Opinion: Some Thoughts on the Terrorist Attacks in Paris

Last night, I was eating an early dinner and chatting with my mother about politics and some of the events of the day. I was getting myself together before heading out to a recording studio in Times Square for a listening party  for local emcee Telli, his post Ninjasonik recording project Fame School and their soon-to-be released mixtape when every channel interrupted their normal broadcasts for the news on the terrorist events in Paris. And as native New Yorkers, who lived through the events of 9/11, we were shocked and horrified. It wasn’t difficult to quickly put myself in any Parisian’s shoes as they many of them were doing what I would be doing on a typical Friday night — stopping at a bar, catching live music at a little club somewhere or catching sports.

Now, I’ve mentioned this on Facebook and I figured that I should share this here because this applies everywhere, I think: I love sports and live music, and I’ve been to hundreds of sporting events and several thousand shows as both a blogger and a fan over the years. There’s something about that moment of awe and wonder at seeing talented people do incredible things on the field or on a stage.

And I can say that I’ve met some great friends, associates, colleagues and fellow fans at so many of these events, and have bonded over our love of sports or music. There’s something about being at a unique moment in time that’s a special bonding experience. Seriously, I can think of the times I’ve been at a show or a game and looked at the person next to me and just said with a nod of the head or a smile, “Can you believe that we’re lucky enough to catch this?” And honestly, so many of the best and most memorable experiences of my life have revolved around catching live music and sports. (And I know that I’m not just speaking for myself.)

Now, as a blogger I go to more shows than the average person — and probably more shows than even the most devoted music fan at that. And I can tell you, I treat it as a privilege. I often remind myself of the fact that some poor slob has slaved away for a week or two sometimes, even more at some job that robs them of their basic humanity, and that they fucking despise with every fiber of their being — for that one night of catching their heroes bang away at instruments, do some amazing feet on an athletic field or whatever. And maybe for a couple of hours in their lives, they’re reminded of the very simple fact that the only thing we all have in this life is now. (Dear reader, hold this moment so dear and so close to you. Don’t carelessly let it go. You’ll never get it back.) That particular night of catching their heroes may be the best night of their year — and in some cases, their entire lives. And I can tell you that out of the sporting events and shows, I’ve never felt unsafe — in fact, I often felt as though I were in the safest place in the entire world with people who loved the same teams as I did or who loved the same sounds and artists I did. Maybe the worst thing I’ve ever seen was a fight or two — one which was broken up by a little girl begging them to stop. But guns? Bloodshed? Terror and chaos? Never.

So the idea that a group of sick and hateful motherfuckers could destroy what would have bean a special and memorable night for so many innocent people, who committed the terrible “crime” of attending a football match or a rock show has had me feeling despondent and sick with an indescribable rage over the past few hours. And as much as I could say to everyone that because we’re all here together, that we should cherish each other, and that love is all we need in this world, the last few hours have felt hollow and silly. I’m sure that as countless people do on a daily basis, we’ll all go back to the routines of our lives — and we absolutely must, because every terrorist’s desperate endeavor is to remove all fun, joy, awe in our lives and to prevent us from bonding over the things that make us human. Don’t let that happen. Go to a show and beg them to play the music louder. Clap and yell louder for your heroes. Dance harder and more passionately than ever. Laugh until you cry and have trouble breathing. Cheer your heroes on the field harder than ever before. Enjoy it like you’ve never enjoyed it before. And do so for the rest of your days. It’ll make your life and those around you so much richer for it. Trust me.

Vive le France!