A lot of news stories have been really dominated my consciousness this month. And these aside from politics, which I reckon will require its own post soon enough.
One was the safe return of the 33 Chilean miners. The day of the rescue, October 13, there was a live feed on CNN, and I watched it, off and on, for hours. And it was always comfortingly the same, well-described by the Los Angeles Times: The rescue work had adopted a mesmerizing, rhythmic routine, the thin capsule shimmying down and up the narrow shaft that had been drilled to reach the chamber. Each appearance at the surface delivered a newly rescued miner into the arms of overjoyed family members, reunions that were still moving with every repetition. It had a sort of chant or Taize quality to it.
Yet there will always be the inevitable backlash.
I actually read, in a LOC, “Oh, it was no big deal; they were perfectly safe.” To that person, I feel like throwing him down a hole for two months and see what he’d miss. Not to mention that in the first couple of weeks, the miners didn’t know if they would even survive. Here’s a video about NASA’s assistance, which should help one understand the stresses those men experienced, as well as some of the engineering requirements required for the rescue.
Another storyline involves the GLBT youths’ suicide and the mostly heartening response. I’ve watched a number of moving videos, including one of a Fort Worth, TX city councilman, which was excerpted on ABC News recently. But it was actually GayProf’s prose piece about the abuse he suffered as a kid that got to me; well, that and his link to Tim Gunn’s touching “It Gets Better” video. Interestingly, SamuraiFrog puts at least some of the blame on the current President of the United States, and I’m not sure he’s entirely wrong about that, though I “get” what Obama’s trying to do: end DADT and make the military think it was THEIR idea; maybe Jon Stewart will ask Obama about it next week. Frog also notes your everyday schmucks as well that contribute to a climate of bigotry-driven violence.
Remember that story in Hungary about the alumina-coated waters rushing through towns and into the Danube? Well, it was newsworthy in the US as long as there were fresh pictures. Now it’s yesterday’s news – unless you happen to live in other parts of the world.
What HAS been a continual big story in the US is the foreclosure stories, not so much that there are homes being foreclosed, but the fact that they’ve been foreclosed illegally (and immorally), with financial institutions failing to even look at the paperwork. Now foreclosures are all being frozen, to check to see which ones are legit, which is hurting the financial markets, which, in turn, is hurting my head.
Is yoga pagan? Yeesh.
I found this rather sad: KCET, the PBS affiliate in Los Angeles, has decided to break away from the public broadcasting network and become an independent station. Station officials intend to replace such PBS series as “Charlie Rose” and “NewsHour” with news and documentaries from Japan, Canada, and elsewhere, along with old feature films.
Deaths I failed to note: Gloria Stewart (Sept 26 at the age of 100). When she was picked, at the age of 86, to be old Rose in the movie Titanic, James Cameron said he wanted to find someone he could age to 101 easily, and who could still stand upright.
George Blanda (Sept 27 at the age of 83). It’s funny to realize that his career with the Oakland Raiders (1967-1975), which I remember quite well, was just the last third of the football Hall of Famer’s 26-year career as a quarterback and placekicker.
Norman Wisdom (Oct 4 at the age of 95). He was in one of my favorite movies, The Night They Raided Minsky’s. Here’s What is Burlesque with Britt Eklund and PERFECT GENTLEMAN with Jason Robards.
Solomon Burke (October 10 at age 70). Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. Here’s Everybody Needs Somebody To Love, a live performance from 2003. And Cry To Me from the movie Dirty Dancing, with Patrick Swayze & Jennifer Grey.
Barbara Billingsly (Oct 16 at the age of 94). She was the mom on Leave It to Beaver, a show I never really embraced. But I WAS a big fan of the movie Airplane, where she talked jive; she discusses the experience here.
Tom Bosley (Oct 19 at the age of 83) I watched him as the father on Happy Days, though I may have quit it before Fonzie jumped the shark. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I also saw him on Murder, She Wrote, but slightly chastened to admit that I also viewed The Father Dowling Mysteries.
On the subject of death, Biblical scholar’s date for rapture: May 21, 2011. Anyone knowing me well probably knows that I find these predictions not only silly but antithetical to true faith.