I’m usually up at about 3 a.m if I’m writing. I hit the TV button for BBC News for a few minutes while my tea cools. Lat night I was in time to see the first mine rescue in Chile. Much as I wish these lads well, the coverage nauseated me. Sky was even worse, with ‘experts’ talking about ‘triage’, trauma and other claptrap. Sue made me switch off and make some toast before she went off to work. The same coverage is on now some 15 hours later. Nothing of any significance is happening, though one wishes all well.
The media fest is truly bloody awful. But really, part from the good news of the rescue, this story is boring and of little consequence beyond the families. Yet there it is, on all channels, hour after minute after hour, with some ‘expert’ buffoons trying to tell us how brilliant it all is. If Cameron had greeted me, rescued from a similar hole, I suspect I’d have said, ‘piss off Dave, I need a shower’.
What is going on? Has the balloon gone up? Is an alien government installing itself and using this as a diversion? Are mine rescues Channel Four’s replacement for Big Brother (will Jordan’s tits fit in the rescue capsule)? Four or five thousand people die in mines in India and China every year – is it the lack of jester hats there amongst grieving families that makes coverage too uninteresting?
Sentiments I echo with regularity. Our media outlets (in particular Sat-TV) is often nausious to the extreme. The fact they often had to ‘make’ news to fill the 6am, 1pm, 6pm and 10pm slots has been compounded by the 24hr bollox!
It would be interesting to know if anyone is watching the coverage. I’ve see a little Big Brother whilst zapping and that’s too much for me – but there are apparently morons who watch the filth. Maybe there’s a market for a ‘mine rescue Olympiad’, but if so I want to know more about why brains want to function in such a manner.
Indeed, “why brains want to function in such a manner” has always been a profound and pressing mystery to me. There is one thing for which I am sure; you have an inherent ability to stoke my pyre of scepticism with yet another cynical log!
While I’m delighted that the miners could be rescued, one of the things that I find slightly sickening about all the hype is how little is being said about why the miners were in this mess in the first place. Working for pittances in pits where the owners ignored basic safety procedures (with the collusion of the authorities) to make profits on copper on the world markets.
The wonders of globalisation! Germany is currently phasing out the last of its coalmines in the Ruhr and the Saarland because it’s too expensive to mine coal here (shades of Britain in the 80s). Meanwhile thousands of miners die every year in coalmines in Russia, the Ukraine and, above all, China, where coalmining is still profitable because labour costs are so cheap and nothing is spent on safety. Aluminium is extracted in Hungary – with dire results for human life and the whole environment – because western multi-nationals find it easier to have this kind of work done where life and work is cheap. The conditions under which all sorts of rarer minerals are mined in Africa beggar description.
All so that we can buy laptops for €500.
Spot on Francis – I’ve just caught a glimpse of ‘Chile is an example to the whole world’ “news” that totally misses your point.