Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Same planet, different worlds.

You know what always cracks me up? When the morning national news programs interview disaster survivors from the heartland. The talking heads always look so surprised to get an earful of inchoate theology from people whose eyes are still wide and knees still a-shakin' after watching their Amy Grant CD collection and entire set of Left Behind books get whisked off to Oz.

When tornadoes Hoovered up vast swathes of the South recently, Today pointed their cameras at a man who had survived the cyclone by taking cover under the communion table of the Second Living Bible Church of Wide Spot, Mississippi. Given the mic, he held forth at some length about what a swell guy he thought Jesus was right at that moment, and how everybody else ought to think so, too.

The NBC talking heads were nonplussed and confused. Hey, less than eight hours before you stuck a camera in his face, this guy had a front-row seat at a Roland Emmerich production while huddling in the very belly button of a church; what did you think he was going to talk about? It wouldn't surprise me at all if the words "...and if You let me live, and don't suck me up like You just did that tool shed over there, I promise I will praise Your name to every news crew that shows up," had actually passed the man's lips at some point the previous evening.

Look, Ms. NBC news reader, we can't all be as stoic and rationally calm in the face of buildings being destroyed right in our faces as you New Yorkers are, okay?

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

But we rebuild ever so much faster . . . .

erich martell
albuquerque, nm

Paul said...

New Yorkers are not very Stoic when some thing like acutally happens to them. They are of the opinion that if it doesn't happen there, it must not be real.

Tam said...

Yeah, and they're not going to go re-interview this guy every year on 9/11, either.

Joanna said...

Cue Bill Engvall:

It was pandelerium! I looked out the window in time to see the chicken coop blow away ... Alls I could think was, "Charlene still has my casserole dish!"

I think what surprises the newsheads the most is that the gentleman praising Jesus does so without a snake and/or a jug of moonshine and with, presumably, all his original teeth.

Anonymous said...

There's a reason times like that are called Come-to-Jesus moments.
MycroftH4

dave said...

But we rebuild ever so much faster . . . .

That's because we actually get out there and work at it instead of sitting around whining to the gubbermint to "come do something about it."

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I understood the New York reference, but as someone actually from around there, I find it pretty rich every time I hear the refrain that those soft east-coast liberals don't know what 9/11 was really about.

I'm sure that's not your intent, but I feel like complaining this morning. So there.

Mark B. said...

So Tam, you really think their producers just picked that guy out of the crowd at random? There's a narrative to push, y'know?

It's the ever-so-artful surprise and confusion that are an act . . .

'Berg

Tam said...

Explaining jokes always ruins them, but...

See, the news readers in NYC are trying to ask their pointed questions to the person on the other end, who, having just watched everything blow up in their face a few hours earlier, is still in the wild-eyed and "Thank you, Jesus!" phase of Not Being Dead.

This seems to irk the questioner at the network studios in NYC, who wants technical answers about how far pickups and double-wides were thrown, not incoherent babbling, seemingly forgetting that Bubba is about as composed and unruffled as... well, most talking heads were one not-too-distant September morn.

Anonymous said...

Tornados are like natures roulette wheels. Round and round they go, where they land nobody knows.

"There's a reason times like that are called Come-to-Jesus moments.
MycroftH4"

+1 Amen to that.

Gerry

Blackwing1 said...

A few decades ago while standing in the street watching what was left of my apartment building burn to the ground a local EyeWash News “reporter” had her cameraman shove his lens into my face and asked me, “How does it feel lose everything you own?” My profanity-laced response didn’t make it onto the air, since I replied, “If you don’t get that effing camera out of my face, I’m going to stuff it so far up your effing *bleep* you’re going to be able to roll film by opening your effing mouth.”

Okay, it wasn’t the most urbane and erudite comment to make, but I was a tad bit upset at the time. Perhaps people just generally aren’t at their best when they’ve lost everything, people are injured, and they’re still in shock.

David said...

There are no athiests in foxholes.

nor in storm shelters.

I grew up spending every summer in the tornado belt. Every time the storm warning sirens went off we all gathered in Grandma's basement, except for Grandpa who would stay upstairs in the kitchen.

He always had a flippant reason for not going into the basement. It was years later that I realized that he, even with help, could not physically navigate the steep narrow stairs into the basement.

One particular tense close call night, while Grandma was fussing over my sisters, I snuck up the stairs and peeked through the door to check on Grandpa. I found my Grandfather, who had refused to step foot into a church for over 50 years sitting at the kitchen table with his head in his hands. Over the sound of the tornado tearing apart the house across the street I could hear him praying.

Matt G said...

Thing is, no man made those twisters. There is no man to be mad at, and no man to be afraid of. Without a down-to-earth maker destroying your world, when it shore 'nuff is being destroyed, even folks only slightly acquainted with Jeebus can get religion right quick.

I wonder if I'm one of 'em. I tend to be pretty stoic in disaster. But you never know 'til the can of Cheese Whiz before you is spinning right, and the box of Saltines behind you is flying left.

Sebastian said...

I think it basically comes down to this -- the people who settled this country south and west were fucking nuts. You kind of had to be... because pretty much anywhere you go in this country beyond the relatively placid area east of the Appalachians, mother nature is basically going to take repeated stabs at killing you and destroying your life. Religion's just one way to cope with that. Alcohol is probably another.

I think that's a hard concept for someone from New York City to wrap their heads around. They are decedents of people who decided that was a little too much adventure for them.

Matthew said...

This is the Law of the Tornado Belt/Dust Bowl/Ring of Fire, and ever we make it plain.
Send not your weak and your feeble, send us your strong and your sane.


WV: frotalur - not sure what it means but it sounds French and dirty

Justthisguy said...

USS Shenandoah was designed as a copy of German "height-climber" Zeppelins. The intensity of the thunderstorms in the Midwestern part of America was not considered.

America: We have dangerous weather; it'll fuck you up.

Paul said...

Two things: could you stop the NY bashing? I live in suburban NY, and work in Manhattan (after 11 months of being unemployed). . .you simply have no idea what you are talking about when you go on yammering about us. . Have you ever even been to NYC?

Second: don't be hatin' on Amy Grant. . . that's a fine lookin' lady. .

Other than that, you're great Tam. .

BTW, this is a different "Paul" than the one above. . .I'm the real one. . .

Beaumont said...

New Yorkers were not so stoic in 2001. They just like to pretend they are when someone else's state gets disastered.

Joseph said...

In New York, praying is done in response to declines in the Dow--Jones average.

Ian Argent said...

All y'all new yorkers relax. I'm after racking up 18 years in the NY-affiliated part of the People's Republic of NJ; had some close friends near the towers when they went down (they made it, thankfully); and my mother was in the Pentagon (other side, sub-basement - she claimed she thought a transformer had blown until she made it to the marshalling areas). And Tam and the rest have a point

The northeast doesn't, by and large, have to dea with heavy weather; certainly not to the extent that other parts of the US do, and the snarking on the NYC-based talking heads on the reactions of the "natives" is spot-on in my experience.

(WV: xenalsed - nope, I got nuffin)