I have been @ the lovely Westfield shopping with Cartoonist Guy. He is Italian so he is a good shopping partner. We exit the train sharing a joke. He is making fun of my inability to walk without bumping into strange people and that i seem to stop listening while he is talking about serious things. He says i am like a child. I shove him playfully but the smell of burning makes my nose wrinkle. All around my area the air is filled with a thick smoke. Its coming from the coca-cola building. Luckily there is a fire station, police station & hospital all within yards...
Still the drama is exciting. Crowds of people gather snapping away with their camera phones. The buzz makes an otherwise normal walk from the tube station into an event. Cartoonist guy guides me through the crowds making sure we follow the masses in the right direction. We have been diverted. We talk non-stop about the possibilities of the fire and the fuss everyone is making. It will be on the news.
I'm reminded of an ancient Chinese proverb... "may you live in interesting times". Even bad news is still news. The only news that sells, or so i'm told... unless its about sport. Makes me wonder what that says about humanity if we desire to hear more of the suffering & scandal in others peoples lives rather than the good. Do we compare it to our own and feel blessed for being better off? Or does it strengthen our feeling of compassion & community in the face of tragedy?
It may very well be both, and even though a fire is not a good thing, it is something to tell our friends.