Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day of morbidity

When not doing a media blackout, I like to tune in to the news in the morning to see if the world has ended overnight and if so, for whom. Today it ended for a couple of people in interesting ways.

The first report I saw was of the Continental flight with a dead pilot. When I tuned in, the plane was still in flight and was about to land, being flown by the copilot. I wonder if they informed the passengers of the situation. "May I have your attention, passengers? This is the copilot. Your esteemed pilot kicked the bucket this morning and we need to make a landing to get his corpse taken off before he stiffens up and can't be easily removed from the cockpit." Okay, maybe not like that. All due respect to the dearly departed pilot and his family. Hearing of his passing has hit me with some sadness, even though I never met him.

The next story was about a recent tornado. They showed some excellent coverage of the tornado near Aurora, Nebraska. It was taken by A. J. Fable, filming while driving into the mess. At one point Fable said, "...literally in front of my eyes look at this!" and "I'm literally 400 yards away from it!" He said, "This is truly incredible!" The news reporter then said, "and it is with incredible sadness that I report this gentleman's death from the tornado." Okay, so I'm paraphrasing but I was blown away (pun intended). Again, I was struck with a mixture of emotions: sadness for the guy's loss and sad for his family, but also it tickled my sick side that enjoys a good morbid laugh. It just seemed somewhat absurd; this guy driving into a tornado so excited about the footage he was getting, then him dying, then the news broadcasting this incredible footage and having to report the man's death. On one hand, it's a great homage to the man that they show this film that he "literally" died for, on the other, I wonder if he'll be put up for a Darwin Award.

*Edited to add: I have been searching for an article about Fable's death and can't find anything, which leads me to wonder if the reports of his death have been greatly exaggerated. Perhaps the news clip I saw this morning was in error. I know what I saw, I had Dave come and see it, too, and we blipped it back on the Tivo a few times. What I say I saw I saw, he saw she saw we saw seasaw and all that.

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