts of terrorism in an effort to force their new home to conform to the strict theological regime imposed on them in the country they have spent so much time, money, blood, sweat and tears escaping.
“We” can be bloody stupid sometimes, there’s no doubt about it.
The horror of the Paris attacks was piped into our collective consciousness, via TV news and social media, at such an immediate and constant rate for the last two days, it was only today that I truly managed to take in the full scale of events that unfolded in one of the most open and friendly cities I have visited.
Parisians live their lives on the city streets, its parks and boulevards providing an alternative to the English habit of closing ourselves off in our little patches of garden and this sense of urban community was what the terrorists exploited.
Who would anticipate that a man in black with an AK47 is going to walk up to a busy pavement café and start killing people?
After all, this isn’t Lebanon is it?
However, just to show that terror, inhumanity and murder have no borders or logic, 43 people were killed and hundreds more injured in what appears to be a coordinated attack in Lebanon’s largely-Muslim capital, Beirut, on Friday too.
Strangely, what “we” think of this appears to have gone almost entirely unrecorded on social networks, whilst a growing element of what I’m beginning to think of as “Facebook fundamentalists” seem less interested in grieving the loss of yet more victims of religious intolerance, ignorance and hatred and more focused on how these tragedies can be perverted to their own agendas, including the promotion of bewigged goon, Fuckface von Clownstick and his continued campaign to become king of his own walled-in world of gun-crazy misanthropes.
Meanwhile, the usual small tales of huge heroism and stoic resistance began to emerge from the carnage of Paris.
Here is a clip of Jon Snow’s interview with Parisian doctor, Louise Hefez, telling how she tended to victims of the café shooting that she and her friends miraculously survived.
All we can hope is that there are a lot more people out there who can see past the jingoistic polemic of right-wing hate groups and self-interested politicians than the “we” who apparently represent us on the feeds of our Facebook and Twitter accounts.
One man who can be relied on to hit exactly the right tone at moments like this is Adam Pain, who posted the most beautiful piece this morning and it is with his permission that I am reposting it here.
Please read his post at the link below, it has more heart and thoughtfulness than any coldly factual news report could ever hope to achieve and will hopefully make you hug your loved ones that little bit closer tonight.