Friday, February 21, 2020

The Persistence Of Memory

     Salvador Dali had it right: our clocks are melting, all the sweet green icing running down.*

     Yesterday, a tanker truck carrying four thousand gallons of jet fuel was wrecked and burned on the east side of Indianapolis, shutting down the heavily-used interchange between I-70 and I-465.   Amazingly, no one was killed; passers-by rushed in and pulled the driver to safety.

     This morning, across several channels, TV news people were remarking on the unusual event, musing that nothing like it had happened before.

     But it has.  In October 2009, an LP tanker traveling on I-465 near I-69 on the the northeast side of Indianapolis flipped, caught fire and exploded.  A couple of passing drivers stopped and carried the driver away from the fire.

     History doesn't repeat itself but it often rhymes; given the amount of traffic on the ring freeway and the preferential routing of hazardous cargo away from surface streets, this is not unexpected.  The remarkable thing is that on both occasions, people stepped up and helped out at considerable personal risk.  --Or are remarkable people, brave people, decent people, a little more common than pessimists would have us believe?
* No, the link's up there.  Click on the asterisk.


RandyGC said...

I sometimes think the word "unprecedented" is the second most misused word in the media. Right below variations of "decimate".

You could make a list of words that don't mean what people think they mean, but you'd need a bigger blog.

Ritchie said...

And there's the torpedo spill in Denver, which actually doesn't happen very often.

*knock knock*
"Who's there?"
"Land torpedo"

Waitstaff is happy to accept ammo as tips.

pigpen51 said...

I think you are right, Roberta. The norm for most Americans, even in today's jaded society, is to help others, even if it puts yourself at great peril, up to and including death. We see it in military battles, quite often.
I read tales of Medal of Honor recipients on occasions, and nearly to a person, they don't stop and think about how it will affect themselves, or their lives, but rather they just step up and act. Often, later, the reason they give for doing so is out of a sense of what can be boiled down to the word love. Not the romantic form of love, which typically exists between a man and a woman, and at times between two people of the same gender. But instead, of the type of love that is found in the word that is used in the Bible, and is the base of the name of the city that describes brotherly love, Philadelphia. The Greek word is Phileo, and describes that same kind of love,while the romantic love is Eros.
I think that when the founding fathers, a term that often seems sexist, when I know that many females were involved with the revolution, not necessarily in fighting battles with weapons, but surely in supporting those who did, and in helping to hide them, when needed, and feeding them, again, when called upon. So, when the founders pledged their very lives and their living to what they were attempting, they were dedicating everything they had, in order to set all of their brothers and sisters free from the bondage that the United Kingdom, or England, had tied around their necks.
I read about battles during the Vietnam war, and in tales of heroism, it is often said that the fighters didn't fight for America,or even against communism, but rather they fought for their buddies next to them. I can't prove it, of course, but I want to believe that America is unique in this respect, due to our melting pot reputation, that of us all being in the same boat,that of all coming from various backgrounds, and different social and financial means, but being related to each other by our commitment to this nation. This idea in my head, of course, is most likely looking at things with rosy glasses,and is too optimistic, but I can live with that.

Reltney McFee said...

"The remarkable thing is that on both occasions, people stepped up and helped out at considerable personal risk. --Or are remarkable people, brave people, decent people, a little more common than pessimists would have us believe?"

I vote that good folks are more common than not. They simply do not bleat about how wunnerful they are. Rather, they simply identify their duty, and do it.

Any firehouse, any medic station, any police station, is almost crawling with such folks. Yeah, there are schlubs there. There are schlubs everywhere. And, off duty, most medics, most firefighters are self deprecating.

One day I was at the Department Doctor, to return to duty from some on duty injury or another. We were trading stories of how we were off duty, reminiscent of the scene on Officer Obie's bench in "Alice's Restaurant".

I remember one of the firefighters telling his tale. "There I was, fighting fires and saving lives, and, well, the floor fell in. Shit!"