Monday, March 29, 2021

Everything Ever Given Gave Us.


Like the rest of the world (or maybe just Twitter) I’ve been deriving a lot of psychic glee the last week watching the saga of the gigantic Ever Given ship wedged across the Suez Canal. Why was it so fun while it lasted? I think because it was simply the absolute stupidest possible problem, caused by all the problems of our world and simultaneously wreaking havoc on the very systems that create all those problems.

The boat is too damn big. It’s bigger than the Titanic. We make them that big now so we can fill up all those containers with crap we don’t actually need. We ship it all around the world so that there’s new junk to buy every time we go to Target, which is a place we should not be going anyway because there is still a pandemic going on.

And then the boat gets stuck because when the French were digging that canal in the 19th century, no one then alive could have ever imagined we’d have the hubris to build boats so big.

And then the boat is good and stuck and the entire world economy - which ain’t really that great even when it is functioning the way it is supposed to - starts to get backed up because it turns out that this one dumb canal is of out sized importance to our ability to move junk around.

And now the boat is unstuck. 

What a bummer.

I think that for the last week this one dumb boat kind of began to expose what a silly silly silly world we live in. It started to pull back the curtain a little bit on the fragility and idiocy of the systems and structures we little humans have imposed on the world and on ourselves. But god forbid we ever be forced to actually look at the world we have made. So they dug that sucker out as fast as they possibly could, because the alternative would be that people might start to ask questions like, “Does this whole situation seem unmitigatedly stupid to anyone else?”

I’m so sad to see you go Ever Given, you are up there in the pantheon of boats now. You, The Pequod, The Love Boat, Boaty McBoatface, the aforementioned Titanic. I’m so sad to see head up the Suez, out into the Mediterranean, and off to your ultimate destination. You taught us so much Ever Given, and yet we hardly knew you. I hope that sink very soon.




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