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The Torture of Watching

Tantz_Aerine at 12:00AM, Aug. 7, 2021
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Greece is burning, as I'm writing these lines.

There is fire everywhere, and it's only getting worse. It's probably going to extinguish itself in the sea, when it gets there, in all areas, from central Greece to Attica to Euboia. The ecological disaster is enormous. The consequences from this are unthinkable.

The photo is from Ippokrateios Politeia, an Athenian suburb. That's right. Frigging Athens is burning, and the fire might get further into Athens proper. Everyone is on standby.

And we can only watch. We can only watch as the fire devours beloved forests, houses, businesses.

That is torture.

Being forced to watch a destruction that you can't stop is a terrible situation to be- and even when you can do something, it feels bitter and futile.

This is a real event, but you can use it in your narrative work. It can be part of a character's origin story and motivation. It can be one of the climactic events that then push the first tile in a domino of reactions, each more dramatic than then previous one. It can be a powerful display of your villain's prowess and the stakes involved.

These are the only lines I can write, the only narrative device I can think of to talk about, which can resonate so powerfully with audiences, especially now that humanity has been struck with so many disasters, from Covid to climate change.

How that will motivate us moving forward is unknown. What domino will be set in motion is unpredictable.

But in your story, you can direct this powerful energy from the torture of being forced to watch where you want it to go.

I'm sorry this article is so grim. I hope it can at least give you inspiration.



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comment

anonymous?

damehelsing at 4:36PM, Aug. 7, 2021

That is torture. Even though I've never physically seen the fires in California or the hurricanes in Florida, it always breaks my heart when there is disaster and knowing there' nothing I can do to stop it hurts SO DAMN MUCH. I know it's tough to feel positive in these situations, but I hope your mental health is in good state as your physical, stay safe and I pray those fires end soon. :(

fallopiancrusader at 9:56AM, Aug. 7, 2021

In my experience, the aftermath is bad too. I watched the twin towers of the World Trade Center fall from my office window, and that same sense of helplessness was there. I still can’t go to the memorial they built on the site. I get a panic attack whenever I walk nearby, as if I can still feel the ghosts of those 3000 people.

Jason Moon at 6:36AM, Aug. 7, 2021

Too many people on the planet you guys. It's destroying things! Washington and Oregon are burning too. You should have seen it here last year with all the smoke from Oregon, I couldn't breathe when I went outside. 6 billion people in 2005 and were over 9 billion in 2021. (Under the BURNING SUN I take a look around, Imagine if this all came down, I'm waiting for the day to come! 30 seconds to mars - oblivion)

usedbooks at 5:32AM, Aug. 7, 2021

Sending prayers and love. It's weird living in such a global community. Every strife in the world is at your door, and it's like constant survivor's guilt. I feel guilty to disconnect too. Sometimes it's all too much to see people suffering and scared. Always feeling so close to home but so far away. I've seen the haze from far away fires on my commute through the east US mountains every day. My aunt lives on the west coast US, where fires are common. My sister is in Aus, also frequently affected by fire. I sit in safety, in fear for others.

skyangel at 4:03AM, Aug. 7, 2021

I'm constantly seeing headlines about all the bad stuff that's going on in the world at the moment, some which is close to home and other stuff we can only empathise and feel for but at the end of the day I always remind myself that as humans we have an almost incredible ability to adapt to changing situations and deal with the bad stuff in life. We have to because this is life and as individuals we can bale out any time but the wonderful thing is that we don't. We adapt and we learn and we move forward but at the same time morale is key to survival and for me especially funnelling my thoughts and emotions into words and pictures has been incredibly therapeutic for most of my life regardless of ability and to me that's what makes places like the Duck so special, because we have so much freedom here to do that and hopefully lift the spirits of others too.

bravo1102 at 2:29AM, Aug. 7, 2021

The East Coast of the US had a week long haze from the fires in the center west of the US. It's eerie. You're not in the middle of it, but you are still affected and it becomes more than just a news report.

Andreas_Helixfinger at 12:39AM, Aug. 7, 2021

Greece is on fire. North America is on fire. Huge parts of Europe has been flooded. Scandinavia seems to have made it okay so far, as much as I know anyway, although admittedly july has been one ungodly dry month. It's chaos everywhere you look. It has honestly become harder and harder to keep my spirits up lately because of all that is going on. I can only hope that you Tantz, and everybody else here, are able to stay out of harms way. Watching things like this happen is--soul crushing. Diverging from the reality side of this topic for a bit, I do have this as a common element in the universe that my comics take place in. Baei Noire and Port Hommerond, the home town of Molly Lusc for example, suffers from reocurring hurricanes and floodings, and this is a form of disaster that the comic Molly Lusc will display in grim detail down the line, as it is an event closely tied to the main character's backstory. That's it for me. Take care out there everyone.

marcorossi at 12:07AM, Aug. 7, 2021

This is very sad. There have been fires in various part of Italy too (though not as bad as Greece I think). Global warming sucks.


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