Sunday 22 October 2017

Did Paris grab you? Well then, you are not a robot you're not a robot.

The Paris terror attacks stirred an emotional response that is purely human, writes Kevin O'Rourke

An attack on decency: An injured woman is taken away from the Bataclan concert hall after a group of Islamic extremists unleashed a ferocious attack on innocent people in Paris
An attack on decency: An injured woman is taken away from the Bataclan concert hall after a group of Islamic extremists unleashed a ferocious attack on innocent people in Paris

Kevin O’Rourke

I'm afraid I may be a psychopath, or a racist, or a racist psychopath, or something. I can usually keep the news in my head without letting it hit my gut too hard. When I hear of brutal murders as a result of feuds between criminal gangs, my mind goes down the route of imagining ways we might fix Dublin's heroin problem.

When I hear of a train crashing in another country, I hope they figure out what caused it, and that everyone learns from it. When a bomb is detonated in Beirut, I want to know who's fighting over what. So far, so detached - so intellectual rather than emotional. I will admit, however, that when I read about someone tweeting the police from inside the Bataclan - asking them to storm the place quickly because gunmen were executing hostages, one by one - I momentarily wanted to vomit. My blood ran cold. You'd have been able to see my muscles becoming tense.

Facebook seems a bit angry with me over this. I am a phony with no respect for life outside Fortress Europe. Alternatively, it's the fault of the media, conditioning me to feel a stronger connection to my fellow white sort-of-Christians than I do to my fellow man in distant places. I can only hold my hands up and offer this in my, and the media's, defence: I'm not actually a computer.

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