A jet carrying a KHL hockey team crashed shortly after takeoff on Wednesday in Yaroslavl, Russia. Forty-three people died, including some former NHL hockey players like Pavol Demitra, who was only 36-years-old. The jet crashed in clear, sunny weather.
This is a travesty. Someone must say something about it.
And that is where exigence comes in. Exigence, as defined by Lloyd Bitzer, is “An imperfection marked by urgency; it is a defect, an obstacle, something waiting to be done, a thing which is other than it should be.” In other words, something goes wrong and we feel compelled to comment on it, to write something in order to correct the wrong.
In the case of the KHL jet crash, much needs to be said. How can a private jet crash on a clear, sunny day? Why did these players have to die? What can we say to console their families, friends, and the larger professional hockey player community?
There undoubtedly will be many newspaper articles, many blog posts, many editorials, and many press statements spawned by this exigence. The whole point of these communications will be to console, to blame, or to press higher safety standards in air travel.
Exigencies exist all around us. It doesn’t take a tragedy to prompt us to write something. Stuff happens all the time. Take a look around at your world. Listen to your friends and family. Eventually, they will say something or do something that prompts you to write.