In light of recent events in Paris, it didn’t feel quite right to subject the world to my original post, so for the first time I write from gut reaction, rather than using the premeditated method I usually apply, so allow me to take the opportunity to talk about the one and only…
Along with its distant relatives, London, New York, Tokyo and Moscow if I pounced out of the shadows and randomly asked you to name five world cities, there is no doubt that Paris would roll off the tongue of most people. If I asked you to name three of the most romantic cities in the world, I am under no illusion that Paris would claim the number one spot.
It’s the place where Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw finally got it together with Mr Big, it’s the place where Remy the rat made the most amazing ratatouille, it’s the place where Marlon Brando had his last tango. Even if Paris didn’t possess the iconic Eiffel tower, Musée Picasso, The Louvre or Arc de Triomphe; there is no denying it’s impact on culture and the notion of romance.
I genuinely understand the intention of social media users who display solidarity by posting images of Parisian landmarks, changing their Facebook profile pictures with a French flag overlay (which I have done myself) or by praying for the innocent victims of this tragedy but as of right now I just don’t feel praying really anything to help ease the pain.
I’m not knocking those who look to a higher authority and use the power of prayer to provide healing, but I am more than a little frustrated that even though we have an unprecedented access to knowledge and information none of it really means a damn, if any human can feel justified in taking the lives of unassuming innocents. I don’t understand how any adult can feel an act of murder is covered by an insurance policy driven by national interest, political motivation or religious interpretation.
My confusion is further compounded by those who want to trade the merits of one horrible tragic atrocity over another; as if recent awful tragedies in Beirut or Kenya somehow carry more gravitas, when it’s all so depressing no matter how much or little media coverage is given.
However, what did provide temporary healing for my soul was walking through the streets of the overcrowded, overpriced city I reside in and witnessing first hand that despite the media’s compulsive thirst for an audience, there are millions of people who on the whole live and work together fairly well on a regular basis.
It’s not easy and we sure don’t hold hands and sing the 1985 hit “We are the world” but speaking with my fellow humans I realise there is a commonality of experience that brings us together, even for a moment and until it’s confirmed otherwise this is the closest thing to heaven I’m ever going to experience.
Until next time.