Oh boy, is this a bad day to be reading French news and social media. This particular song comes to mind:
I don't doubt there are people genuinely devastated by the Notre-Dame de Paris fire, but there's something utterly laughable and kind of gross about people flocking to buy a Hugo novel from Amazon.fr as some act of performative, collective grief while English-language news outlets post some pseudo-philosophical dreck about how this is a sign that Notre-Dame will be rebuilt, as if its reconstruction will be materialized out of our collective determination to not give into despair. In case you haven't noticed, we live in a depressingly absurd time in human history.
By the way, the current suspected cause for the fire is accidental and possibly linked to the renovations that had been underway at the time of the fire. Literally no one should be shocked if this turns out to be true, especially given the fragility of some portions of the cathedral.
Honestly, my feelings about all this are a mix of indifference and irritation. We lose beloved things and people in this life all the time and grief is an inescapable factor of being human. As a trained jazz musician, I still grieve over what was lost in New Orleans to Hurricane Katrina--it's just something that has blended into my overall experience and understanding of jazz music, as sad as that is. And it's not that I don't understand the historical significance of Notre-Dame--one of my required courses for my music degree required me to know far more about gothic cathedrals than anyone who's never set foot on European soil should have to (because I went to a Catholic uni). But truth is, if this world lost one of the surviving gothic cathedrals of Europe, human civilization would be OK, really. There are other more precious, irreplaceable things we as a species are at grave risk of losing--something I'm reminded of every April when my city's water restrictions kick in while the daily high temps start hitting over 85F. But if I were to say if anything about this fire makes me feel a loss, it's that we don't really don't have a complete understanding of how the cathedral was built, despite all our present-day technology, and that a lot of the knowledge of the craftsmanship that went into building it has been lost to history. It's OK if we have to rebuild an old building. It's not OK that we've lost the knowledge to do so because we as a society decided centuries ago those skills and knowledge weren't worth preserving. There is a huge parallel here to how I feel about endangered languages.
Another story that surfaced today was about a historian, who had passed away last year at the alarming young age of 49, whose work included laser scans of surviving medieval buildings, including Notre-Dame, which might be vital to the reconstruction. Knowledge and understanding are very good things and should be cherished and preserved.
Anyhow, Macron says he wants the cathedral rebuilt within five years. Oh lordy. Thanks, Emmanuel, I needed a good laugh today.
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I watched a documentary on Florence the other day (Italy's invisible cities). Scanning equipment built into a backpack was the starting point, I wonder if Mr Tallon designed the kit?Cèid Donn wrote:Another story that surfaced today was about a historian, who had passed away last year at the alarming young age of 49, whose work included laser scans of surviving medieval buildings, including Notre-Dame, which might be vital to the reconstruction. Knowledge and understanding are very good things and should be cherished and preserved.
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