Wars and worlds collide

The BBC World Service probably wouldn’t be an obvious listening choice for most people at work. For one thing, unless you have an office to yourself, you really need to listen with headphones because most people just want music. At one office Alene works at, everyone else is usually gone by 3:30 — so off goes the music and on goes the World Service. At the other office, she definitely needs to use headphones — but it’s usually not convenient because she finds herself often needing to get up from her desk.

Friday afternoon is different though. There’s one favorite task Alene saves for the last few hours of the week — a database maintenance exercise that allows to her to just work quietly at her desk — and this is when the headphones can go on.

It’s not so much that BBC World reports news that other radio stations don’t — but that it does do so in a way that seems to draw you in deeper. You can still keep working — but part of your mind gets carried to another part of the world.

This afternoon, the ongoing migrant crisis in Europe was getting most of the coverage, with breaks to consider other stuff — examination of the state of Russian soccer (including recent accusations of racism), anti-austerity labor action in Finland (of all places), and reaction of global markets to the Fed’s decision to leave interest rates unchanged. And, we learned that the sport of rugby is huge in Fiji — complete with male-voice choirs before matches.

News from Croatia, Serbia and Hungary is baffling to say the least — with the minds of politicians changing from hour to hour. As we listened, it made us think of The War Of The Worlds — with the entire population of southern England on the move. From there, it was a natural progression to The Shape Of Things To Come — and then The Time Machine.

We read The Time Machine while Alene was in the employ of a chain of high-end novelty gift shops — and as we contemplated the feeble-minded, feeble-bodied and easily-amused Eloi, we had no trouble imagining them as the ultimate evolutionary outcome of a certain kind of pampered consumer who loves that kind of shop (while the Morlocks are the evolutionary outcome of the rest of mankind that caters to their whims and fancies!)

These three novels by HG Wells are colliding all around us — but we’re not sure which ending we prefer…..

Meanwhile, Seattle traffic is a nightmare.


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