Birds fall dead from the sky! Fish die in lakes! Chemical plants go up in flames! The apocalypse is there!
Of course the fire yesterday in the South West (Moerdijk to be precise, an industrial small town between Rotterdam and Breda) that kept the Netherlands quite worried doesn't relate to the mysterious deaths of the birds and the fish in America and Sweden, though if this would occur in the Netherlands these coming days, we at least do have an explaination for it. Because as much the authorities tell us no toxic gasses have been released during yesterday's massive fire at a huge chemical plant, the entire chemical plants has burned down and tanks have been exploded live on television, this material is somewhere, being a hazard to our health or not, they are somewhere in the sky. I'm not one quickly to shout catastrophy and will not do this now, but saying nothing has escaped? Does that mean all the chemicals are left on the ground where once was a chemical plant?
Of course this was wonderful TV. A reporter a few meters away from the fire, reporting with explosions clearly visable in the back (Hollywood must have been so jealous of that footage), saying he's allowed to stand there, the wind blows into the other directions, he does have a dry mouth and his tongue tingles, but all is safe and sound. Kaboom! As you can see, explosions still occur, people are ordered to keep their doors and windows shut. Another reporter reports from an empty street that people do keep inside. The weather reporters explain how the wind works in layers, tell us the rain which was predicted will take whatever is blown into the air down and shows us where the wind will take the remainings of the fire. Amsterdam is safe. However, a friend of this weather reporter has told him he could smell something funny all the way in Schiphol! Sidenote, Schiphol is the airport close to Amsterdam and is an AIRPORT. Kerosine anyone? Still, the whole inferno, as one newspaper called it this morning, made an impression on me. It also launched a lot of jokes, some of which I won't repeat in an open blog. And that were just my jokes!
It also raised one question. Do we remember this apocalypse in a month time? Will it make it to the year-end lists and stand-up shows? As much as we get off on all these reports of catastrophies, we forget about them just as quickly. Ask anyone over 30 and they can tell you all about Tsjernobyl. But try the same thing in 25 years with Moerdijk (where I strongly need to add that Tsjernobyl was a lot worse than what happened in Moerdijk). We have all the media feeding us with news, information and pictures, which we had a lot less of 25 years ago, but the more we know and see, the less impact it makes and how easily we forget. There's something really bitter about that and it isn't falling from the sky right now.