22.06.2023 | Mainly Thoughts on The News

Prologue | Thoughts. So many thoughts about so many things, that I often can’t decide which to even try to untangle and turn into a coherent post. In the end I often don’t even try and then feel bad about that. Ugh! The whole day today felt a bit jumbled as well. The forecast warned about huge thunderstorms and chaos and while there had been quite a bit of rain at some point early afternoon, disaster hasn’t struck yet in my area. It kept raining, but not as much as I expected. I was a bit underwhelmed to be honest. But still every drop of rain is welcome these days….

View of the backyard, tiled area, green plants above, tiled steps on the right

“Lost at Sea” | I assume I’m not the only one with sort of an eye to the rescue mission for the passengers of the submersible (a term I hadn’t known before) “Titan” somewhere around the wreck of the Titanic. I admit I missed the beginning of this news cycle. I don’t regularly watch the news these days and I get my news mostly via social media. I realize that makes me a bit complicit in the whole “uninformed society” problem. I do get some newsletters, I catch the 5 minute news on the car radio every other day and every other weekend I might buy a proper newspaper. I should get used to at least watching one proper news show each day to keep up to date in a broader fashion.

Over the past few years I’ve realized that I tend to keep “the news” at a distance. Last week for instance I also missed most of the first news about the capsized ship with hundreds of people trying to reach Europe. I know I’m privileged in the way that I can ignore the news without having to worry about how the news will affect my life or livelihood. And I don’t keep the news at bay because I don’t care. I think I sometimes care too much and can’t keep the necessary emotional distance to not get dragged down by all the suffering and conflicts. Anyway re: the drama unfolding in the north Atlantic right now I caught myself being emotionally detached for a different reason. It’s sad to think that those five people most probably will have died by now. But after reading a few more details about the whole endeavour, the price of the trip and all that, I caught myself feeling less empathetic. They knew the risk. They supposedly signed a waiver saying that the company can’t be sued by their families in case this trip ends deadly.

I’ve read a few statements from psychologists and such in which they try to explain why we care more about the five men stuck in this tiny box underwater in the North Atlantic than about the hundreds and thousands of men, women and children who die namelessly in the Mediterranean each year. These experts’ assumption is that we can relate more to the rich, western men on a fun adventure than to the poor families fleeing from Africa or the Middle East. That thought had crossed my mind before I read all those experts opinion. But even after considering their words once more I have to disagree.

I can get into the mindset of a person feeling the need to leave their home country because of violence or poverty or any of the many other valid reasons. I hope to never to get into this situation and I also know that – privileged as I am – I’d probably still wouldn’t be at risk to drown at sea, because I could probably pay for a safer way to get out of my country and into a safer one. But I can imagine being in that situation.

Never in a million years can I get into the mindset of a person paying $250.000 to be allowed to climb into a tiny box, dive down to the bottom of the sea to then do… what exactly? Look through a tiny window out into murky waters to catch glimpses of a scrapyard? Because that’s basically what’s the remains of the Titanic are. To glide over the remains of the many poor perished people who went down with the ship? To scratch an itch of sensationalism and hope to glimpse some human remains? To be able to say “I went down there and saw the Titanic?” I don’t fucking get it.

So yeah, I have a hard time to feel sorry for those five men on that tiny sub. There I said it! I feel sad for their families though, because I doubt these five will make it out alive. Or maybe never be recovered at all and that’s a hard thing to live with for any relative, I’d think.

Epilogue | I had a few other things I had wanted to write about, but it feels a bit weird to now write elaborately about regular, every-day kind of stuff. I had a kind of good week at work. Productive meetings. Nice co-workers. Lovely time with ex-co-workers. All the socialsing has been a bit exhausting, but still nice.

I’ve been doing quite a bit of “reading housekeeping”. Selling books I won’t read again. Restructuring my Goodreads “shelves”. Replacing both my e-readers with newer models. Privilege again to be able to do that, even though the ones I have are still functioning, but not always well. I thought about not replacing my Kindle, because I usually don’t buy by digital books for that device anymore. But I still have quite a lot of books on it or rather my Amazon account. I sent in my old one and bought a refurbished new one to at least have less guilty conscience about the resource effect. I will sell my old tolino as well instead of just putting it into the E-Waste Recycling.

Oh and on happier news: I’ll probably catch at least one proper Frank Turner headline show this year after all. He announced a few gigs duo show gigs for Scandinavia at the end of October. Tickets go on sale tomorrow at 10. Guess what I’ll do on my phone tomorrow during a networking event 🙂

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