Evergreen cargo ship, Ever Given, ran aground nearly a week ago – blocking the canal and causing a tailback of 367 vessels.
More than $9 billion of trade passes through the Suez Canal each day – and a reroute adds an extra 4 weeks onto the journey and takes ships down through perilous and hostile waters.
It really is no laughing matter…
However, as you can imagine, the internet disagrees.
As with any major crisis, it only takes a few hours before social media is awash with memes, gifs and videos.
And this is no exception.
Facebook is filled with memes, Twitter packed with funny one-liners and even TikTok is getting in on the action with sea shanties dedicated to the disaster.
Most of the content is based on the ship AFTER it became stuck, but my personal favourite is the story in the Mirror (a nice, trashy UK tabloid paper) that shows the route taken by the ship before it entered the canal…
The carefully plotted graph shows the route the ship took after it was blown off course by high winds and a sandstorm. And it’s had the internet in stitches because when you plot the route from the satellite it’s drawn an image that could be construed as similar to male genitalia!.
Now, I know in reality – this is a real crisis. General members of the public won’t have any idea just how big an impact this blockage will have.
Hundreds of people have put in thousands of man-hours trying the get the ship back afloat – and they’re doing an amazing job and thankfully the ship is now floating fee again.
But there won’t be memes or shanties about that.
We live in the age of the internet. Where you’re mocked publicly and congratulated behind closed doors.
I know a few of the freight forwarders have been a bit upset by the tone of the media – they’re feeling mocked and unfairly bullied. Even some who are not involved in this particular crisis but feel the tone of the jokes will bring a negative stigma to their countries or companies because they come from the same part of the world.
I’m sorry to hear that – the people who make the memes aren’t mocking anyone in particular – they’re just making the most of a bad situation.
In times of dire crisis, we can laugh or we can cry…
And after the year we’ve all had I think we need a little laughter in our lives.
So take a deep breath and join in the fun… it won’t be long before it’s all forgotten and the media moves on to something new.