Friday, October 15, 2010

Mining for Gold

For the past few weeks I have diligently avoided reading/watching anything (beyond the bare "facts" of the headlines) concerned with recent events in Chile.

It's not that I wasn't interested and/or concerned. I was. I am.

I am interested in the facts of this story. I'm interested in the stories of the individuals who were trapped in that mine. I'm interested in the stories of people who know these guys. I'm interested in the events that led to them being trapped underground. I'm interested in the details of how exactly they were rescued. I'm interested in pretty much anything remotely connected to this story.

So, why didn't I watch on TV, read the papers, etc.? I'll tell you why.

I've had it up to here [makes generally recognized gesture] with media that wants both to manipulate my understanding of events and to dictate how I should feel about events.

Here's what I know: there was an accident, some guys got trapped underground for a couple of months, they were all eventually rescued. Beyond that basic data, I don't trust the media we currently have for anything else.

I honestly don't know what mineral the miners in Chile were digging for. I have no doubt what our media are mining. Hollywood won't be far behind them, and soon we'll all be sitting in theaters crying tears of joy in one big recreational group therapy session. Calling the movie "Trapped" will destroy irony forever. [Oh, wait, 9/11 did that, didn't it? Sorry.]


Speaking of "irony" (or at least comedy), I read a funny thing somewhere (maybe on Twitter): somebody suggested it would be a good gag if, when the first miners came out of the ground, everyone was costumed like Planet of the Apes. I laughed out loud when I read it. I mean, this was a joke made after a happy outcome. Why not laugh about it? But the same day, sitting around with some ex-pats, I re-told the gag. There were a couple of people who seemed genuinely appalled that I could crack a joke on such a joyous occasion...


  1. Re the miners: I watched one snippet on CNN where a voiceover described the expression on a woman's face as her husband emerged from the mine as: "There's the money shot!"

  2. Thanks for that, Glenn. Another friend was watching on BBC and the announcer said, "And there we have it!" (as if some soccer team had finally scored a goal).
    Porn and sports analogies. It's just fucking pathetic what passes for "news reporting" these days. And seriously, this isn't just old fartdom. News reporting really does suck.

  3. I'm not feeling quite so cynical as you guys about this. Personally, I think it's important to cover something like this to provide balance. Like the Superbowl Champions parade on Dat Tuesday. I'm corny I know, but what's life for if not for bliss once in a while? sp

  4. Susanna,
    I know what you mean. It's not the notion of news coverage that bothers me, though, it's the way they go about it.