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Donnerstag, September 27, 2007

Girl in a hole


Girl in a hole

A capitalistic society, or let’s call it a “market-driven” society, is celebrating suffering. We may feel connected to utilizing suffering of another person for ourselves, as we are being taught to see the suffering of Jesus Christ as “suffering for our sins”. Suffering of another person may be beneficial to us, is a lesson learned from this education.

There are more “little Jesuses” out there, even if my WORD program from Microsoft rejects the plural of “Jesus” while I am typing this. Usually it’s a disillusioned pop star or ex-model who finds life empty and senseless as soon as her body loses her firm elegance and subsequently falls to drug abuse and making a fool of herself on every occasion. The current damsel is this distress changes quarterly. Sooner or later she will be discovered in a hotel room, her jewelry in a drawer and her body full of drugs. Ah yes, note the similarity to a man or woman who has been unemployed for 10 years and finally tries to fill-in the lacking sense of his or her life with the bottle – just another drug.

World press will not follow the average unemployed drunk through all steps of self-dismemberment, but it will certainly follow the suicidal suffering of a celebrity.

But once again please note, both average drunk and celebrity are lacking the same sense in life: to do something useful for society, the ability to reproduce themselves in a meaningful work. Unfortunately there is no right to have such a meaningful part of society in a “market-driven” life, unless the market really needs you.

It was a hole full of cold water
and one of her feet was stuck
in between to iron bars in
that hole

I have never seen the suffering of another person utilized for the market as much as one time in the late 1980s or maybe very early 1990s. I forgot when it was and this being before the Internet age makes it impossible to find anything about it online. It was big in the magazines and news flashes all over the world these days. It was in Mexico, and a little girl, maybe 7 or 8 years of age, had fallen into a hole. It was a hole full of cold water and one of her feet was stuck in between to iron bars in that hole. Consequently she could not come free, her head just above the waterline and nobody could go down to reach her foot and try to cut it free. There was simply not enough space. Unfortunately she was only a local slum inhabitant, so nobody really cared about her, besides her family and neighbours who lacked the power, say “the money”, to do anything for her.

“Big crosses were standing
all over the place”

Nobody cared? Wrong! A lot of people cared. This became the No.1 news story very quickly. Soon the little girl in her hole was surrounded by an enormous amount of technology. Big crosses were standing all over the place around her hole. No, not as a religious sign, they had strong lamps attached to them, illuminating the hole in radiant light, both night and day. Countless wagons and trucks stacked full of equipment were all around her. No, no rescue teams with fancy iron cutters, but instead news reporters with Satellite transmission wagons. Those days there was no mobile phone network in the slums. Satellite telephone was extremely expensive, like a thousand dollars for a few minutes, but it was all utilized for the little girl. Well, not directly for the girl, but at least for bringing her story to the masses. The German TV made a nice shot of the scene; they showed the hole with the girl and then moved the camera backwards in a swift motion, further and further away from ground zero. What you saw where trucks and wagons and lights and communication masts. A whole city had been assembled out of the dust of the slum. For one in its entire existence, a slum somewhere in Mexico had more electronic appliances per square meter than of office in New Your City or Frankfurt. And there must have been food stalls and whores and pimps and whatever else to keep the mobile city running. Everything was there, but not for the girl.

“… to save this girl
with cave divers…”

I think it was the German STERN magazine or maybe another news vulture these days (I do not blame them, I watched news and read magazines as well) which mentioned to save this girl with cave-divers (diving in narrow water tunnels or holes is not easy and requires specially trained divers) and a special underwater-welding machine would have cost 100 000 or 200 000 Dollars these days. Or was it German Marks, I forgot. However, the amount of camera and communication equipment around that hole, salaries for the staff, the expensive satellite phone fees, all put there by all the major networks and news magazines, was summing up to many millions of Dollars running cost for the time span. To summarize it, much more expensive equipment was used to depict and broadcast the suffering of the little girl, not a single damned dime was spent to rescue her.

“…before her face
turns blue…”

How the story ended? Well, how do you think it ended? Did the girl have a lobby to demand her fair share of the profits made with her suffering? Scrape of 100 000 Dollars or whatever and have her rescued in the last minute before her face turns blue so the media gets her share and profit and she is still rescued?

Nope. She did not have any power to enforce her rights. Companies all over the world made profit by watching her die, but nobody did anything to help her. They didn’t miss her last breath above the waterline, though.

Nor did the German magazine who mentioned how cheap it would be to rescue her compared to all the communication cost. Nor did I who just watched the news like everybody else.

Are we more advanced than the old Romans who threw people to the lions to watch them suffering? Answer that for yourself, you may end up with a gradually improvement.

So what’s the morale of the story? Well, should there be any? After all, we life in a market-driven society…

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