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Wednesday, 16 September 2015

A new global crisis

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New research from Dr Baz Broxtowe of Fradley University suggests the world is rapidly running out of crises. For professional journalists, charities, pundits and the global news media it would be a catastrophe, but Dr Baz claims the phenomenon is real and already observable in the field.

“We have been mining crises for decades and now it is payback time,” Dr Baz explained at his recent press conference. “For years we academics have been predicting Peak Crisis and now we have to face up to the reality of it.”

“What are the impacts?” I managed to ask amid a barrage of frantic questions from the floor.

“It’s simple enough,” Dr Baz shouted above the panicky hubbub. “We are about to enter a global crisis crisis. If we run out of crises we run out of motivation and if we run out of motivation we run out of reasons for doing anything, even reasons for living. Here at Fradley we’ve been monitoring the effect – it’s already noticeable and getting worse at an unprecedented rate.”

“Won’t the crisis crisis tide us over?” asked a young chap with spots.

“You think one crisis is enough for the whole world?” Dr Baz asked, visibly curbing his impatience. “In the recent past we had dozens of crises on the go all the time. The crisis community was huge, vibrant and massively caring on an industrial scale. Everyone was charged with enthusiasm, ready and willing to confront the challenges. Now...”

“What about the Middle East?” a BBC chap butted in. “Don’t you call that a crisis? What about global hunger, malaria, wars, drugs and climate change – what about all those crises?”

“Where is the angst?” Dr Baz asked quietly. “We have been consuming angst at an unprecedented rate, faster than any time since the Black Death. Actually many researchers think that was not genuine angst as we understand it today, but a medieval variety based on ignorance. So where has all the genuine angst gone?”

“I don’t accept that as a valid elucidation of the issue, conceding for the moment that it is an issue which I doubt,” said a Guardian journalist who probably subscribed to the female gender. “I see plenty of angst, more than enough to go round. Are you measuring it correctly?”

“The scientific consensus on this is rock solid,” Dr Baz explained. “Angst decline is real, there is no room for dispute on the issue. The reason is equally certain; we are becoming immune to crises. That’s the real tragedy of it all. The crisis community has become middle-aged, less angry and frankly less caring. That’s the real cause of the crisis crisis.”

“We care 24/7,” said the Guardian journalist with a touch of asperity.

“I’m sure you do,” said Dr Baz, “but who reads the Guardian these days.”

“Checkmate,” came an anonymous voice from the back.

6 comments:

Sam Vega said...

Surely the solution is twofold. We will all have to recycle crises, handing them back to be refurbished or melted down and recast as new crises. In addition, we need the government to invest taxpayers' money in research into a proper sustainable crisis that won't ever wear out.

Demetrius said...

We are always in crisis, sometimes we notice it more than others. Munch died at the time when the British were finally getting across The Rhine in force.

A K Haart said...

Sam - recycling is good. We have something similar to recycled crises already but the names change. So your idea about research into a proper sustainable crisis could begin there. Devise a standard and insist that all future crises conform to the standard, otherwise funding is withdrawn.

Demetrius - I find I notice them less as get older. TV repeats have the same effect.

Graham Wood said...

"Surely the solution is twofold. We will all have to recycle crises"

Good idea Sam, but did you not know that the BBC has beaten you to it?
Have you noticed how slyly they regularly recycle news about the terrible scourge of AGW (aka 'Global Warning, or Warming - or to you - Climate Change).
Every week or so they keep the recycling pot boiling with another very SCARY piece of news about this - dropped quietly in ever so casually.
This morning the BBC 'Toady' programme excelled itself by revealing something quite horrific, namely that Artificial Intelligence may yet be used to fight Climate Change. I kid you not.
Can you picture the dramatic scene, as grim faced 'environment' robots, sally forth on to our streets on their mission to kill climate change? Be warned.
AAAAAAaarrrrggghhh.

Roger said...

Suppose some dread disease hove into view and wiped out a billion. A boost to the bulldozer market but after a few years all would be forgotten.

I suppose some people have to have something to worry about and there are plenty who will invent terrible tales of this or that. Just as the media create and destroy slebs so the crisis merchants leap on the latest bandwagon. This week's fad is killer robots, phooey! the wheels fall off most problems long before they reach us and a billion is merely a statistic.

A K Haart said...

Graham - and the human intelligence used to fight climate change is pretty artificial to begin with.

Roger - yes, crises tend to be self-correcting because we respond to them and mitigate their effects.