September 24, 2019

Something different today

As I anticipated, I was again home bound today, due to the fact my car is in the shop.

When informed that there were several customers in front of me, I figured there wouldn’t be time to get the job done before the end of the day. So I resigned myself to another day at home.

I did manage to get a bit done, including posting a new video, despite the fact I was home all day. I did it by looking through some old files, and finding something that was short, but interesting. In fact, it was the first video I ever took with the camera. Looks and sounds pretty good for a first time effort. It’s of Madison Nestor playing the saxophone, if you’re interested.

Because I don’t have much else to report today, I decided to again try something different, just to keep things interesting. I’m a pretty opinionated person, and have never been shy about expressing those opinions, so here goes.

Over the last several years, there’s been a trend not only here but throughout much of the rest of the world to look with suspicion on anything that is “foreign” or not “the norm.”

This can be traced back to the day when the Twin Towers in New York City were destroyed when terrorists hijacked two jet airplanes, and flew them into the buildings.

Through the years I have noted – often sadly – that things just “aren’t what they used to be” to quote a cliché.

Whenever I walk into a public building, like a courthouse, I have to submit to a search by the metal detector. It’s becoming more and more difficult to travel freely in our society, because of fears that someone may launch terrorist attack. There are times when – in our attempts to protect ourselves – I can’t help but feel we’re building ourselves into a prison.

But something that disturbs me even more is the fact our fears are generating another emotion – hate. Too many times, I seen the hysteria over what has been occurring turning into hatred – hatred against not only those responsible, but those even remotely associated as well.

A good example occurred right after Notre Dame caught fire in Paris, seriously damaging the cathedral. Even before the fires had been completely extinguished, rumors were running rampant, saying the incident was a terrorist attack, mounted by the city’s radical Muslim population.

Although the precise cause of the fire is still unknown – a burning cigarette or faulty electrical system have been advanced as the most likely causes – this has not stopped many from insisting that the fire was deliberately set.

Right after the fire, I remember speaking to a friend about the situation, as more and more news reports were released. When he insisted that the fire was a result of a terrorist attack, I pointed out that – according to the information released by the authorities – the fire was accidental in nature.

“They’re lying,” he insisted. “They’re lying.”

I sighed, and shook my head. My friend is a great guy, and would do anything for you, but this is one of his quirks I could do without. Namely, once he gets such a thought in his head, his attitude is “My mind is made up, don’t confuse me with the facts.”

He came to his conclusion due to various “facts” quoted to him by certain websites that he frequents. I visited some of those websites and came up with a few disturbing conclusions of my own – about the websites.

First, these places were doing everything possible to fan their own fires – fires of hatred against the Muslim immigrants in the area.

Oh they might have insisted that they were only going against the terrorists. But the strong implication from those sites were that all the Muslims were in on it together.

The second thing was that – like most other places on the internet – these websites depend on repeat business to stay in existence. It attracts a lot more attention to imply that the fire was the result of a terrorist attack, as opposed to saying it was only an accident.

This argument was strengthened shortly after the fire broke out. When the French government issued statements that there was nothing suspicious about the incident, many of those same websites released information, indicating that about nine churches in the immediate area had been the subject of vandalism. Coming so close on the heals of the Notre Dame fire, the implication was clear to those who wanted to point fingers – that even though terrorists were not responsible in that case, they had something to do with the other nine acts.

Baloney! Although we have a tendency to hold churches in high esteem, not everyone considers them sacrosanct. There’s always an element of undesirables who get their jollies attempting to desecrate such things – and not all of them are terrorists. A large majority are sick people who have nothing better to do than write obscene graffiti on walls, and knock over gravestones.

Also, we humans have a disturbing trend to think that when something bad happens, somebody has to be responsible for it. One of the most infamous incidents is the Great Fire in Rome that occurred during the rule of the Emperor Nero. Rumors abounded initially that Nero set the fire and played the lyre and sang while he watched the conflagration. Accounts by historians of the time contradict this – saying that Nero was actually many miles away when the fire broke out, and organized relief efforts when he returned to the city.

Unfortunately, Nero apparently decided this wasn’t enough, and decided to hand the mob a scapegoat for the fire, spreading rumors – which were believed – that Christians had set the blaze. And we all know how they were victimized because the citizens just couldn’t accept the fact the blaze had most likely broken out accidentally.

Returning to the Notre Dame fire – it’s very puzzling why some just can’t accept the fact that it was an accident.

The building is very old – with its initial construction started in the 12th century. Many renovations and changes have occurred through the years, but there are still hazards in it that you won’t find in modern structures.

Work was being done at the site when the fire broke out, and it’s been speculated that it was either caused by a workman’s careless cigarette, or bad electrical wiring. Both explanations are very plausible and – baring further evidence – either seems to be the most likely reason for the fire.

Sadly, this is something that a select group of people will never accept. They’ve allowed their prejudices to blind them to the facts. They’d rather believe the falsehood, because it feeds those prejudices, and justifies their actions in hating and despising a select group of people.

The trouble is, tragic results often occur which such hatred is allowed to run rampant, as the persecution of the early Christians demonstrated.

All right, you’ve waded through my rhetoric. Now you shall be rewarded with today’s bad joke!

An elderly woman called the police.

“There’s a man walking around naked in his apartment, making a spectacle of himself,” the woman said. “You’ve got to do something about it!”

The police sent an officer to the woman’s home, who investigated her complaint.

“Yes ma’am,” the officer said. “I can see the man in his bedroom across from yours. But he’s only naked from the waist up. He could be wearing shorts, you know.”

“Stand on the bed, stand on the bed,” the woman urged.

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