Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A microcosm

If ever there was a true definition of the word "microcosm", it can be found -- but you have to have a pretty good-sized set of waders in order to try and plow through all of them and not have your eyeballs permanently cross with all of the misspellings and a LOT of free time -- encapsulated in the more than 450 (!!?!?!!) comments in response to a set of 16 pictures posted here.

A friend of mine sent me an e-mail this morning with this site referenced. Initially I thought, "OK. I'll look at some more flooding photos of Iowa." I didn't want to. I mean, I've thought about and prayed for these people so many times, I really didn't want to look at their suffering again. But, I did.

These are no ordinary photographs, by the way. Some I thought were just kind of so-so, but most were really quite extraordinary. Remarkably different from those posted on your local news stations.

When I came to the last of the 16 photos, making a few notes along the way as to what I wanted to include in a response to my friend, the "Comments" section began.

I thought I would read just a few. So I did. And then I kept reading, my jaw dropping MANY times as I did so. Does no commentor ever read what has been said before? Are we all so fascinated with our own viewpoint that we cannot/will not bother to listen to or read what another person has to say?

Commentors' opinions ranged from A-ZZZ, let me tell you. Shocking! Appalling!!

Global warming ... Bush ... Race ... Police ... Government ... Katrina comparisons ... The end is coming! ... Sue-happy ... US is being punished ... Blame

You name an opinion, it's there.

I'd like to cite just a few of the commentors, altho you're certainly welcome to go through them all, as I did.

#282 ... Refers to the first picture of the 16, and involves (Who else?).

#?? ... Extremely insulting and thoughtless. Says, "Anyone want to go swimming?"

#72 ... Talks about how the US supports (darned near) the whole rest of the world in their time of need ("for political advancements, of course", he says, which I find to be repugnant) with no reciprocation. This particular comment reminded me of a recorded essay that I have heard many times, but to which I have as of this writing been unable to find the exact cite. When/if I do, I will come back and edit, OK?

#90 ... My notes say "Idiot". (I'll go back to it and try and find out why I said that.) I did. My opinion stands.

#125 ... "Scary" in my notes. (I just reread it. Should have said 'damn' scary!)

#156 ... "Hilarious" in notes. (Doesn't sound right, does it? I'll reread.) I reread. Not hilarious, but there were so many other comments on 'blame', I guess I found this one kind of a breath of fresh air.

#435 ... "Thoughtful" in notes. (Still agree.)

Get this! After you have survived all the rough commentors' waters, perhaps you might like to add a comment? The "Comment" site says, "This blogger might want to review your comment before posting it." Are you kidding me?!? Four hundred fifty some comments and the blogger is reviewing each one? I don't think so! (And no, I didn't try and post a comment.)

Shoot! I was all set to hit the "Publish Post" button when I remembered that I had not recommended that you at least hit the link to see the photographs. DO so, OK?


Tammy said...

Wow. I was tempted to not look at the photos....I've seen so many and it's so discouraging. These poor people. But I'm glad I took a look; there's some heart wrenching photos there. The one of the corn field. The one of the guy carrying the cats. All photos that make you stop and think about what these people have endured....

Thanks for sharing this.

Oh, and I looked at the comments you mentioned, and I wholeheartedly agree with your thoughts.

Goldenrod said...

I agree that it was definitely a tough "look-see". I'm glad that you felt you were able to expend the necessary emotional time. The worst part of this whole thing is that they will shortly be forgotten in the next 'news worthy' crisis.