Great exploding volcanoes Batman! by Barbara Nadel

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As I am sure everyone knows, a volcano with a name which contains a lot of ‘i’s’ has exploded in Iceland. No-one has, as yet, been hurt by the eruption, which is a result as far as I am concerned. To the great joy of people who live underneath one of the flight paths out of Manchester International Airport, the curtailment of flights into and out of the UK has brought with it some welcome peace and quiet. Other people are, of course, stranded here or abroad and that must be very worrying, inconvenient and expensive. I have only sympathy for those caught up in what is a very trying situation. It is, as ever in this country, the coverage of this event with which I must take issue.

As usual, this story is covered in every newspaper, on every TV channel and radio station ad nauseam. Yes, we do need information about the volcano and the effect it is having on aviation and business, but do we really need words like ‘disaster’? No-one has died. Do we really need hours of speculation (with whizzy diagrams) about how the eruption may progress? It’s up to multiple ‘i’ volcano as far as I can see and he/she ain’t saying a word.

Another thing that rankles is that the media keep on calling on the British government to ‘do something’. Do what? I have no great love for PM Gordon Brown or his government or the opposition, but what, realistically, can they do? Desperate to win votes in the upcoming general election, Gordon may be persuaded to hurl his entire cabinet into the mouth of the volcano in lieu of some sort of plug. But ‘i’ volcano will just spit them all out again. I’m sure the conservative opposition would be prepared to chuck in the odd hereditary peer as a sop to the electorate, but it wouldn’t actually make any difference. Natural events happen and ‘i’ volcano will carry on doing what it does for as long as it does and it won’t give a damn what Gordon Brown, Easyjet, Nicholas Sarkozy or some girl with fake tits on Britain’s Got Talent might think about it. Maybe if I were able to go somewhere myself I might think differently. But I am confined to the UK because of my broken leg until the end of May. Accidents too can be seen as quite natural although again ‘disaster’ would be overstating the case. I broke my leg and now I have to get it better again. ‘i’ volcano is having a bit of a bad time with fire and magma. Let’s all hope he/she gets better soon and continues not to kill anyone. In the meantime, lets cut the hyperbole and help the stranded as best we can.

PS. Yes, I do know that Volcano ‘i’ doesn’t in fact have any ‘i’s’ in its name, but the first time it was reported here and I saw it, it was misspelled. Now, in my head, it remains, sadly, Volcano ‘i’.

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