A tweet was gaining traction online recently, pointing out how odd that Northern Ireland was calm while much of the West was ablaze with race riots and public disorder.
It was gallows humour, of course, for while we face into another potentially peaceful summer - occasioned this year by the coronavirus - the approach of July in these parts has typically been much less serene.
For decades - centuries even - frayed tensions, naked sectarianism and ugly street violence have framed the marching season.
Next Saturday marks 50 years since the Battle of St Matthew's in east Belfast and the long hot summer of 1970.
Also known as the Battle of Short Strand, it was a seminal moment in the course of the conflict here, foreshadowing the emergence of the Provisional IRA.
"It is one of those moments which is really crucial if you are looking at the evolution of the IRA," Peter Taylor told Sunday Life.
The 77-year-old, a young reporter at the time but now an eminent authority on the Troubles, investigated the events of that night, conducting several interviews with the late Billy McKee, one of the founders of the Provos and commander of the Belfast Brigade.
McKee was seriously wounded that Saturday as a small band of republicans fought an overnight gun battle with loyalists while the Army, already badly overstretched in other parts of the city, looked on.
"They (the Provos) had only been in being since the end of the previous December, 1969, and the IRA was humiliated because their prime job in Belfast was to defend the nationalist areas. They failed in that. There were signs on the walls saying, 'IRA, I Ran Away' which really hurt the IRA and their reputation in the eyes of many nationalists they were supposed to defend.
"Under Billy McKee the Provisionals reorganised and were determined not to be embarrassed a second time round."
The humiliation Taylor speaks of was the routing of Catholic areas the summer before, culminating in the torching of Bombay Street on August 15, where scores of families were burned out of their homes. A year on and with reports Short Strand and St Matthew's Church were under attack from loyalists returning from an Orange parade, McKee and his IRA unit which included Denis Donaldson, murdered as an informer in 2006, were determined to hit back.
By the following morning, three people lay dead, Protestants Robert Neill and James McCurrie, and Catholic Henry McIlhone, fatally wounded while fighting alongside McKee.
"What St Matthew's Church showed was that the IRA were back in business and had weapons, those weapons were thought to come from the Lower Falls," explained Taylor.
"The unionist government was horrified the IRA had guns, so the following weekend, the Falls Road was curfewed by the Army and the Falls Road Curfew was one of those events which led to the alienation of the Catholic community who only the year before had welcomed the soldiers as saviours. So if you put those two together, the IRA regaining credibility and the actions of the Army, now seen as the enemy by many nationalists, those two weekends are absolutely critical if you are looking at the evolution of the conflict and the IRA."
These days peace has broken out over Short Strand. Yet while it remains essentially what it was back then, a nationalist enclave in a loyalist heartland and a lightning rod for tensions and sporadic skirmishes, the political context now and then could scarcely be more different.
In 1970, unionist rule was still in the ascendancy, the civil rights movement its infancy, and Northern Ireland was drawing ever closer to all-out, guerilla war.
Crucially too, the Tory government elected just weeks earlier had little handle on the nuances of politics here and no idea how to quell the tinderbox situation.
On a return flight to London after his first visit to take the political temperature of the province, Home Secretary Reginald Maudling was reported to have remarked: "My God, give me a Scotch, what a bloody awful place." In short, Northern Ireland was ripe for chaos.
There are opposing narratives over what happened on that weekend 50 years ago. Residents of the Short Strand claim they were besieged, their loyalist neighbours that they were lured into a trap.
"This is my view and I wasn't there at the time, but I investigated it pretty thoroughly for my Provos book and television series," added Taylor.
"I think it was the IRA responding to attacks but it's complicated because many of these incidents over the years have been triggered by loyalist marches, not that loyalists set out to trigger them, but that's the way things just evolve, so getting to the bottom of who taunted whom is difficult."
If it was tricky to be categoric at the time, it's nigh on impossible all these years later.
Either way, whatever the sequence of events, the bottom line as ever in the Troubles was the same. Mothers left to mourn sons, more widows created, children without fathers.
With the benefit that comes from living at a remove, Peter Taylor hopes and believes that Northern Ireland is a changed place and that we will never go back.
"The Belfast I knew in the 70s to the Belfast today is totally unrecognisable," he said. "I love Northern Ireland, I have many friends there from all sides and the peace is pretty secure.
"There is a threat from the dissidents, the threat is serious, but I don't see Belfast and Derry/Londonderry returning to the terrible situation of years gone by."