Real Life Applications
I was going to write a more serious disaster comparison, but I just was not in the mood to get sad. This is a long shot and probably a far stretch, but here we go.
Let us take a moment to talk about disaster. It has a bad connotation, we do not like it, or its consequences because they are usually grave. Rebecca Solnit says that although disaster is bad, it still ends up bringing us closer together because we stop taking everything for granted and live on a need to need basis. She says that “disaster makes it clear that our interdependence is not only an inescapable fact but a fact worth celebrating”, and I couldn’t agree more. It may seem trivial, or stupid to most of you, but one of the more recent disasters in my life occurred in my hometown on July 8th, 2010, and I will assume that it affected all of the inhabitants of my thriving city (yes, joke). The disaster was one of heartbreak, and coined the name LeGone. Lebron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat. Rude.
I love the piece “The Uses of Disaster” because it describes exactly the process that Cleveland went through after Lebron left. If you aren’t from Cleveland, which I hope and am certain that the majority of you are not, maybe you don’t understand the devastation that this event caused that night and that summer. Pre-disaster stage, Clevelanders were enjoying (or something of the sort) a typical summer night, chillin’ in the bars and watching ESPN, but there was bad forecast for that night…sort of like a weather report before a hurricane, the calm before the storm. We tried to avoid it, as shown here:
But, in the last minute of the unnecessarily long television special of Lebron talking about nothing, the disaster strikes.
Solnit explains that one well-known version of disaster reaction involves “a sort of Hobbesian true nature [that] emerges…and people trample one another to flee, or loot and pillage, or they haplessly await rescue…” Some Clevelanders ran through the streets, burning anything “Lebron”, pulling down street signs, starting fires, breaking windows, and etcetera. And while those people were doing that, the “haplessly await rescue” people (myself included), sat on the couch in their house and waited for Ashton to come on TV and tell us we got punk’d. That unfortunately didn’t happen…
After the disaster, we form a sense of community. Maybe Clevlanders have a bad upbringing, or maybe this is just a bad disaster comparison, but the way that we formed community was through bullying. There are youtube spoofs making fun of Lebron for being gay (feel free to youtube them but I won’t post the links because they are unbelievably inappropriate and offensive). Also, anytime he comes to Cleveland, or loses a game, everyone in Cleveland comes together to gang up on him, and that is a sense of community, it makes us feel good, and like Solnit said it would, brings us joy.