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The disaster of the Space Shuttle 17/03/03

From: Simeon
Category: Other stuff
Date: 17 March 2003


I am concerned by the lack of fellow feeling in the world. What has happened to human empathy and compassion?

I was having a bath recently. I came out of the batch and felt obliged to say hello to my flatmates two friends. They had been watching The Matrix and some other Hollywood blockbuster.

After making small talk I went upstairs, got dressed and listened to the news. While I was listening news of the shuttle disaster came on the radio. I was immediately struck by the brutality of it. That something so lofty, and magical as travelling to space could end so banally and swiftly.

I returned to the living room and shared the news with the three people crowded around the television. They had been drinking and were generally in a rowdy mood.

After I explained what had happened a girl started to immediately say the Americans are full of shit and they deserved it. She spoke about Israel and Palestine but in a very uninformed, general, ranting way.

Her boyfriend expressed similar opinions thought preferred to sup his beer instead. I listened and felt saddened by their casualness and boredom at tragedy. I said something like: "where is your humanity, empathy" ? My comments were more or less dismissed or ignored.

This experience and countless others in the London of 20O3 make me very upset. I think people are gradually becoming more and more detached. The impending war in Iraq will be viewed by many in the same way.

Shouldn't we suspend cynicism and try not to be so bored? I am not suggesting we do anything specific but the kind of people who watch disasters on the internet as email attachments and routinely seem not to give a fuck are gradually erasing their capacity to feel full stop.

Just some thoughts. "There are two paths you can go down but in the long run there is still time to change the road your on."


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