Trapped miners are real reality TV
Life imitates reality TVJust as the franchise for Big Brother reaches the end of its natural, a horrifying real-life version gets under way 2,300 feet beneath the ground in Chile.
Thirty-three miners are trapped in an underground hell that the outside world has now been able to reach and record and share with video camera and live audio.
How will those men cope in the days, weeks, months that lie ahead?
With the TV shows the aim, when you have a group of people holed up together, is to ratchet up the tension.
In the real-life nightmare version the struggle will be to achieve exactly the opposite — to help the men entombed below to get through their hellish ordeal as smoothly as possible.
Contact with the outside is surely the most crucial step. But those men would not be human if they were not depressed by the reality of the lengthy battle that will now stretches ahead of them.
All over the world people are holding their breath.
The scale of the challenges ahead — for the miners, their families and for the rescuers — are immense.
Thus far, thankfully, the men themselves have displayed the sort of shining courage that will hopefully see them through. But the potential for disaster is ever present and too easily imagined.
These are real heroes deserving of all our respect.
Please, let this one end well.