Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A smart aleck in the aftermath

Some recognizably insensitive observations on the aftermath of a flooded town...

Birds of a feather, die together
The local feathered fauna seemed to prove no match for the freak hurricane force winds that blew through town. The streets and sidewalks on the main drag are littered with bird carcasses, most of which appeared to have been blown from their treetop condos directly into the blunt force trauma inducing plate glass windows and bricked buildings that line the business district.

I hope someone gives them all a good burial. Quickly.

Red Cross...more than just a charitable organization
Never having had any first hand experience with what I percieved to be one of the world's most charitable and necessary organizations, I only knew on a high level of their noble mission to help those in need, whatever the circumstances and wherever that need existed.

But to me, on that day of cleaning, when I was knee deep in mud and muck and sweat and I found myself standing beside a Red Cross station and their table filled with pretzels, bottled water, crackers and sandwiches, complimentary to any or all who needed an energy boost -- a shallow memory emerged from the movie set cobwebs of my mind and I found myself saying out loud, "hmm, good crafts service."

And the sandwiches were good indeed.

The healing process beings...film at 11
As much as people have a love / hate relationship with the media, I witnessed the important role they play in the clean-up and recovery process.

That miniscule moment in the tv spotlight that your average Joe/Josephine Citizen with mud on their boots and broken glass beneath their feet gets when a video crew swings the attention of their DVCAM Pro onto their trashed home or business, can momentarily remove them from their reality and into the celebrity status normally reserved for people outside the average realm of existence.

As demonized as the collectors of mass media often are, it was humanly reassuring to me to witness first hand the effect that a little mass media exposure could have on the Sculptor and his Wife.

By no means am I being condescending, when I say that all the mud and muck and misery they were suffering through glinted away for the brief few minutes before, during and after their digitally recorded interview.

The media's presence, even though it was purely self-serving and job related on the news crews part, acted as a validation to the Sculptor and his family, as if the disaster they were going through was an event worthy of another human beings time and attention.

Granted, the reporter and video shooter may have been genuinely interested and concerned about their fellow Okies rain soaked lives. If they weren't, they did a pretty job of feigning it.

After the news crew left, and the media circus surrounding the Governor's tour of the flood damaged town got back on their horses and onto the next stop of Hurricane Erin's 20-city tour of the panhandle state, we were left with our thoughts and our camaraderie as we squeegied, hosed down, and shoveled our way back to normalcy.

These are my thoughts, and I'm sticking to them.

No comments: