The video above was shot in the wee a.m. hours this past Monday, after I spent the entire evening jumping between Facebook, KOAM TV 7’s website, and a news aggregating website to try and get a sense of what exactly had happened to the city of Joplin, Missouri, a place I visited quite often in the twenty-seven years before I moved up to Wisconsin. If you follow me on YouTube you’ve already seen it; I posted it up immediately after shooting it that night/morning. This was my way of working through the raw emotions of seeing a place that had been such a large part of my life for so long torn apart by the forces of nature. I’m still shaken up by it; it doesn’t help that A) this came on the heels of another ridiculous shake-up at my crappy little job which finally settled down yesterday, and B) a week from now I’ll be getting on an airplane and flying INTO Joplin, Missouri, on my way back home to Pittsburg for the first time in almost three years. I’ll be seeing the devastation from above, and if we linger at all I’ll be seeing it firsthand. If I think I’m an emotional wreck NOW … *sigh*
While some of my parents’ coworkers lost their homes and even a few lost relatives, I don’t know that I personally know anyone affected in a life-changing way by the destruction of a large swath of Joplin, beyond the tumultuous emotions I’ve been feeling myself. It is interesting to me how the footage and photos hit me like a sucker punch. I can ultimately deal with gradual change. A fire takes out a few buildings. A family decides it’s time to close down their business after soever many years. A big chain decides that such-and-such-a-location isn’t profitable anymore. Times change and make an old business model obsolete. Old houses are razed to build new apartments. In the grand scheme of things, this sort of change makes sense; it’s all part of the endless cycle of interlocking deaths and births that we call history. This, on the other hand … this was the planet itself deciding to unleash a quarter-mile-wide salvo of death and ruin — both physical and economic — on an average midwestern American city. It doesn’t make a damn bit of sense to me. Yes, tragedies like this bring people together. Yes, they will rebuild. Yes, people will find a way to make some good out of this nightmare. But that part of me that demands order and sense from the world is, in my mind’s eye, shaking its fists in the air and screaming, “BUT THEY SHOULDN’T HAVE TO!” Yes, even after all these years, there’s still a part of me deep down inside that demands a childish sense of fairness from the world.
That said, yeah, for those already caught up, there’s no new video this weekend. Because of my upcoming vacation I’m trying to power through a bunch of Robotech episodes in the spare time I’ve got. I did even have a few topics in mind for this weekend’s video, but every one kind of slipped through my fingers mere moments after it came to me — clearly I’ve been having a hard time thinking straight. I do have something coming in the mail next week I’m going to want to talk about, though, so barring any further distracting news to make me a wreck again, we’ve got a topic for next weekend.
Upcoming posts for this week include tomorrow’s second half of Matthew Graham’s very old school Doctor Who two-parter, which I find I’m quite looking forward to, and the first full week of the second generation of Robotech, the centerpiece of which is the downing and exploration of one of the Robotech Masters’ flagships. After a half-baked first week of Robotech Masters, this is where the second generation really comes into its own.