Notre Dame

Home of the Hunchback. I had an Aurora model kit of him many years ago. I never did get to see the real cathedral and now I never will. It has been ravaged by fire. Even if they rebuild it exactly as it was, it’s unlikely to be completed in my lifetime.

It burned fast but then 800 year old wood would be very dry indeed. The only good thing is that nobody was killed in the fire.

I have no religion, no need of any god, so the meaning behind the building is of no relevance to me. However, the architecture, the work that so many people put into it, the skill and effort to make such a thing, that does impress me. What is telling, and a little depressing, are all the people saying it would be impossible to replicate those skills.

It was built in the 12th Century! It took 200 years because they didn’t have cranes or power tools. You want to drill a hole through three feet of granite? Here’s a hammer and a chisel. Get started.

Even older buildings, the pyramids, the Inca temples, many more, we hear that they could not be built with modern hands. What the hell happened? We have far superior tools now. We have cranes to lift vast slabs into place in minutes. And yet we cannot even do things they did in the 12th century?

It has been said that the human race is degenerating and will eventually return to rabid savages beating each other to death with sticks and bones. It looks increasingly likely. In some places it’s already happening.

Anyway. Notre Dame is gone. It might remain like many of the Scottish castles, a ruin visited for historical interest but never rebuilt. I’d prefer that to Macron’s stated aim to rebuild it to ‘reflect diversity’. France, please get rid of your tinpot Napoleon before he deletes your history. Before he creates a modern ‘inclusive’ religious centre that you know won’t have any Catholics in it. Before he takes 200 years of painstaking work by generations of skilled Frenchmen and turns it into a religious shopping mall.

Oh, I know, it was built by an oppressive regime, the Catholic Church. Not long after that, the Spanish Inquisition came into force. But that was hundreds of years ago. The modern Church couldn’t oppress a masochist even if they begged for it. Even the Pope has been kissing other people’s feet. I’m surprised he didn’t do a ‘Wayne’s World’ “I’m Not Worthy” thing while he did it. What a prat. He’s supposed to be God’s representative on Earth. God should have waited until he was just about to kiss that foot and then rammed Uriel’s flaming sword right up his arse.

I said I didn’t follow any religion. I didn’t say I haven’t looked into them. I do not dismiss things without checking them out first.

It’s an architectural tragedy to me. The ghosts of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of skilled builders and sculptors will be weeping tonight. All that work, gone in a few hours.

Naturally, all the usual suspects are trying to make political mileage out of it. Trump-haters are banging on about a tweet in which he said maybe dumping airborne water tankers on it would be good. Well that can’t happen, but Trump isn’t being stupid. He’s just being wrong.

Europe doesn’t get the regular forest fires California gets. We have some water-dumping helicopters but not many. Dumping a huge gob of water on an already fragile structure, one that is far older than America, would collapse it. Trump is a businessman, an American and now a politician. Not an architect, geographer or historian. No reason he would know that his idea was a bad idea. No reason to do more than say ‘Nah, Donny, that won’t work’.

And the blame game has started. Nobody knows what started the fire yet. Notre Dame was being renovated, I don’t know what was being done but there was scaffolding around the part that (as far as I can see from the videos posted) caught fire first.

Ever seen a bitumen heater for roof sealing? It has a fire under it. You can set off 800-year dried wood with a welding spark or an electrical fault. It could have been an accident.

This is of course set against a recent history of church arson in France. There have been quite a few attempts, some successful, to torch churches. No suspects have been identified but ‘we know who it was’ is all over the internet.

So it is no surprise to find the pointing fingers. It was a little surprising to find them pointed at Macron though. I mean, I think the man is lower than a corgi’s tit and about as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike but even so… I don’t think he went into Notre Dame with matches and kindling. I really don’t see how he could possibly think it would be a good idea.

‘It happened on his watch’. Well come on, he can’t watch it all. It’s like saying the Blitz happened on Churchill’s watch. He didn’t make it happen. Although Macron might have helped create the conditions for it to happen. But that’s another post.

It would have been Macron’s most utterly stupid move if he had done it or arranged it. He has had over 20 weekends of Gilet Jaunes and inflaming them by destroying one of France’s most impotant historical structures would be the action of a lunatic.

Macron is a dick, a small one, but he is not suicidal.

I have seen the fire blamed on Antifa. What? Well they do destroy things for fun but this would really backfire on their aims. Then again, they do recruit from the irredeemably idiotic.

And, of course, I have seen it blamed on Muslims. Sometimes quite openly. There is no evidence for this. I can see how the conclusion is reached especially when the lunatic fringe of Islam cheer the destruction of every Christian monument (heck, ISIS destroyed their own peoples’ monuments)

Basically, it has only just happened and we don’t know what happened. Maybe it was an accident. Maybe it was arson. We do not know.

But there will be assumptions and this is Notre Dame now, not some provincial church. This is the big one.

If you’ve been watching how things unfold, you’ll be taking cover now. Especially in France.

They invented the guillotine. Messing with them was never a good idea.

16 thoughts on “Notre Dame

  1. I have never seen Notre Dame and nor does it have any great religious meaning for me, but I am gutted. Please forgive the pun.
    All those years and all that skill gone in the space of less than five hours, and heaven help the art work.
    I don’t know what else to say.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry you missed it. Missed experiencing it because, unlike most other brushes with beauty–art or nature–it was p, at least for me, an experience. Like you, I have no religion, no God (though I can’t say no need or hope of one) but Notre Dame was tne closest I got, the thought being that there might, indeed, be a God for what else could inspire men to create something so powerfully beautiful? And then the conundrum: Did God imagine us or did we imagine him?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It was the most awesome man-made structure I’ve ever visited. I’m guessing the fire was something electrical, to do with the renovations. Don’t send the work-experience boy to B&Q for an extension lead.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This fire may have been accidental, but I’d watch out for possible copycat church conflagrations in the near future. More than one category of suspect, too. And the timing – notice how often British schools catch fire during school holidays?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh come on people. Keep a sense of proportion. The church has NOT been destroyed at all. All that has happened, yet again, is that it has lost its lid. Terrible shame I do agree but it really is not that bad.
    Think about that photo. A pile of burnt timber and closer to the camera unburnt benches all overlooked by that shining cross. The photo of the century, even before it is photo-shopped to death by the media..

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh they can fix it. They have oak in reserve at Versaille.

      But it’s going to take a long time, and many, including me, might not be around to see it finished.

      It’s one of those ‘damn, I should have gone there when I had the chance’ moments.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I visited Notre Dame de Paris a few years ago on a business trip to Paris. It was a beautiful building inside and out and rather small as Cathedrals go. It was a cultural blow for it to be so badly damaged. Same for York minster. But that was saved as this will be too. Macron is wildly optimistic though. It will take 15 to 20 years or more to rebuild it as it was. I’m sure we still have some Royal Navy old oak trees planted in the days of sail we could donate.

    Liked by 2 people

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