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31 Oct, 2017

Apocalypse Now… Or later?

Christopher Burns
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 A writer’s remorse in the post apocalyptic media hype

When looking to profit from a potential natural disaster, it’s important to be first. Waiting for things like… facts, will cost valuable clicks. This is where I, as a writer of fiction, seem to have missed my opportunity. Living here in Bali gave me access to the first reports of impending doom spewing from the crater of the media rumor mill. ‘Mt Agung eruption imminent’ ‘Island to be blanketed in ash.’ That doesn’t sound good.
From my house in Sanur I can see Mt Agung. Upon hearing the news I ran outside expecting to witness this gush of lava shooting into the sky and the bellowing smoke tumbling down the mountain slope on a relentless march across the island. Reaching the outside terrace I took my final breath before the ash would engulf my home and fill our lungs with toxic fumes. I turned the corner to look northward and there she was… Mt Agung, as she always was. Asleep like a baby in its crib. And me, standing there like an first-time parent, panicked at the sound of a gentle stir.
Yes it’s true the status was raised to the highest warning level, but even the majestic power of Mt Agung was upstaged by the media hype that followed. Stories ranged from frantic to feverish. The confusing media reports helped to establish only one fact - no one knew what they were talking about but they were undeterred from reporting it. They lit the wick, we waited for the bang, and now after a month of anticipation… the status has been lowered. The show’s been canceled and we’ve all been told to go home. Well that’s quite a disappointment. Especially after $200 million dollars in losses from an economy that relies on tourist arrivals.  This must be how it feels to be part of a doomsday cult when the date for the end of the world comes and goes and the sun rises on a new day that looks much like the one preceding it. Perhaps that’s what a zombie apocalypse is, just a mass disappointment the day after the world was supposed to end.
So what are we to believe? At the Bali Bible, our readers trust we vet our sources and only provide the most accurate information. This unfortunate constraint makes for the boring task of researching, fact checking and even writing our own material. It’s the cost we bear for maintenance of our integrity. 
In the wake of all the hype, perhaps the media coverage will help Bali recover. We’re coming into high season soon so it might be time for me to buy a van and start a volcano tour company. Keep a watch for it on the Bali Bible website. In the meantime we’ll continue to keep you updated with all the latest news and the best reasons to come back to your favorite island destination. Om santi santi santi Om… ????????

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