Kia (ddstory) wrote in talk_politics,

How do you spell Eyjafjallajökull?

First, a nice pic:

So, the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull continues to spew black ashes into the stratosphere, causing havoc all across the European airports. It's not a nice picture: people stranded in the waiting saloons without any prospect of returning to their homes for a week or more, unless they cough up some extra cash and charge themselves with enormous patience to hit the road on the bus or train (but good luck with finding tickets!) Personally, I'm having hard times finding anything useful to do, since I have no work these days (I work at an airline). Hence the apparent procrastination on LJ, and silly posts like this one. Duh.

But seriously. You see, you may think this is just some curious incident which only shows how insignificant our daily scuffle is when compared to the power of nature; and sure, I'd be willing to join the chorus of jesters by saying that there has been a message circulating the European interwebs these days, saying:

Put 30 billion euros in unmarked bills in a bag by the gate of the Icelandic embassy in London, like you more or less did with Greece, and we’ll turn off the volcano. Yours, the Icelanders.

By the way, would you like a lesson from a real Icelander about the way you pronounce 'Eyjafjallajökull'? It's nothing like what you think. It's pronounced:


The last time an Icelandic volcano had a major eruption (we have hundreds of them up there, but I'm specifically talking of Katla, and so far every single climate-altering eruption of Katla has been foretoken by an earlier, smaller awakening of Eyjafjallajökull), it actually resulted in the French Revolution. Or you could say that, if you look at it from that angle. Winters were so severe and summers so cold that nothing much grew. The famine more than bad government drove the French people to revolt. The next, somewhat smaller eruption in 1918 happened in a very inconvenient moment, too - you know the story. Perhaps, if the volcano continues on long enough to the point of affecting the regional climate to a significant extent, maybe those who say global warming is a hoax will have one more point on their score, as our experience in Iceland shows that the winter that follows in Europe after such a major event in Iceland is usually very severe. If that results in making food more scarce and expensive (rather than just disrupting all flights and plunging the whole of Europe into prolonged logistical chaos), I'm thinking some people could finally find the impetus to revolt and clean house in some of governments of the world. Funny? I know. I've already put my tinfoil hat on, don't worry. :)

Thus far no amount of corruption in the financial sector; collusion in the financial disgrace and mismanagement and incompetence by the governments have caused any substantive reaction. Some are already hurrying to herald the end of the crisis and rejoice at the 'unprecedented speed of the recovery'; and the proverb 'Every miracle lasts for three days' might turn out to be true again. With no significant consequences and changes after the crisis whatsoever. Until the next bust of the balloon. Our memory is really that short. Things look good anyway, why bother with deeper conclusions? You would have thought people would have been storming the Stock Exchange by now, plundering corporate offices and blockading governmental institutions. When the Supreme Court of a super-important country recently handed the government to the corporations (to over-dramatize here a little), there were a few grumbles and some dim-witted characters, or perhaps corporate stooges actually applauded. Of course when one sees the popularity of hatred-spewing morons and talking heads who blame the financial collapse on "OMG-Sozializtz" instead of seeing the beam in their own eye, you couldn't help but ponder about the general IQ of the general public. It is 'they who sold thee' down the river of every crooked and ill conceived deregulation of the banks and brokerage houses who simply took anything that wasn't nailed down because they made up their own rules without supervision. And chances are it'll continue to be so, until something really amazing happens.

Granted, Eyjafjallajökull looks a rather unlikely candidate for the central role in the play. But still, if the volcano continues on it may be interesting to see what happens next summer. Or you could put those 30 billion euros on our account and we promise to turn off the volcano. :)

Ps. If you Americans think this is none of your concern, do not forget that winds often change their course ;)

Tags: crisis, disaster, north europe, satire
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