A plane crashed – here’s why we care

Did they or did they not find garbage on the ocean from the ”mysteriously vanished” plane? Speculations go back and forth concerning every possible scenario of what may or may not have happened that day between Brazil and France.

Don’t get me wrong, my thoughts go to the families of the victims, wishing them strength to deal with the loss of the loved ones – as well as strength to deal with the media hustle. With all due respect to the families faced with a sudden loss of the beloved, I do not believe this story deserves the extensive attention it is getting. It was a plane that crashed down. The biggest surprise in the story is that not more of these accidents happen, seeing as travel by plane has become increasingly common. A plane crashed, full stop.

If you want to report people dying, here’s a few suggestions; a specialist in gynecology and obstetrics once told me a jumbojetful of women die every day around the globe due to complications of illegal abortions. Let’s write about that, every single day! How about malaria, AIDS or poverty? Grannies dying alone in their flats without family around? People dying of obesity? How about suicides – a major cause of death in the Western world?

If covering traffic accidents really is the pinnacle crown jewel of journalism, here’s a suggestion for the papers: when travelling in Nepal, I heard one bus a week goes down the country’s perilous mountain roads, killing all the passengers aboard. Let’s report this every week, too?

People die, accidents happen. Writing about certain accidents as if they were something extraordinary is bizarre in my eyes. Then why is this story so popular, despite all its bizarreness? Why do we care? -Because it deals with Westerners being robbed of right to immortality until about 80 years of age. Let’s take that again: the general axiom behind the reporting is that the people on that plane had a “right to go on living” until about 80, and now this right has been taken away from them!

Needless to say, nobody has promised us a right to live from baby to granny without any accidents ever coming our way.

This collective illusion of “right-to-immortality” I find very interesting to analyze. I believe this illusion is one factor causing our neurotic preoccupation with safety. Many Westerners go through drastic measures to avoid all kinds of accidents. This kind of hectic coverage definitely reinforces such behavior. Just look at the discussions taking place all over the net; many people are discussing flaws in air traffic safety. The focus is not on the miracle that not more of such accidents happen.

I do not mean we should not strive for safety nor discuss accidents. What I am against is the extent to which this behavior has been taken to – at the cost of other issues that could have been discussed.

I would happily subscribe to blogs/newspapers that would go deeper in their analyses of current events and phenomena. Dig deeper and find the “nerves” of our contemporary society. Discuss the pros and cons of whatever issue from a truly independent standpoint. Sadly, covering stories related to right-to-immortality-of-Westerners or right-to-have-no-harm-done-to-property-of-Westerners, seem much more widespread.


The following hanba posts also deal with these issues:

Upcoming: The next post will be about concrete brutalism and the new appreciation hanba has found for it. 🙂


3 responses to “A plane crashed – here’s why we care

  1. Pingback: Valuable Internet Information » A plane crashed - here’s why we care

  2. Hmm I mostly agree with the thrust of your argument, but object to the references to “Westerners” as though they are somehow seperate from who you presumably call “Easterners”. It’s practically racist.

    So please don’t imply “Westerners” are somehow less in tune with the inevitably of death that people born “east”.

    • Thanks for the comment, man! 😉 My point is that the story is world class news because two factors come together:

      1) it involves Westerners dying and
      2) it involves a traffic accident.

      My punchline is that the news reporting is ethnically distorted. So I guess we agree, no?

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