Monday, May 15, 2017

The Day A Star Was Thrown Into A Volcano...

Harry Randall Truman was the 84 year old caretaker of a lake-front lodge right next to Mount Saint Helens.

As the volcano gave off signs of imminent eruption in early 1980, old Harry became a media sensation due to his stubborn refusal to heed evacuation orders.

Of course many others remained in the danger zone too (57 people died due to the volcano, including Harry), yet only Harry became a star.

Why Harry?

He was an expressive, talkative, lonely old widower who ate up the spotlight (attention) and the media was looking for a “human interest” angle for what they knew would be a prolonged coverage of the Volcano leading up to its eruption.

Encouraged by press coverage (including celebrity profile type segments) and subsequent “give ‘em hell, Harry!” public reaction, the old man played the part the media crafted for him: cantankerous folksy anti-hero who wouldn’t let a bunch of bureaucrats drive him off his land. He received fan mail, marriage proposals and even had folk songs composed about him.

Harry, his lodge and his 16 cats ended up buried beneath about a hundred feet of mud, ash and debris.

The media knew damn well what would happen to him. He was their Captain Ahab (they loved photos of him with the Whale, I mean Volcano, in the background). And yet he was used for the ratings and for keeping people’s attention fixed firmly on the evening news entertainment.

I don’t think there is much doubt that in reality Harry was a frightened old man who wanted to flee from the danger. But every time he opened his door, there was a reporter prodding him to play his designated part.

It went something like this,

Media to Harry: “Are you going to disappoint your fans and let those know-it-all pencil necks push you off your land Harry?”

Harry: “Hell no. No one pushes old Harry around. Not even a volcano!”

Media to viewers: “That’s our Harry!”

Viewers: big toothy grins and rabid applause.

Harry was the proverbial king for a day.

I point this out for all the dumb bastards out there who find themselves “compelled” to protest for some social cause which was highlighted, scripted and staged by the media.

Ask yourself this,

If you protest and no press is there to take your picture, do you make any sound?

In Ye Olden Times there was no such thing as a protest, in the way the word is used today.

People rioted when provoked, which was rare.

But it’s hard to get good pictures and craft a narrative out of a genuine riot. Riots are out of control.

A Protest, however, is an organized and staged (there’s that word again) event. There are designated stage entrances, official lines to be read and even rehearsals. Hell, many of them are flat out paid for their performance.

Just FYI, if you’re a protester or SJW I can guarantee you, no matter what you may think, it's not of your own volition.  You may think it is, but you're wrong.  You are playing a part crafted for you and you are performing in someone’s play, the plot of which the producers consider none of you business -the finale of which involves you and a big volcano.