A plane crashed in the French Alps, and 150 people died. This is horrible. Of course – as with all catastrophes and tragedies these days – media (especially in Germany) are full of news, reports, and comments. Social media buzz with meta-comments on those news, reports, and comments. Reactions cover the full range of human emotions and attitudes, reflecting people’s own “Betroffenheit” or “Empörung” (symptomatic in their untranslatability), as well as people’s “Betroffenheit” or “Empörung” with regard to other people’s reactions.
Why do we – including myself writing this blog post right now – feel not only the urge to talk about what happened, but also the urge to think about (and comment on) what other people might think, feel, and say about it?