The Aurora Tragedy and a Wall in Paris


It has 612 tiles and measures 430 square feet. It’s located in the Monmarte district of Paris, near the Abbesses metro station. I saw it last June and didn’t think much about it, until now.

Le mur des je t’aime. The I Love You Wall.

I keep trying to make sense of last week’s tragedy in Aurora, Colorado — but there’s none to be made. Families, friends, and lovers went to the movies, and they died. We’ve all read countless articles about the gunman, victims, survivors, gun control laws, and security. It would be helpful to conjure enough of an argument against gratuitous violence in action films and video games that would convince the film and gaming industries to dial it down. It would be effective to provide mental healthcare to everyone who needs it. But Hollywood makes billions of dollars, we’re going to keep fighting in wars, and there will always be things beyond our control. Virtual violence will keep getting more severe. I feel so sad and helpless that I want to move everyone I know to a small, pastoral fantasy town with a Main Street and a golden guarantee that no one will ever get hurt.


For me, it keeps going back to that cobalt wall in Paris that says “I love you” in 250 languages. It doesn’t remove our inescapable pain or alleviate the dense fear that something like this could happen again. It simply promotes peace.