The Notre Dame Fire

April 15, 2019 was the day the world went full-on Black Metal. Notre Dame de Paris blazed like Hell on Earth. Flames toppled the 300-foot spire within itself on the 900-year-old Gothic cathedral, which might’ve been an awesome music video on Headbanger’s Ball c. 1991, but yesterday it was more horrific than anything. 

It was a symbol of Humankind on Earth above all else. Perhaps not designed as heartily as the Great Pyramids, but a pharaonic work that people cherished enough to protect and continually restore over the last eight centuries. The fire reminded us of how much we are sinners in the hands of an angry God, or whatever cosmic terminology you’d assign to our insignificance. Everything we’ve ever done will be undone by forces we’ll never understand.

It was a sad thing to see that cathedral in flames. For starters, I’ve never seen Notre Dame, because I’ve never been to Paris. If I went to Paris, and if I go, I’m sure I will see it—what’s left of it, or what will be made of it now.

It’s also sad to see the controversies it has already and will likely dredge up around the globe. What is more symbolic than a blazing Gothic cathedral? Anyone can ascribe any meaning to it with the right sort of imagination…

For instance, I’ve seen some commentators say the Notre Dame fire was symbolic of the fall of “Western Civilization,” whatever that means. Then of course Glenn Beck asks people to prove a negative by saying we’d never know if the fire were caused by “Islamists.”

Most recently I’ve heard, the fire was being called an accident and that there was no official reason to suspect otherwise. According to a former NYC fire chief in the New York Times:

“These cathedrals and houses of worship are built to burn,” he said. “If they weren’t houses of worship, they’d be condemned.”

What’s controversial in my mind is whether the building itself should be a priority. With all the money these billionaires have already pledged to rebuild Notre Dame, over $450 million as of right now, I wonder what Pope Francis thinks about it going to a building.

The rebuilding of Notre Dame is undeniably important to the French people, but to the Church, as embattled as it is right now, should it try to guide this 1-percenter generosity in another direction? Just a thought. 

Personally I would like to see it rebuilt and for it to symbolize some new shift in the world psyche where this age of stark division begins to heal and reverse course. The next day, as I was sure it would, brought stories of hope and what was preserved stoked many flames of faith in the world. 

And if there is a conspiracy, or some underlying cause of the fire, then I hope it’s a supernatural one. Like Arnold Schwarzenegger in End of Days or something…

Defending Ilhan Omar

I don’t know why, but when Dan Crenshaw, a Republican Congressman from Texas, attacked Ilhan Omar, a Democratic Congresswoman from Minnesota, it really pissed me off. Rep. Omar is one of the country’s first two Muslim Congresswomen, and Dan Crenshaw is supposedly above rebuke because he was a Navy SEAL.

Thinking about it, I do know why Rep. Crenshaw’s tweet pissed me off. Rep. Omar is already endangered by a lunatic right-wing threat. The GOP is actively poo-pooing the notion that white nationalism even exists. It’s “outrage” at a comment from a speech on civil liberties. It seems to be outrage that she called the terrorists “people.”

Here’s Dan Crenshaw’s tweet, in case you want to see it firsthand… but watch the YouTube video posted below it to get the comments in full context, if you need to.

Here are Rep. Omar’s full remarks side-by-side with the cherry-picked soundbite that has drawn Rep. Crenshaw’s forged indignation. 

Rep. Crenshaw is fanning some hot and destructive flames. I hear Islamophobic talk among people on a near-daily basis. Who does Rep. Crenshaw think he’s talking to with this sort of stuff? Look into comments on news stories, or even to his tweet itself. It won’t take long to find someone calling Rep. Omar a terrorist.

A New York man was arrested recently for phoning in a threat to kill Rep. Omar. The timing of this attack on a month’s-old soundbite couldn’t seem worse to the reasonable and prudent among us… because guess who picked up the ball and ran with it next…

But I think he got this idea sent to him through the New York Post, which happens to be owned by Rupert Murdoch.

The New York Post dredges this imagery up for its readers to attack a Congresswoman from Minnesota…

People are frothing at the mouth about this manufactured outrage over a speech about civil liberties. They have a lot of energy behind it, and it’s being manipulated by people in high places. It needs to be pushed back against and called out for what it is: Islamophobia.

I’m not a constituent of Ilhan Omar, nor am I of Dan Crenshaw. But this strange fight is indicative of a larger war being fought from keyboards across the country… and sometimes it spills out into the real world in violent, wrenching ways.

Why did I decide to make this first post on this iteration of this website, after years of inactivity? Battle lines are being drawn. I don’t want this country to devolve into a civil war, but by golly, I know what side I’m on if it does.

Some people need to be pushed back against while other people need to know you’ve got their back.