Mapleton, Iowa, disappeared beneath one of these.
You want to know what I hate?
I hate it when storm chasers shoot video of tornadoes -- which they peddle to the evening news, because nothing sells better than video of s*** getting blown to Kingdom Come -- and all you hear on the soundtrack of the tape is these "meteorological professionals" yelling stuff like "Awesome! Look at that! Beautiful . . . we got a beautiful funnel here!"
Listen, I know it's exciting and all, almost getting yourself killed for 30 seconds of video you can sell for big bucks. I get the adrenaline rush.
Still, I think there's a point I need to make here. That being "F*** you!"
SEE, in the middle of that "awesome, beautiful" vortex, s*** is getting blowed up good. Decades of blood, sweat, toil and tears is disappearing in a matter of seconds. Gone with the wind, as it were.
In many cases, underneath those "awesome" storms, people are being hurt. Some killed.
Killed dead. And dead is forever, which goes on a lot longer than the minute and a half any particular annihilation of worlds (and trailer parks) gets on the network news. In the latest tornado outbreak across the South on Thursday and Friday, 17 people are dead so far.
One can only hope a storm chaser got long-range footage of their deaths, so at least these poor souls will not have died in vain . . . right? It's kind of like the thrilling end of Howard Beale in Network, only without the moral complication of paying Maoist guerrillas to deliver the ratings.
HERE'S ANOTHER thing wiped out by the savage winds last week -- history. Physical manifestations of a region's culture. A man's life work. Maybe jobs, too . . . for good.
Never heard of Malaco Records in Jackson, Miss., that chunk of history and culture that bought the farm in the big wind? I'll bet you've heard what came forth from there.
WLBT television in Jackson reports:
A piece of Mississippi history was virtually blown away by Friday's destructive storms. Internationally acclaimed Malaco Records on Northside Drive in Jackson was almost reduced to rubble and now the owners are wondering whether they will rebuild after 44 years.
It was 3 years ago this month that Malaco Records was honored with an official marker recognizing it as a Jackson landmark along the Mississippi Blues Trail. The company was founded in 1962 and located on Northside Drive in 1967.
Now, that marker is almost the only thing left standing. A powerful tornado shredded two of the three buildings in the compound. Wolf Stephenson, one of Malaco's founders, was inside with about 15 employees, winding down for the weekend.
Stephenson said, "We started seeing limbs and debris flying through the air and decided we better take cover."
Stephenson says the warehouse can probably be saved. As for the rest of Malaco Records:
"Well, the buildings are old. It's a real tricky question as to whether or not it's worth rebuilding.", said Stephenson.
IT'S just awesome when we get a whole tornado outbreak to make our day, right?
Cue Don Henley. Again.