sIn the frenzy leading up to the U.S. Open, Craig Smith, writing at the Seattle Times, compares the excitement of a major sporting event being held in Seattle’s “backyard” (I’m sure the residents University Place just love that characterization) to a natural disaster that killed 57 people – the eruption of Mount St. Helens on May 18, 1980.
But if you allow yourself, you can share the excitement of having one of the world’s major sporting events held in your backyard. It’s like when Mount St. Helens erupted. If you were around in 1980, you probably felt like an insider when East Coast friends called to ask about it.
The Seattle Times is no stranger to insensitive reporting on Mount St. Helens, publishing, if memory serves me, a photograph of two small boys in the back of a pickup truck, where they had first stripped off their clothes trying to keep cool in the intense heat of the blast, and ultimately perished, only to be stripped again… of the dignity they should have been allowed in death.
If that photo was meant to engender empathy on behalf of the victims, it doesn’t seem to have worked with Mr. Smith, whose memory of the event is, apparently, dominated by the excitement and sense of importance he felt when given the chance to fill in details for distant friends and family. Rather than the sadness and awe normal people would feel at the loss of life and the unfettered power of Mother Nature.
How shallow. “Watch the U.S. Open your best chance to feel like an insider since Mount St. Helens erupted!”
So, yeah. Keep it classy, Seattle Times. Keep it classy.