Wednesday, June 2, 2010
The Great American Disaster
That was the name of a trendy restaurant in 1970 Swinging London. It was the Ur American hamburger place and a precursor to the Hard Rock Cafe which opened a year later on Picadilly (and the Disaster closed). It was always packed, with lines around the block, and if you had ever tasted an English Wimpy Burger you'd see why. The place had framed pictures of things like the Hindenberg crash, the Lusitania sinking, Custer at Little Big Horn, that kind of fun stuff. Today, it would probably give a whole wall to the BP Oil Spill and keep CNN on all day. American disasters seem to come along quite regularly, such as 9/11. What can we do about it? Nothing, as far as I can see. I don't know anything about deep water drilling and I don't have my own private foreign policy. We are just horrified onlookers like the radio announcer who saw the Hindenberg crash, repeating: "Oh the humanity, the humanity!" And so we echo him with, "Oh the plume, the plume!"