Sunday, September 15, 2019

A Dose of Schadenfreude

Today is Sunday, so let’s try a heaping offering of Schadenfreude. Today’s heroes are young bloggers and Instagram influencers, idealists to the core, who believe that all human beings are essentially kind, and that the mullahs in Iran, for instance, have been getting a bad rap.

First up, Australian bloggers Jolie King and Mark Firkin. They were travelling around the world, documenting their casual encounters with wonderfully generous people, reveling in nature's natural beauty and building up something of a following.

And then they got to Iran. You know, that sorely misunderstood nation in the Middle East. Guess what, they were arrested. Ten weeks ago. Since the wheels of justice grind very slowly in Iran, no one heard anything about it until last week. 

The Pluralist site has the story (via Maggie’s Farm):

In 2017, they planned to leave Australia and drive from Asia to London. Along the way, the pair shared videos documenting the trip with their thousands of followers on social media.

Their posts on Instagram and YouTube are full of stunning landscapes, cerulean beaches and lush waterfalls that look ripped out of a luxury travelogue – a far cry from the reality many associate with less developed areas of the world.

“Our biggest motivation… is to hopefully inspire anyone wanting to travel, and also try to break the stigma around travelling to countries which get a bad wrap [sic] in the media,” the pair wrote online.

Where are things now? Glad you asked:

According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, King and Firkin were arrested for reportedly flying a drone without a permit. They’ve been imprisoned ever since.

A source told the BBC that King was told Iran is holding her as part of a potential prisoner exchange with Australia.

Were they flying a drone or a kite? We will soon find out how kind and gentle the Iranian justice system is.

We would like to think that theirs was an exception. Apparently, such is not the case. The Pluralist also reports on the Somali-born Canadian journalist who traveled to Ilhan Omar’s homeland to gain a closer appreciation for the wonderful Somali culture:

In July, a Somalian-born Canadian journalist returned to her homeland to tell “uplifting” stories of how people lived there. However, her homecoming ended in tragedy when she was killed in an attack perpetrated by al-Shabab militants.

And then there was the young American couple that made a stop over in Tajikistan, the better to discover that people were all just people and that they were all very wonderful:

Last July, Jay Austin and Lauren Goeghegan were biking in southwest Tajikistan – a region that borders ISIS-territory in northern Afghanistan – when they were murdered by five men who stabbed the couple to death. The attack was led by an Islamic State terrorist.

The two had embarked in 2017 on a bike trip around the world. In an echo of Firkin and King, the couple was motivated by their belief that, “By and large, humans are kind,” as Austin put it in a blog post documenting the journey.

“You read the papers and you’re led to believe that the world is a big, scary place,” Austin wrote from Morocco. “I don’t buy it. Evil is a make-believe concept we’ve invented to deal with the complexities of fellow humans holding values and beliefs and perspectives different than our own.”

Yes, indeed. They were putting what they learned in college to good use. 

R. I. P. 


UbuMaccabee said...

Darwin award winners, all of them. The retard-who-communes-with-bears guy and Saint Pancake meets them in the afterlife. He begins by explaining that bears are not basically good, they are basically large and unpredictable. She nods in ascent.

whitney said...

Evil is real. It's maybe the most important lesson

Sam L. said...

Not to mention "hungry", Ubu, in re bears. The world is/can be a very dangerous place, which is one subject colleges do not teach.

Anonymous said...

Somalia, Tajikistan, Iran?

It's almost like they have something in common...think think, what could it be I wonder?

Anonymous said...

>> Somalia, Tajikistan, Iran?
>> It's almost like they have something in common...think think, what could it be I wonder?

Why, the similarity is, that their citizens are "people of color".
What *else* could it possibly be?