Chile Gone Barmy?

No-one who has been tuned in to a TV today can fail to have been moved by the sight of the 33 Chilean miners being pulled from the pit – quite literally – where they have spent the last 69 days. Unless you haven’t seen the TV today of course, in which case this may be the first you’ve heard of it (though hopefully you caught something of it on your mobile).

I think most people had forgotten about the poor souls, until it emerged that they could be plucked out of their chasm (3x as deep as Canary Wharf is high, apparently) a lot earlier than previously expected.

No-one can begrudge them their moment of (unsought) glory. Or the joy that their wives and girlfriends (both, in one case) must have felt when they finally saw daylight again. There was a very funny gag doing the rounds on Twitter earlier today, started by Paul M Davies, which went like this: “@ Florencio has just unlocked the ‘Stuck in a mine’ badge on FourSquare!” Well it made me laugh anyway, though it’s not the funniest Chilean miner gag I’ve heard over the past few weeks. The funniest one is so rude, I daren’t even tell it to my kids.

I just wonder what happens next. Will they be competing with the X-Factor winner for the Christmas No.1, with mobile ringtones and wallpapers to follow? (That’s the mobile link sorted.) Will the News of the World, as you read this, be writing a cheque for the life story of Yonni Barrios, the man who had both a wife and a girlfriend waiting for him when he re-entered civilisation? Is a World Tour in the offing? The answer to all these questions is, I hope, No. But in a world where any crap reality TV show seems to have an audience of millions and as many column inches as it could wish for, I’m not so sure.

David Murphy