you couldn't make this one up...


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I wish this wasn't still in the Humour section.

Let it be so...


How could I have missed MSK's editorial act, and Greg's exit?

If Greg has gone silent on this thread, so be it. The angels sing.

-- as for fault in this disaster, it is as with all stampede deaths, poor planning and execution of safety, a series of acts and omissions, plus the predictable behaviour of crowds, panic in tight quarters. All stampede deaths can seem predictable in retrospect, as in the Western world, coroner's inquiries and special commissions labour to identify the exact sequence of events, and make their findings public -- and also sometimes suggest criminal negligence charges where appropriate..

In Saudi-land, the blame has been put on the pilgrims. They somehow didn't follow instructions.

Most of those here who are not surprised (even if shocked) at the Mecca deaths should know that this is not the first time massive loss of life occurred in Mecca, nor the worst such event over the last century, nor something unique to the Islamic world. The massive flows of people in Mecca have pinch points and counterflows and merge areas and flyovers, all appearing to be engineered to prevent crush deaths. And yet their measures have failed, again. See this list of stampede deaths for perspective.

I put below a Google Earth screenshot of the area of the pillars and the pinch point where the deaths occurred. Greg, bless his heart, did not seek out any detailed information about the event, smooging together the Pillars and the pinch point and his funny bone. His perception of irony/deserved death was misplaced, which makes all his further points and arguments without foundation. Such is ignorance and its grotesque byproducts. The deaths were not ironic because the people that died were throwing stones at a symbol of evil. The dead and injured were navigating the maze built and managed by Saudi crowd safety authorities.

Can we expect an inquest, or for administrative heads to roll, or any of the trappings of our civilization of assessing errors and addressing responsibility? Will they publish the results of the inquiries? Nope and nope and nope. Will we see any photographic depictions of the carnage, as at Hillsborough? Nope, the Saudis sequestered any media.

Click to enlarge.


Edited by william.scherk
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I understand that no one sees the absurdity of collective lunacy as long as you believe in the falsity of disconnect...

...that the crowd and the people are two completely separate things, and that the peoples' chosen actions and their self inflicted consequences have absolutely NO connection to each other.

That dying from throwing stones at the devil is not absurd... when the truth is that the devil is throwing the stones.

That in itself is even more absurd.


Absurdity may or may not be humorous. Funny can be strange and matches up that way with absurdity.

Humor is funny or absurd ha ha, not funny or absurd strange.

Just because something is absurd or funny doesn't mean it's humor.

Many times something is both absurd ha ha and absurd strange. Not this time--not except for some ersatz queer subjectivity that may have been perversely manifested.

Because funny is closer to humor than absurd it would be appropriate to have put this thread into an ABSURD section, except OL doesn't have one.


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That dying from throwing stones at the devil is not absurd...

Absurdity may or may not be humorous. Funny can be strange and matches up that way with absurdity.

Greg's grasp of events is/was faulty. "Dying from throwing stones" is at best a conflation. It suggests that the crush occurred because of action at the pillars, and that cosmic irony, poetic justice was delivered through supernatural design; it doesn't mention failure, panic or negligence. The absurd thing then is Greg's lack of simple grace when counters to his ethics were posted, An irony is claimed clairvoyance into ugly souls -- while unseeing one's own.

A self-removal is thus a final fitting moral lesson, which I can't quite decipher. I need to go read some Flannery O'Connor and deliberate. She acquainted herself with grace and evil and moral design, and her stories throb with the presence of a god.

Edited by william.scherk
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From Wikipedia's Flannery O'Connor page, as a part indication why I need to go read her.

She wrote ironic, subtly allegorical fiction about deceptively backward Southern characters, usually fundamentalist Protestants, who undergo transformations of character that to her thinking brought them closer to the Catholic mind. The transformation is often accomplished through pain, violence, and ludicrous behavior in the pursuit of the holy. However grotesque the setting, she tried to portray her characters as they might be touched by divine grace. This ruled out a sentimental understanding of the stories' violence, as of her own illness. She wrote: "Grace changes us and change is painful." She also had a deeply sardonic sense of humor, often based in the disparity between her characters' limited perceptions and the awesome fate awaiting them. Another source of humor is frequently found in the attempt of well-meaning liberals to cope with the rural South on their own terms. O'Connor uses such characters' inability to come to terms with race, poverty, and fundamentalism, other than in sentimental illusions, as an example of the failure of the secular world in the twentieth century.

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