Friday, 15 July 2016

How unbelievably believable the Nice attack was.


They were watching fireworks.

Children with their parents were stood watching fireworks.

They weren't working for a satirical magazine, finding humor at someone else's expense. They weren't government officials. They weren't political activists.

They were families watching fireworks, celebrating a national holiday.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Let it sink in that in the past year people have been murdered for going to a concert, a football match and now a fireworks display.

And yet am I surprised?

Sadly, no.

I woke up this morning next to my girlfriend. She gave me a hug and said 'there's been another terrorist attack in France'. My morning eyes soon woke up and I looked at her as if to urge her to tell me she was joking or that she had grossly misinterpreted a news article.

But she hadn't.

I had to write about the attack. I simply HAD to. But as I opened the web page, placed my fingers upon the keyboard, I froze.

I try to write these posts without structure, without plan, without fear of expressing an opinion. For me they should be spontaneous, therapeutic, and raw.

But this one was tricky.

I was speechless. I was sickened. I was desperately sad.

And I felt, and feel still, that whatever I wrote down was not going to come close to what was deserved to be said.

But I'm going to try and make some sort of point amidst the chaos.

For me there are two things I'm finding astonishingly powerful in this attack.

One is how unbelievable this attack is.

Two is how believable this attack is.

Confused? Allow me to explain.

It is unbelievable to think of young children being killed, lying on the road with 'toys and flesh lying besides them' - what an eye-witness said.

It is unbelievable that a single human being was capable of knocking down humans as if they were bowling pins and leaving them behind looking like road kill.

It is unbelievable that mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, and friends have lost loved ones on a day of celebration; out that evening to smile and laugh.

It is unbelievable that once again a nation fears to live.

But then again, is this not really quite grotesquely believable?

People are being slaughtered every day in the name of this-or-that.

There are murders every day in the Middle-East from extremists that receive little to no coverage.

*In fact, I will openly hold my hands up high and apologies for not writing about those incidents. I think the reason why we, as Westerners, do not talk about it is that we have come to expect it to happen in the backyard of Islamic extremism. It is a shameful outlook but a true one, I believe.*

We live in a world whereby terror slaughters peace every day.

The unrelenting love and sympathy from the world is being constantly torn apart and stitched back together like a wound that doesn't have time to heal.

We, as decent people, are forever findings new ways of saying 'let's not succumb to hate'.

And we shouldn't ever succumb to hate. But how much more can we take of this?

For me, hearing of this news and finding it believable marks a dark day in my time on this planet.

Terror attacks are no longer events of just shock and horror; they are events we have come to expect.

I can't imagine a world without innocent people being killed. I so wish I could but I simply can't.

My absolute sympathy goes out to France, a nation that has been ravaged by death and scenes of macabre nightmares.

It feels wrong to go about today as normal.

But once more we are required to go about our lives knowing that others are suffering grief, not able to do anything about it apart from love, sympathise, or in my case, write a few words down, hoping to make myself feel a little better about it.


It hasn't.

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