WARNING: THE STEEL DRUM MUSIC THAT YOU ARE CURRENTLY HEARING IS STUCK AND WE CANNOT GET IT TO STOP. PLEASE DO NOT LET IT AFFECT THE WAY YOU VIEW THIS UNFLINCHING PORTRAIT OF LIFE IN A WAR ZONE. AGAIN, WE APOLOGIZE.
1. Here, a family of Syrian Kurds stands huddled under their dilapidated tent at a refugee camp in Macedonia. They have no home, no money, and no hope. As for the steel drum music—it’s stuck on autoplay for some reason, and unfortunately we can’t figure out how to take it down, or even how it got on this article. We know it’s bad. We want it gone as much as you do.
2. More than 5 million people have fled Syria over the past four years, and many do not survive the journey. Packed into the back of a truck, this group of children is preparing to cross the border into Turkey. But please, if you can, try to imagine that without the tropical melody that’s currently undermining the gravitas of this article. Cheerful Caribbean vibes have no place here, and rest assured that our whole IT team is scrambling to find the problem.
3. Quick question—is it still playing? If it is, could you possibly just do us a favor and mute your computer, or maybe take your headphones off? We totally hate to put this on you right now, but we dropped the ball somewhere along the line and now these haunting portraits are being mistreated. Anything you could do to help us fix this would be greatly appreciated!
4. Honestly, we are so, so sorry about this whole thing. This is totally inappropriate on all possible levels. We feel awful.
5. Alone, this picture does not even come close to conveying these people’s struggle. But with the music? Christ.
6. Fuuuuuuck. This is not okay. While this steel drum music would be fun to listen to on a sun-drenched beach with a mojito in hand, having it autoplay on a list that puts human faces to one of the worst atrocities of the modern age is truly the worst possible thing.
7. OKAY, so, update: Apparently the steel drum music cannot be taken down at the moment, so this is going to continue turning this article into a full-blown nightmare, which is beyond reprehensible. At this point though, we would like to apologize not only to the refugees whose families and homes are being destroyed and have nowhere to turn, but also to steel drummers and the great steel drum bands of the Caribbean—none of you deserve to get sucked into this mess. We are very, very sorry.
8. Jesus. Please, whatever you do, just don’t share this.