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Notre Dame Burning Detracts from Ambience of Michelle Obama's Seine Dinner Cruise
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Smoke from Notre Dame reflected in Michelle Obama’s wine glass

On Twitter Pale Primate adds a quote from Mr. Obama’s Dreams From My Father about his 1988 tour of Europe:

“And by the end of the first week or so, I realized that I’d made a mistake. It wasn’t that Europe wasn’t beautiful; everything was just as I’d imagined it. It just wasn’t mine.”
– Barack Obama

But becoming more yours every year.

Update: HBD Chick questioned whether this photo was altered.

Here’s the original at the Daily Mail. The Mail doesn’t call attention to the hard-to-notice reflection, so the DM staffers likely didn’t notice it. Of course, this could be some kind of Deep Fake carried out by a nefarious conspiracy to get this picture posted in a major newspaper. But still …

Other skeptics have suggested that’s just a random reflection that only happens to look like Notre Dame burning.

And other skeptics have suggested that this could be some other large building near the Seine burning. Theoretically, they do have a point.

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  1. Somehow I don’t think it bothered her a bit.

    • Replies: @istevefan
  2. Anonymous[167] • Disclaimer says:

    Imbibing the fall of the west.

  3. Dmitry says:

    The fire in the cathedral (which has fortunately caused a lot less damage than initially portrayed), only affects people who will visit Paris before it re-opens in 2024. Probably the Obama family, will be affected more than most people internationally, if they visit Paris frequently.

    The sudden media hysteria about this fire, is because people like the drama, not because there is very much interest in Gothic architecture.

    Notre-Dame in Paris, is special of course, because of its history, charm, use in literature and its very romantic location in the river, in Paris. But if you rent a car, there are more architecturally impressive, and equally historically significant, cathedrals in short driving distance, in nearby areas of France.

    When we visited other Gothic cathedrals in France, (fortunately for their atmosphere) there were usually not many other tourists.

    I remember when visiting Caux Cathedral, Rouen Cathedral, Bayeux Cathedral, Amiens Cathedral, (and others I do not remember) – that there were small numbers of tourists visiting them in the summer vacation, and often we could seem to be almost the only visitors. But because of love of dramatical stories, suddenly everyone is saying how important one example of such cathedrals, are to them.

    Even in Notre Dame in Paris, where visitors flood in the day – I remember well (at least more than 10 year ago) , how it is more than half empty during the evening services there.

  4. Dmitry says:

    I remember well (at least more than 10 year ago) , how it is more than half empty during the evening services there.

    And fortunately even the 18th century organ, where they can play crazy compositions by Messiaen in the evening services – has survived from the roof fire.

    • Replies: @Liza
    , @JerseyJeffersonian
  5. Weird how even though they now have literally all the time in the world, the Obamas spend approximately zero of it together.

  6. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @Almost Missouri

    So the Nobel Peacenik wasn’t on board?

    This picture rivals that of the Starbucks megaphone. Great (accidental?) photography.

  7. Bitfu says:
    @Almost Missouri

    I thought the same thing. But then I thought about Michelle. I am no longer thinking the same thing.

    Michelle Obama—that’s just a long, difficult day right there.

  8. bored identity strongly believes that this vibrant red would pair better with her fingernails:

    Enchanté !

    • Replies: @MBlanc46
  9. El Dato says:

    The fire in the cathedral (which has fortunately caused a lot less damage than initially portrayed), only affects people who will visit Paris before it re-opens in 2024.

    The damage has not been properly assessed yet, the previous architect said on TV that the damage may be more apparent than visible as the vault has been exposed to heat and water and may have become brittle to the point of endangering the whole structure.

  10. El Dato says:

    What’s the source of the image though?

  11. Walsh2 says:

    None of the other folks on the boat looked like they gave much of a damn either. I feel certain there were a few selfies taken by the patrons on the dinner cruise with the fire in the background and faux concerned/sad faces in the foreground. This said, Michelle is the poster child of blithe narcissism.

  12. Bill P says:

    What I remember most clearly about Notre Dame is being gruffly scolded by an old Frenchman for wearing a hat as I walked inside. I probably should have known better, but I was only ten, and my grandparents always made sure I was presentable for mass back home.

    In retrospect I should take it as a compliment as he must have known I was a Catholic boy rather than some heathen tourist.

    • Replies: @e
  13. Dave Pinsen says: • Website

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  14. Stick says:

    Got to say, for a tranny, xhe nearly pulls it off.

  15. Stick says:
    @Almost Missouri

    Who wants to hang with Mooch other than Jussie?

  16. istevefan says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    The optics of that photo, forgive the pun, are terrible. Imagine Trump in such a photo with him seemingly oblivious to a magnificent piece of history burning in front of his eyes. It would be looped 24×7 on TV. It would be used to demonstrate his ignorance and narcissistic personality.

    We won’t get that in her case. The power of having the press on one’s side. You can’t put a price on it.

    • Agree: GermanReader2
  17. Mr. Anon says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    “You have been through worse, as so many of us have.”

    Yes, who can forget the tribulations of Michelle’s life. She endured the terror of wondering whether her husband might be the victim of the KKK everytime he went to the gas station. She had to toil and scrape to get that high-paying job at that hospital in Chicago (at, coincidentally, the same time her husband assumed a seat in the legislature that cave him some power over hospitals) – a job so important that, after she left it, the position was not even refilled.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
  18. yarro says:

    Is this photo for real? (I cannot see the reflection of the smoke…)

  19. @Dmitry

    Notre Dame was very heavily restored. It was more Gothic Revival than Gothic. I have to disagree with you about the damage: the roofing and spire have gone, consumed or falling to the floor. Of course, even a serious fire is going to cause little damage to the stonework, unless caused by bombs or explosions.–6mqNzhAhUmQxUIHbtxDp0QFjABegQIChAF&

    There are a lot more authentic Gothic monuments in northern France, certainly. It is good that comparatively few visit them because it enables the visitor to appreciate them better. But Notre Dame attracted over 8 million visitors a year. It was a big draw. Also, the Parisocentric mob who rule France – haven’t they always! – will be very upset about the big gaping hole in Central Paris.
    They will want it re-restored even shinier and better.
    I would prefer it was preserved as a ruined historic monument, but we’re not going to get that.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  20. @Dmitry

    Dmittry, Location,location,location. Notre Dame is in the heart of Paris. Most tours to Europe feature only the main cities and a side trip, countryside, or two.

  21. captflee says:

    Optics? Worse yet when one descries the reflection of the burning cathedral on Lt. Worf’s glass.

  22. Alfa158 says:

    You can even walk from Notre Dame to amazing churches; the chapel of Sainte Chapelle right next to Notre Dame is stunning.(No, NOT named after the edgy comedian). It is basically walled entirely in stained glass with only the minimum amount of stone needed to hold up the roof. A feat of structural engineering that has stood for 700 years. Visit it in daylight with the light pouring in. I thought what the effect must have been like on devout people in the Middle Ages used to dim utilitarian structures, visiting this place for the first time, surrounded by the glorious light with the starry sky painted roof high above. It must have been the equivalent of a virtual reality presentation of what it’s like being in Heaven.

  23. Barnard says:

    Michelle already knew the fire was happening when she got on the dinner cruise. Her driver told her about it on the way there. This isn’t a perception of indifference, she really didn’t care.

    • Replies: @Not Raul
  24. El Dato says:

    Well, I can imagine Darth Vader having a fine Coruscean wine as Endor is nuked free of Teddy Bears, but he might actually be reflecting on the terrible destruction of the biosphere of the sanctuary moon and that maybe the Empire should chill out and the tools have been become too dangerous with the launch codes available to every imperial flunky under the suns etc..

  25. Achtung, Achtung,Y’all Lazy Commenters;

    bored identity just got informed by Jack D and the rest of Way Upper Management that recently observed quantitative volatility ( as UNZ already outsourced quality metrics to EnEsEi long time ago, and EnEsEi did the same to ThreeZeroFiddy+goodTen Unit, even longer time ago) in commentary section dedicated to Sailer’s initial thread on Our Lady of Self-Immolation’s latest mishap will not be tolerated.

    How can we get even close to Faux Moon Landing, if our thirst for justice, and passion for the truth ends at lousy six hundred?

    We are currently 34 comments down from our hourly drive goal, and for any of you making your pledge and placing your comments in the next hour, nationally bored but non-public identity will match and double down your effort!

    Let’s do it for Pierre:

    p.s. Wookieleaks ain’t worth 600!

  26. @istevefan

    You’ll see it again when she runs.

    More than once.

  27. e says:
    @Bill P

    Take it as a compliment. He came from a generation of parents and grandparents who believed it to be their duty to pass along to kids guidelines about how to behave, how to show respect. It showed he not only gave a damn about his society but about you as well.

    • Replies: @JerseyJeffersonian
  28. @Almost Missouri

    How much time did Rock Hudson and Doris Day spend together when they weren’t making romance movies?

    • LOL: Dan Hayes
  29. What an astute visual observation.

    Except for his snarky putdown of pottery-derived archeological terms, I might conclude that Steve is a painter. Most people don’t notice the secret life of shadows and reflections. But if Steve was an art major, any painting of this scene would lead to an F or expulsion from the university for un-PC thoughts, regardless of the paintings’s quality.

    I have to say that the Billionaire Class—a group likely including the oppressed Obamas—really came through for Notre Dame, donating $1 billion in an hour, especially the wine connoisseurs. Along with the posh handbag manufacturers and the actors, wine guzzlers saved the world’s finest Gothic cathedral through vintage wine bids at Sotheby’s.

    Well, the cathedral is not out of the woods since the French are having a contest to decide on a “new” spire design. The people who footed the bill need to vote on it. There might be a better chance to get an historically accurate replica if the people who put the most money money on the table decide. Some academics are calling for a spire design that reflects the “new” France.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  30. @Almost Missouri

    Weird how even though they now have literally all the time in the world, the Obamas spend approximately zero of it together.

    Michelle isn’t welcome at the bathhouses.

  31. e says:

    At least M.O. has had her eyebrows softened into a curve. It beats the 2-3 years they were sharply angled. I laughed when she expressed anger over non-blacks thinking black females were always angry when she seemed to do all she could cosmetically to make herself look angry.

  32. Kylie says:

    Why would she care? She didn’t build that.

  33. @Alfa158

    Stop giving them ideas, for God’s sake!

  34. Contrast this with the reaction to the photo of Bush looking at New Orleans from Air Force 1 after Katrina. That was supposedly a sign of how awful he was, despite having a look of gravitas (or the closest to it a Bush can muster) on his face.

    This pic, on the other hand, screams Marie Antoinette.

  35. Liza says:

    And fortunately even the 18th century organ, where they can play crazy compositions by Messiaen in the evening services – has survived from the roof fire.

    I think maybe Messiaen is the least of the insults occurring.

  36. Dmitry says:

    Yes, and these coloured glasses would have been much more effecting, for less sensory-stimulated people of Medieval world

    Aldous Huxley has written about the effect, in his essay “Heaven and Hell”.

    Thanks to glass, a whole building – the Sainte-Chapelle, for example, the cathedrals of Chartres and Sens – could be turned into something magical and transporting. Thanks to glass, Paolo Uccello could design a circular jewel thirteen feet in diameter – his great window of the Resurrection, perhaps the most extraordinary single work of vision-inducing art ever produced. For the men of the Middle Ages, it is evident, visionary experience was supremely valuable. So valuable, indeed, that they were ready to pay for it in hard-earned cash. In the twelfth century collecting-boxes were placed in the churches for the upkeep and installation of stained-glass windows. Suger, the Abbot of Saint-Denis, tells us that they were always full.,Aldous,Heaven%20and%20Hell.pdf

    Fortunately, the 12th century rose windows of Notre-Dame in Paris, have all survived the fire. This fire, seems to have just destroyed the wooded roof and the 19th century spire.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  37. @Alfa158

    Sainte Chapelle is NOT named for Dave Chapelle? What’s next? The Notre Dame Cathedral is NOT named for a university located in a U.S. city run by a homosexual butt-plug?

  38. @Dmitry

    Auxerre and Strasbourg cathedrals are worth a visit before they too are torched.

  39. moshe says:

    A smart comment. Those have become rare and few around here. I think the main issue is that we evolved to be very afraid because life was DAAAAMN scary. Now that it isn’t, we’re still looking for mountain lions and mongols and mudlsides and murderers.

    It kinna sucks that this primal – idiotic – fear is still the driving force of much of the information we get. It really distorts people’s perceptions of reality.

    And, as much as I have admired and loved Steve for many years now, I think that he is not on the side of light when it comes to what to notice about the world and how to talk about those things.

    He is a superman in many ways but Agnew rightfully predicted the perrennial problem with pundits.

    “In the United States today, we have more than our share of the nattering nabobs of negativism. They have formed their own 4-H Club — the ‘hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history.’”

  40. Buck says:

    “Michelle! The people of Paris have run out of potable water!”

    “Then let them drink wine!”

  41. Anonymous[127] • Disclaimer says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    They were pals offscreen, but not in a sexual way. Rock liked shopping with her, not stuffing her. But queer as he was, he was a hell of an actor, and played the horny suitor well.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  42. Dmitry says:

    he 12th century rose windows of Notre-Dame in Paris,

    Sorry a stupid and illiterate sounding confusion of dates by me – these are 13th century windows. (When I was searching on YouTube about this topic on Monday, vIdeos about the windows only had a couple of hundred views – now after the fire, there are new videos and tens of thousands of views).

  43. Tim says:

    I found the Notre Dame cold and touristy. It did not feel at all like it was a place where the Blessed Sacrament was shared.

    However, I really loved Reims Cathedral. That is where the French historically had their coronations. That is where Joan of Arc had Charles VII crowed.

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
  44. Michelle Obama’s Seine Dinner Cruise

    IT’S A MAN, BABY !

  45. Jack D says:

    I am very partial to Chartres – it’s much more impressive than Notre Dame. Being later in the Gothic period, it executes on the concepts that were not quite fully formed or refined at the time Notre Dame was built. Despite being more or less in the middle of nowhere (even today it looms above the horizons for miles around because it is the only thing in the “skyline” of Chartres) it gets quite a few tourists and pilgrims (but nothing compared to the millions that visit Notre Dame – location location location). However, they tend to get swallowed up in the vastness of the Cathedral which was intended to hold the entire population of the town on important occasions (and then some, just to show off).

  46. Liza says:

    Linebacker Goes Upscale.

    TMZ TV has a little video of po’ Michelle’s cruise being interrupted.

  47. Not Raul says:

    How would changing her plans be the slightest bit helpful to the people fighting the fire?

    • Replies: @Alden
    , @Hibernian
  48. @Tim

    I’ve never been to Reims, but it is one of my favorite structures based on photos alone.

    Outside of France, I was most impressed by the cathedrals I visited in Majorca, Spain and Trondheim, Norway.

  49. Jack D says:

    Of course, even a serious fire is going to cause little damage to the stonework, unless caused by bombs or explosions.

    This is not quite true. Apparently some of the stonework has been weakened and become “friable” as a result of the heat. They are now removing some of the gargoyles as a way of taking some of the weight off of the damage stone. Some of the walls have moved several feet. The way they used to make lime powder for mortar was by burning limestone in a kiln. Although the building appears to be largely intact except for the roof, the damage may be worse that appears at first glance.

  50. @Alfa158

    This is a beautiful church. It has supposedly the oldest tree in Europe outside.

    I saw a piano recital there a few years back. Awesome experience.

  51. Tex says:

    Notre-Dame in Paris, is special of course, because of its history, charm, use in literature and its very romantic location in the river, in Paris. But if you rent a car, there are more architecturally impressive, and equally historically significant, cathedrals in short driving distance, in nearby areas of France.

    So what’s one cathedral more or less. Plenty more where that came from, right?

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  52. @Mr. Anon

    Mr. Anon, are you new around here? Slavery was last week, Jim Crow, yesterday.

    • Replies: @Kylie
  53. @Almost Missouri

    Now that you mention it, has anyone seen any pics of Barack Hussein or Big Mike with those two girls they rented for their White House years?

    • LOL: Alden
  54. @El Dato

    If it is possible to photoshop a propaganda image examining the evidence chain is advisable.

    If legit this is an epic shot.

  55. @Jack D

    You are right about the limestone. If it were built of top quality sandstone, or even better granite ( El Escorial, Marischal College ), this would not be a problem. But limestone is soluble and can be burnt at much lower temperatures than other building stone. Also, Notre Dame would have been built with lime mortar. If the fire got at that, movement of building blocks might occur. Also, the buttresses ( flying or not ) were put in place to deal with the stresses caused by the superstructure and roof. These stresses are now diminished: how will this affect the building ?
    So I stand corrected. I still vainly hope that they will stabilise the building and preserve it as a ruined historic monument, rather than Restoration Macron and all its attendant carbuncles.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
  56. Kylie says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    And Emmett Till is happening right this minute!

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  57. @Jack D

    Jack, a good team of engineers can design new roof framing using structural steel and actually make the trusses lighter than the original, massive oak timbers. I don’t know if there would be a need to re-roof with lead sheets, some lighter product, made to resemble lead, could be used.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Buck Ransom
  58. probably time for an open thread to discuss what actually caused the fire.

    it’s an interesting case, because the construction companies and various contractors will be trying like hell to prove they didn’t cause it. they’re on the hook for billions in damage, and a historic level of reputation ruin.

    i’ve already read that they proved they had zero workers in the building when the fire started and the electricity was shut off.

    this is a building that went over 800 years mostly lit by open flames, and never burned down. so it’s going to burn down from modern construction under ultra oppressive fire codes, regulation, OSHA rules, and so forth? the safety codes in 2019 EU must be stifling.

    possible. but less likely than the alternatives.

  59. Dmitry says:

    The most important parts of the cathedral (which includes the windows) have survived. Main loss is the wooded roof, and this 19th century spire.

    Loss of the wooded roof is sad, because the original old wood is lost. However, they will restore it externally to be the same. They might use different building materials however – for example, titanium in the roof. There is a debate about this topic now.

    Restoration of the roof will be by the best experts in France, and obviously they will do very high quality work there. .

    Lost 19th century lead spire is of much less historical value, and was not part of the original cathedral.

    Off topic. Really sad,is some church “restorations” in Russia, where the original building is destroyed (sometimes the oldest building in the city), and then replaced with a kitsch new building.I can post about some of these tragedies, but it might be too away from the subject.

  60. @Dmitry

    Well, Olivier Messiaen was a devout, and mystical Catholic who well understood both the transcendence and the immanence of God. That’s how one embraces the mysteries of incarnate existence in the first place.

    An anecdote…
    Messiaen was serving as a soldier at the beginning of the 2nd WW, was captured, and sent to a prisoner of war camp.

    He found other French musicians also in the camp, fine players of violin, clarinet, and violoncello, and himself being a fine pianist, he set to composing for these forces.

    The German officer in charge of the camp was a man of culture, knew of Messiaen, and gave permission for a performance of the work he had composed for this group, his Quartet for the End of Time, a work based upon the Biblical Book of the Apocalypse, meditations on the meaning of the End Time.

    The concert was held under the open sky with the temperature running below freezing to the rapturous silence of the assemble prison camp internees.

    This is why the music of Messiaen belonged in the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Music of a man of faith, a man of the old days of France, when to be a Catholic Christian was not to be derogated and scorned by the soi dissant progressives.

    Here is a performance by the chamber ensemble Tashi. It may not be your cup of tea, granted; but Messiaen makes use of the both the harsh and the consonant materials proffered by the world to present his vision of the higher harmony behind all, the love and mercy of God.

    On this Good Friday, respects to you, and Vive la France.

    • Agree: Desiderius
    • Replies: @baythoven
  61. Dmitry says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    Would it be too philistine to use EPDM lining inside the roof? (Obviously between layers, so it would not be visible).

    The material has not been tested over centuries. But in the years it’s been available, it seems to be the completely durable, lightweight, fire-retardant (in some newer designs) and non-degradable material as roof lining when competently installed.

  62. bored identity always strongly believed that Hal stands for Haleem:

    A “computer glitch” may have been behind the fast-spreading fire that ravaged Notre Dame, the cathedral’s rector said Friday, as architects and construction workers tried to figure out how to stabilize the damaged structure and protect it from the elements.

  63. Jack D says:
    @Endgame Napoleon

    an historically accurate replica

    Which history? The spire that fell was not the original.

    People hated the glass pyramid in the Louvre at first but now they like it. The Reichstag looks better with a glass dome. I could see doing something with glass that would be better than le Duc’s wood and lead monstrosity.

    Some academics are calling for a spire design that reflects the “new” France


    I don’t think thatch or goatskin would really go that well. And a minaret would look out of place.

  64. @Verymuchalive

    Very, From my very limited knowledge of buttresses, they are designed to take the roof load off the walls (allowing for window walls) and transfer it to the foundation. Flying buttresses took some of the roof load off the buttresses. They don’t exert a load on the walls.

  65. @Buffalo Joe

    Will the replacement of oak timbers by steel or some other material affect the acoustics inside the cathedral? I realize there is a vaulted ceiling beneath the frame for the roof, but it may still be a consideration.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
  66. @Jack D

    Jack, a glass roof would still need trusses to support it and would eliminate the soaring, arched ceilings that are a feature of Gothic Cathedrals.

    • Replies: @Buck Ransom
    , @Jack D
  67. @Dmitry

    Dmitry, my experience, not expertise, is structural steel. I don’t know what EPDM is. But today they have carbon fiber that can be used in many applications.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @Dmitry
  68. @e

    That’s not the way Ta Nehissifit Coates took another similar incident. But there ya go.

  69. Anonymous[288] • Disclaimer says:

    From an old SciFi story, where a time traveler is sent back to the Blitz to help save St Paul’s Cathedral from Luftwaffe incendiary bombs (I can see some logical problems with the premise), knowing full well that it was (will be?) nuked by communists in 2006:

    See also (more data than you can take):

    That was a pretty good story when I read it in the 80s.

    December 31 – I am having to write this in bits and pieces. My hands are in pretty bad shape, and Dunworthy’s boys didn’t help matters much. Kivrin comes in periodically, wearing her St Joan look, and smears so much salve on my hands that I can’t hold a pencil.

    St Paul’s Station is not there, of course, so I got out at Holborn and walked, thinking about my last meeting with Dean Matthews on the morning after the burning of the city. This morning.

    “I understand you saved Langby’s life,” he said. “I also understand that between you, you saved St Paul’s last night.”

    I showed him the letter from my uncle and he stared at it as if he could not think what it was. “Nothing stays saved forever,” he said, and for a terrible moment I thought he was going to tell me Langby had died. “We shall have to keep on saving St Paul’s until Hitler decides to bomb something else.”

    The raids on London are almost over, I wanted to tell him. He’ll start bombing the countryside in a matter of weeks. Canterbury, Bath, aiming always at the cathedrals. You and St Paul’s will both outlast the war and live to dedicate the fire watch stone.

    “I am hopeful, though,” he said. “I think the worst is over.”

    “Yes, sir.” I thought of the stone, its letters still readable after all this time. No sir, the worst is not over.

    I managed to keep my bearings almost to the top of Ludgate Hill. Then I lost my way completely, wandering about like a man in a graveyard. I had not remembered that the rubble looked so much like the white plaster dust Langby had tried to dig me out of. I could not find the stone anywhere. In the end I nearly fell over it, jumping back as if I had stepped on a body.

    It is all that’s left. Hiroshima is supposed to have had a handful of untouched trees at ground zero. Denver the capitol steps. Neither of them says, “Remember men and women of St Paul’s Watch who by the grace of God saved this cathedral.” The grace of God.

    Part of the stone is sheared off. Historians argue there was another line that said, “for all time,” but I do not believe that, not if Dean Matthews had anything to do with it. And none of the watch it was dedicated to would have believed it for a minute. We saved St Paul’s every time we put out an incendiary, and only until the next one fell. Keeping watch on the danger spots, putting out the little fires with sand and stirrup pumps, the big ones with our bodies, in order to keep the whole vast complex structure from burning down. Which sounds to me like a course description for History Practicum 401. What a fine time to discover what historians are for when I have tossed my chance for being one out the windows as easily as they tossed the pinpoint bomb in! No, sir, the worst is not over.

    There are flash burns on the stone, where legend says the Dean of St Paul’s was kneeling when the bomb went off. Totally apocryphal, of course, since the front door is hardly an appropriate place for prayers. It is more likely the shadow of a tourist who wandered in to ask the whereabouts of the Windmill Theatre, or the imprint of a girl bringing a volunteer his muffler. Or a cat.

    Nothing is saved forever, Dean Matthews, and I knew that when I walked in the west doors that first day, blinking in the gloom, but it is pretty bad nevertheless. Standing here knee-deep in rubble out of which I will not be able to dig any folding chairs or friends, knowing that Langby died thinking I was a Nazi spy, knowing that Enola came one day and I wasn’t there. It’s pretty bad.

    But it is not as bad as it could be. They are both dead, and Dean Matthews too, but they died without knowing what I knew all along, what sent me to my knees in the Whispering Gallery, sick with grief and guilt: that in the end none of us saved St Paul’s. And Langby cannot turn to me, stunned and sick at heart, and say, “Who did this? Your friends the Nazis?” And I would have to say, “No, the communists.” That would be the worst.

    I have come back to the room and let Kivrin smear more salve on my hands. She wants me to get some sleep. I know I should pack and get gone. It will be humiliating to have them come and throw me out, but I do not have the strength to fight her. She looks so much like Enola.

  70. @Jack D

    I liked the pyramid at first, but the Louvre is a glorified warehouse. I’d like to see Notre Dame without a spire at all. Moms don’t need spires.

    • Replies: @Buck Ransom
  71. @Buffalo Joe

    Moreover, a Gothic cathedral is not supposed to be a light-trap. It is a somber environment with a low level of light entering through the stained-glass windows, supplemented by candlelight. It is not the atrium of a Las Vegas hotel.

    • Agree: Buffalo Joe
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  72. a reader says:

    At least Michelle O. refrained to smirk as did President Macron & Prime Minister Philippe on their way to the disaster.

  73. @Desiderius

    Some people commenting in the French press suggest that an updated version of the spire more suitable for Current Year could be a lovely sculpted figure of Emmanuel Macron.

  74. Jack D says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    No, not the entire roof. Just the pointy antenna-like spire in the middle . The one that fell down was not the original anyway.

  75. Jack D says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    EDPM is a rubber like material that is sometimes used for flat roofs nowadays . You may be familiar with it as the material they use for above ground swimming pool liners.

    For the roof of a cathedral some sort of metal roof (aluminum?) makes more sense. It could be painted or anodized into a lead color and from a distance you wouldn’t be able to tell that it wasn’t actually lead. Or since they have a billion $ budget something high techy – titanium, which is naturally sort of lead colored.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Buffalo Joe
  76. Dmitry says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    Roof of Notre-Dam is covered with lead.

    EPDM is usually used as an external cover for flat roofs, but you could use it not less as the membrane for the pitched roof, and disguise it with any kind of replica lead covers. As long as no-one makes a hole in it, the rubber itself would probably be water sealed for centuries. It has not been tested so long, but it is extremely non-degradable and there are fire-retardant versions.

    In Westminster Cathedral, they actually installed a PVC roof, and did not even try to disguise it. .

    But for Salisbury Cathedral, they had preferred to replace the original lead, although they added PVC components around some parts.

    Obviously I sound like a philistine. And French are fussy, so will probably recreate the original lead roof system for Notre-Dame.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
  77. TheJester says:

    I didn’t think I had anything other than an OT place to drop this in. Michelle, thank you. You have a compatriot in Sofia Leung (below) in toasting the end of Western Civilization … replacing whites with POC who are reclaiming the history and technology stolen from them and documented in libraries and histories by evil white usurpers.

    BTW: Wasn’t that the underlying theme in the cartoon movie, “Black Panther” … that Black Africa would have made it to the moon before whites if whites had not pillaged their civilization?

    Let’s get to the root of the problem: Who created and financed Barack and Michelle Obama’s political careers? Who gives these “crazies” a megaphone? Who takes action to ensure that alternate points of view (that is, the white perspective) are systematically denied a megaphone?

    Why stop at burning books, when libraries themselves are ‘sites of whiteness,’ librarian suggests — Helen Buyniski (RT)


    White men and their ideas take up too much space in libraries, a social justice-obsessed librarian has declared, stopping just short of suggesting we burn all those oppressive white men’s books to make way for diversity.

    “White dudes writing about white ideas, white things, or idea, people and things they stole from POC [people of color] and then claimed as white property” are hogging all the space in American libraries, and it’s perpetuating centuries of racial inequity, Massachusetts Institute of Technology librarian Sofia Leung has claimed in a post that tiptoes around the question of what is to be done with this “so-called ‘knowledge.’” Her outburst was retweeted by the Library Journal – a publication normally devoted to discussing the preservation of knowledge rather than the rejection of entire categories of it.

    Library collections continue to promote and proliferate whiteness with their very existence and the fact that they are physically taking up space in our libraries.

    “Libraries filled with mostly white collections indicates that we don’t care about what POC think, we don’t care to hear from POC themselves, we don’t consider POC to be scholars, we don’t think POC are as valuable, knowledgeable, or as important as white people,” she writes. While she conspicuously avoids finishing the thought – squirming out of the obvious conclusion with the excuse that “I still have some thinking to do around this topic” – it’s pretty obvious where she’s leading, especially when she mentions “Swedish death cleaning,” the practice of getting rid of one’s possessions upon realizing one is near death, so as not to leave a mess for loved-ones to clean up.

    Leung also brings in Marie Kondo – a celebrity “personal organizer” who preaches that mental clarity comes from throwing away one’s possessions. While libraries ever since Alexandria have focused, to the point of obsession, on accumulating as much knowledge as possible within their walls, Leung seems to think librarians have been doing it wrong all these centuries, suggesting it’s time to start getting all that white clutter under control, lest they become complicit in centuries of white male oppression.

    Many defenders of identity politics accuse their paler opponents of “white fragility,” claiming that any defensive reactions to attacks on “white people” are themselves a devious (if subconscious) means of maintaining the racial status quo by refusing to participate in a healing dialogue. They insist that there’s no reason for white people to feel as if they’re under attack – that surely there’s enough room for everyone in our brave new world. Leung’s “thought exercise” suggests not everyone is that tolerant – and it’s no surprise, given how thoroughly “western civilization” – to say nothing of “whiteness” – has been demonized in modern “woke” social-justice rhetoric.

    It’s also enormously ironic that, in an age when more information is accessible than ever before when libraries are increasingly becoming digitized to the point that “taking up space” is barely relevant, she’s chosen that particular aspect of white “oppression” as her focus. Library shelf space is less of a zero-sum game than at any time in history, suggesting she has something else in mind – overpopulation, perhaps? White people are sitting on some prime real estate…

    Accusing all library collections of “continu[ing] to promote and proliferate whiteness,” Leung finishes by claiming libraries were “meant to” exclude “Black, Indigenous, People of Color” – and that they continue to do so, citing a recent incident at her alma mater, Barnard College, in which a security guard attempted to forcibly remove a black student. These “sites of whiteness,” as she refers to her employer, are “paid for using money that was usually ill-gotten and at the cost of black and brown lives via the prison industrial complex, the spoils of war, etc.”

    So it’s not just the books we have to burn, but apparently the libraries themselves! Instead of calling on her readers to pick up their pitchforks and head for the nearest university, Leung asked her readers for feedback – so long as they didn’t disagree with her. “Don’t bother with those types of comments,” she concluded.

    • Replies: @Henry's Cat
    , @Buffalo Joe
  78. @Dmitry

    “only affects people who will visit Paris before it re-opens in 2024

    Care to put any money on that predicted date?

  79. Dmitry says:
    @Jack D

    Lol, yes even some expensive, high tech titanium covering, probably is more likely than my rubber membrane idea.

    The problem is roof of Notre-Dame in Paris has a high pitch, so the roof covering is externally quite visible.

    So what they have to avoid is using something which is visibly different from the lead appearance (for example, they need to avoid one which has an appearance of tiles in different shape to the original sheets). I guess they will just recreate the original lead covering.

  80. @Buck Ransom

    They recently cleaned the soot off the interior at Chartres and discovered the original was painted in astonishingly light colors, kind of like how Rembrandt’s “Night Watch” turned out to be a daytime scene.

    • Replies: @Buck Ransom
  81. Michelle Obama has some startlingly out-of-touch opinions. She complained to other black women about how much ballet classes and summer camp cost. She said this to women who were maybe one step above poverty.
    Her time spent in the gym and going shopping are other examples of a rich-lady’s delusion.
    And I’m sure Melania is just as bad, but I doubt that she’s as oblivious towards it.

  82. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    Also did a superb job on A Gathering of Eagles, which I have been told over and over by SAC vets as the only really authentic portrayal of what SAC was really like on film. No one before or since really got it right.

    He was definitely homo though, and from all accounts he and Doris Day were friends offscreen.

  83. @TheJester

    Are you suggesting Steve’s in collusion with RT?

    • Replies: @El Dato
  84. Michelle Obama’s memoir is on course to become the most popular autobiography to date, according to its publisher.

    Becoming, first published just five months ago, has already sold more than 10 million copies, Bertelsmann said.

    “We believe that these memoirs could well become the most successful memoir ever,” said Thomas Rabe, chief executive of the German firm.

    The firm paid $60m (£48m) in 2017 for the rights to the book alongside that of former US President Barack Obama.

    Mr Obama’s book is yet to be published.

    Manuscripts don’t burn….alas. Will this be the most unread book since Hawking’s A Brief History of Time?

    • LOL: bored identity
    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
  85. guest says:

    Obama does realize he has European ancestors, right? I mean, it’s been explained to him.

    • Replies: @Alden
  86. @Dmitry

    One problem with EPDM is the risk of dehydration and hyperthermia.

  87. @Jack D

    Which history? The spire that fell was not the original.

    The fallen spire is part of the modern history of Paris.

    I could see doing something with glass …

    It’s always Kristallnacht and Kristalltag with youse guys.

    … that would be better than le Duc’s wood and lead monstrosity

    The spire was great, fitting, neo-Gothic Romanticism. It only needed a cleaning.

  88. baythoven says:

    Maybe someone will appreciate this wonderfully performed aria from Bach’s St. John Passion.

  89. baythoven says:

    Thanks for the info. Just want to say, for great organ works by a devout Catholic, the French already have the top man: Cesar Franck.

  90. Alden says:

    St Chappell’s my favorite. There’s one in Germany. If you look up at the arches you see the designer replicated the tree branches in a forest. I really like all the European paganism and symbols and tree and nature worship in the cathedrals.

  91. @Buck Ransom

    Buck, valid point, but to restore they would need to rebuild the vaulted ceiling. The trusses are above that elevation and supported the roof. The ceiling was supported by masonary arches called centerings. Those could be replaced by steel also but the acoustics would be affected by the ceiling, no?

  92. Currahee says:
    @El Dato

    No, no, no.
    Photos were taken years ago.
    That’s James Brown in a wig.

  93. Bugg says:

    No danger of either Obama going to pay respects at Normandy after the Mrs. leaving office. Nor for that mater going to someplace as fun as the Riviera nor as subtly beautiful as Monet’s gardens.

  94. @Jack D

    Jack, good thought, there are many ways to make a metal sheet look like lead, or even a copper patina.

  95. @Dmitry

    Dmitry, Fussy yes, but probably frugal enough to go with what ever looks best and costs less. You are no Philistine my friend.

  96. Alden says:
    @Not Raul

    Very true. In my expert opinion Michelle is a real woman, not a man. Proof is in the fat deposits on her hips and thighs. Those fat deposits are there for the purpose of helping excrete hormones that cause ovulation pregnancy and induce labor. Men, even if way obese just don’t have those fat deposits on hips and thighs.

    I’m from San Francisco and all my life I observed tranny men . The lack of fat on hips and thighs is as much s give away as the hands and Adam’s apple.
    Tranny men used to wear skirts which hid their skinny male hips and thighs. Now they wear pants and it’s very obvious if you walk behind them and look at the square shaped thin male hips.

    Michelle’s got standard female fat hips and thighs. It doesn’t matter how broad her shoulders are or how tall she is. She’s a woman. There are hundreds of unflattering pictures of Michelle’s backside and thighs. She’s a woman with the standard pear shape of most White and black woman.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @El Dato
  97. @TheJester

    The Jester, add to my list of reparations…separate but equal libraries. Should be plenty of space for knick knacks on the shelves.

  98. Alden says:
    @prime noticer

    I agree, exactly my opinion.

  99. Anon[117] • Disclaimer says:

    Yeah, while Michelle was drinking her wine, all the white people on the cruise broke out in Gregorian chant and dropped to their knees to say the Rosary in Latin…

    In reality, if you look at the pictures from the cruise, the white people aren’t any different in demeanor from Michelle.

    This blogpost reveals more about Steve than Michelle. He’s just passive aggressively virtue signalling racialism and full of resentment that some uppity black woman is going on cruises on the Seine.

    • Replies: @Hibernian
  100. Hibernian says:
    @Not Raul

    The optics of the First Lady of the World going on a cruise in Paris while Notre Dame was burning are not good.

    • Replies: @James Speaks
  101. Alden says:

    He only met his father once and was raised by a White mother Asian stepfather and White grandparents in one of the least black states in the country.

  102. @Hibernian

    Ugly Witch of the North

    HRC would be the Ugly Witch of the South

  103. @Steve Sailer

    That would be a similar situation to the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. When centuries of soot and a glue-like substance (that had been used for restorations in past centuries) were removed, the brown and ochre and black hues gave way to Michaelangelo’s original vivid colors.

    But in both cases, those bright colors were meant to be viewed in a space with limited available light.

    • Agree: Desiderius
  104. @Alden

    Michelle’s basketball executive brother is 6’5″ and was two-Ivy League basketball player of the year. She’s from a family of large, strong people. Her daughters are tall, too.

  105. MBlanc46 says:
    @bored identity

    Bored identity is being naughty.

  106. This one is purported to be “The last music sung in Notre-Dame de Paris by the choir”

  107. Interfered? Hah. My ass. The spectacle was scheduled entertainment. Chardonnay’s bouquet is enriched by the lingering scent of burning oak, donchya know?

  108. El Dato says:
    @Henry's Cat

    I have no doubt that RT’s reading iSteve

  109. @prime noticer

    Re ‘an open thread to discuss what actually caused the fire’ –

    For those inclined to question the ‘official story’, Aangirfan on her site, has been running a large Notre Dame thread, of many of the suspicious things about this event

    Indeed it’s curious how quickly they announced the ‘accident’ theory, whilst the fire was still raging and investigators could not even enter the area

  110. Vinteuil says:
    @Jack D

    People hated the glass pyramid in the Louvre at first but now they like it.

    “People,” generally speaking “like” what they’re told to like.

    …le Duc’s wood and lead monstrosity.

    Seriously? “monstrosity?”

    So what do you think of Sacré-Cœur (1875-1914), or Церковь Спаса на Крови (1883-1907)?

    Personally, I totally love 19th-century homages to historic styles. It’s an important part of art history.

  111. @prime noticer

    Under Socialist leadership it is always an accident.

  112. Hibernian says:

    So those white people were just as guilty as she was. Wasn’t there a safety hazard going on the river at that time? I think Notre Dame is very close to the seine.

  113. @Jack D

    I don’t think thatch or goatskin would really go that well. And a minaret would look out of place.

    Why do you say that? It worked so well in Haggia Sophia !

  114. @Henry's Cat

    ” Said Thomas Rabe, chief executive of the German firm”

    Well first of all the insane Germans worship BO/MO more fervently than any other peoples on planet mirth, so what else would you expect them to say about a vacuous publication dedicated to their idol.

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army vet, and pro jazz artist.

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