Ever Given Satellite
(Satellite view of the Ever Given, photo via Wikimedia Commons)

This week was a study in contrasts.

On the one hand, we have the example of the Suez Canal. If you haven’t heard yet, this man-made corridor in Northeast Egypt, one of the most important shipping canals in the world, has been blocked by a massive, city-block-sized container ship, the Ever Given.

Yes, in a cruel twist of fate, the Ever Given has been ever taking from global trade, with over a hundred vessels trapped in the Meditteranean and Red Seas. 

Days later, those ships have presumably transitioned from lamenting that all of the rum is gone, and are now on their way to re-enacting the plot of The Lighthouse.

Perhaps most ironically, the Ever Given traced out a very suggestive travel path prior to its collision, prophesying that the Ever Given would be ever given’er to the poor canal.

Ever Given Path
Yes, this is real.

But in addition to providing the world with some epic meme fodder, this unfortunate happenstance does have a kind of positive spin: that one ship truly can make difference. It’s inspiring…in a, you know, “squint your eyes and look at just the right angle” kind of way.

On the other hand, we have the sky being lit up by fire over Victoria.

Yes, it seems that Islanders and West Coasters were treated to a display of human hubris Thursday evening, as one of Elon Musk’s much-touted Starlink satellites burned up in the atmosphere, offering up one of the most expensive fireworks shows in history.

While authorities have assured the public that the majority of the space junk should be completely disintegrated, it does bear contemplation. Not only on the folly of man (well, of Elon Musk anyway, the self-important tosser), but on the fact that at any moment, a piece of stellar debris could slam down on your skull at any moment.

In other words, the universe can sometimes just be a giant cosmic joke.

COVID times are uncertain times, but I don’t know if any two events have more perfectly illustrated the dichotomy of our existence. That we can effect insane amounts of large-scale change (or damage) if placed in the right place at the right time (or the right, semi-suggestively named boat in the right canal). Or that we are mere specks on the earth for Supervillain Elon Musk to hurl cheap WiFi at.

Dear readers, I personally find that all a bit much to contemplate, but I can at least offer you this: any day you could be a gigantic, clumsy boat, and any other day you could be smashed by falling space rocks.

In other words: any day could be supremely, frigging awesome.

Let’s keep at it and see what happens next.

Welcome to Ford on Fridays: a weekly column where Victoria Buzz staff writer Tim Ford offers his thoughts on life, love, and the pursuit of the perfect joke.

This column is for comedic purposes only. Please feel free to send feedback, thoughts, and [constructive] criticisms to tim@victoriabuzz.com.

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