It’s arguable that the first draft is the most honest draft. Surely that applies to history as much as it does to fiction. Thus it’s a testament to the utility of social media that we can now get a sense of the public mood during significant historical events in real time. So it is that the collective gasp of horror at the devastating terror attacks that claimed at least 129 lives in Paris tonight is recorded for posterity in all its eloquence and, occasionally, obtuse foot-in-mouth-ness. (One example of eloquence, the image at the top of the page, created by Instagram artist Jean Jullien)
We’ll spend the coming days and weeks learning just who the attackers were and what it was that motivated them, but for now we can at least find some solidarity in our shared shock. That solidarity includes the famous and anonymous alike, and unsurprisingly, as did everyone else, celebrities of all political stripes – for the most part – gaped in shock as the tragedy unfolded. Now, it’s possible that the celebrity tweet that will be most remembered from today’s horrific events is going to be the ill-advised comment from a certain sitcom star that referenced, obliquely, the Syrian refugee crisis. We’ll include it below and you can weigh in on it in comments. But I’m hopeful at least that the outpouring of support and empathy for the attacks’ victims will end up owning the narrative when the history solidifies.
Helping that along, most people with a little fame under their belts avoided politics. Here are some samples of those with a bit more spotlight on their names who weighed on social media in as events unfolded. Feel free to add your own thoughts in comments.