As tragic as all of this is, what makes it even more tragic is the piece of news I accidentally came across today that revealed the Viking river cruise ship's captain, who Hungarian authorities arrested shortly after the accident, had been involved in another boat collision in the Netherlands a mere two months before the fatal collision that sank the Mermaid in Budapest last week. Granted, the collision the captain was involved in back in April did not kill anyone, but there was damage to the ship and passengers did report minor injuries. Despite the incident, Viking Cruises decided it was perfectly acceptable to have the same captain continue sailing their fleet.
Now before I am accused of writing an outrage post - something I promised I would no longer do - allow me stop and say no more about this particular incident. What interests me more is what this incident reveals and how incidents like these are now quite commonplace and will become increasingly more common as we move forward. Why? Simple one word answer - incompetence. Not innocent or accidental incompetence, but purposive and managed incompetence.
Take a moment to consider the levels of incompetence this incident involves starting with the ship's captain and working our way up through the Viking Cruise company all the way to the various authorities and law enforcement agencies that all believed it was perfectly acceptable to allow a captain who had been involved in a fairly serious boat collision to continue sailing ships without as much as a whiff of question mark.
The level of incompetence plaguing everything in the West is at pathological levels. Never in the history of our civilization have so many unskilled, unimaginative, untalented, unqualified, and uninterested people occupied positions requiring skill, imagination, qualifications, and interest. This could not exist unless there was some intentional system-building mechanism behind it all. And there is. Imagine that. An entire system intentionally built on a "solid" foundation of incompetence.
Accidents can and do happen, even with qualified pros, but accidents such as the Mermaid sinking in Budapest should no longer be regarded as accidents, but rather as incidents; incidents that reveal a massive system of stupidity, apathy, irresponsibility, and ineptitude. Incidents such as the Mermaid sinking in Budapest will only increase as each carefully placed domino of deficiency falls and crashes into the one placed beside it. So prepare yourself for more boats sinking, bridges collapsing, airplanes crashing, and countless other unimaginable horrors as the unqualified and inadequate continue to place their brethren into all sorts of positions where people's health and lives are at stake.
This is not about inept people in a good, functioning, competent system. This is about inept people purposefully congesting an evil, malfunctioning, incompetent system with useless and inadequate people and policies. This systemic incompetence goes out of its way to interfere with the few competent people left in the system, the same people who have somehow managed to keep it all from descending into chaos.
Think of it as plate spinning. The competent within the evil, incompetent system can keep the plates spinning as long as the number of plates and the distances between them are manageable. But with each passing day, the number of plates increases, and the distances between the rods on which the plates are perched grows wider. Added to this is an army of useless zombies who do little more than knock the plates from the rods, sometimes accidentally, sometimes intentionally.
It's too much. The Good people are not be able to keep up. Many plates are slowing down and starting to wobble.
Brace yourself for more crashing plates. They're coming.
Update: Shortly after I finished writing this post, Viking Cruises released a statement claiming the captain responsible for the crash on the Danube River had not been in charge of the ship involved in the accident in the Netherlands. Viking Cruises claimed the captain in question had been on the vessel in Holland, but had not been serving as that ship's captain at the time.
Apparently, Viking Cruises believes this information will somehow make them look better, which is presumably why they released it to the media. Yet if you take a moment to consider this statement it in fact accomplishes little more than support my idea of intentional systemic incompetence.
Viking Cruises has admitted it has more than one inept captain manning its fleet. This proves the Danube disaster captain is not a one-off event - that there are in fact probably many incompetent captains at the company. In addition, by releasing this statement to the public in the hopes it will somehow cast the company in a better light suggests the PR people at Viking Cruises are also incredibly dim and inept, despite their university degrees in communications.
It's systemic. Period.