they call photos indelible images for a reason. they stick out in your memory, making it easier to recall exactly where you were at a certain point in time. and the broadcast media loves to stick them right in your face. examples:
hurricane katrina: a young boy, probably about 10 years old, chastising the photojournalist, pointing out very matter-of-factly that they were waiting at the convention center, and had been for some time, without proper food, water, or sanitation. that, more than any wailing i heard, made me turn off my tv in disgust. i couldn’t take any more of the coverage of the carnage and destruction. it was heart wrenching and disgusting to watch our government, so capable when it comes to any other disaster in the world, fail, and fail miserably.
9/11-the twin towers: it was actually the fall of 2002 when i saw that footage for the first time. i was in class, deviance, and we were watching it as part of a lecture. i felt amazingly…disconnected from it. it had very little impact on me.
today, i watched them hoist the remaining chilean miner out from the wreckage of that mine. dinner was on the stove, getting stuck to the bottom of the skillet, but i didn’t care. i had to see it. watching him come out, struggling with the straps on his harness, embracing his family and the president, was something that not just me, but millions around the world were waiting for.
i wish i were eloquent enough to properly express, or explain, just what this means. to call it a triumph of the human spirit is certainly a cliche, but it’s a true cliche. i thought i would be asleep by the time they pulled out the last miner, and i’m so thankful i wasn’t. i had tears in my eyes, and i’m pretty sure that no one understood my facebook status. who fucking cares. somehow, 33 miners survived underground for 69 days. the rescue efforts went smoothly and far exceeded expectations. their president proved himself to be a man of honor by not sleeping until all of them were brought to the surface. even iranian state tv broadcast the live coverage (well, at least until the president touched down in lebanon).
for now, forget about the scandal caused when one of the miner’s wives discovered his mistress in camp hope. forget about the book deals, movie deals, the instant fame. today… today is an awesome day. all because 33 men emerged from underground in one piece.