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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

A few notes on the massive objects disrupting ordinary life this week

Illustration for article titled A few notes on the massive objects disrupting ordinary life this week
Photo: Handout (Getty Images), Jeremie Richard (Getty Images)

In a different week, the story of a volcano erupting in Iceland or a cargo ship getting stuck in the Suez Canal would be notable enough to stand on their own. Both of these events happening at the same time, though, is an unprecedented example of how people around the world react to giant stuff making life more difficult.


Iceland’s Volcano Eruption

Iceland has responded to the Geldingadalir volcano eruption with a healthy mixture of scientific curiosity and human absurdity. In order to safely accommodate international rubberneckers, the country has set up a live stream of the natural phenomenon that lets users experience the vicarious thrill of hanging out next to a field of deadly lava without actually burning alive in the process.

While the live stream suggests that Iceland is comprised entirely of mature, level-headed observers, other activities show that its citizens can’t resist our species constant urge to look at the overwhelming power of nature and just sort of have some fun with it. For instance, a tour guide named Sveinn Snorri Sighvatsson decided to celebrate Geldingadalir’s eruption by walking up to the lava field, stripping down to a bandanna and sunglasses, and posing naked for a few photos. “A festival is not a true festival unless someone gets naked,” he explained to reporters. In related hot wiener news, Icelandic scientists took a break from studying the volcano to cook a few ‘dogs on the lava.

Suez Crisis, Stupid Edition

The 21st century’s appropriately boneheaded sequel to the 1956 Suez Crisis may have a horrible impact on the environment and local and global economies in the very near future. But for now, at least we can just enjoy how monumentally ridiculous it is that the crew of a big ol’ boat named the Ever Given have disrupted a vital shipping route by getting their vessel wedged into a canal like a bunch of first-time drivers massively botching their first stab at parallel parking. Many people have reacted to the Ever Given’s dilemma by pointing out how goofy it looks to see a comparatively tiny crane trying to push the ship free, creating the inevitable “tfw when”-style memes in the process, while others marvel at the fact that one colossal fuck-up has set modern trade routes back centuries. The truly enlightened, though, are still enjoying the fact that this massive cock-up began with the Ever Given drawing an actual massive cock in the water when its pre-stuck course is viewed on a map.

The entire Suez Canal situation is so dumb that Florida, apparently anxious that it’s title as the home of the world’s most inexplicable behavior, is trying to get in on the action. For now, the state has only managed a tiny facsimile of Suez—one 40-foot boat dropped from a trailer to block Interstate 10—but we have faith that it can do better than that by the time the weekend’s over.

[via Mashable]

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.