Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Please help this Poor Sad Victim of Terror

***UPDATED!!!***
Okay, I know that I really should not be doing this, but I just must:

"It was horrible, not at all like the photos you see on television"

So I got to thinking, what are bombings like on television? I tried to come up with a top ten list but only made it up to three. Perhaps you would like to help me? Yes? In the interests of making this easier (not to mention more amusing), you are all welcome to consider bombings on television in all of their forms (news reports, movies, tv shows etc).

The winners of this contest will not only have their suggestion added to the list, but will have the personal satisfaction of knowing that they have aided a real-live victim of terror. (Jerusalem Artichoke --you have had a full hour to think of something already. Pony up!)

Top Ten Ways that Real Bombings are not at all like Bombings you See on Television

1) You cannot find Anderson Cooper anywhere.
2) No sad, haunting soundtrack. (Or maybe there was. What do I know--I did not hear the screams either).
3) The victims are not all glamorous models dressed in the latest fashions (lots of skirts and high heels), or rather, if they were glamorous before the explosion, they sure as hell look like crap after. (From Me and Washington Gardener)
4) Things do not happen in slow motion in a real bombing. (From Baila)
5) No heavy-heavy-handed foreshadowing, either, like scary music when the Victim mentions that she forgot to give her puppy extra treats but not to worry, she'll be back home soon. Da-dum! (From Miriam)
6) The action is not performed by stunt doubles.
7) You don't know who the bomber is before. Real-life bombers aren't necessarily any scarier-looking than other people, looking around shiftily.... (From Bas Melech)
8) In a real bombing, the effect is not limited to the victim turning temporarily black and smokey, with an annoyed grimace on his/her face. (See Cartoon Laws of Physics, Amendment C) (From Lurker)
9) On TV, you don't experience the "long" wait before the ambulances come. (Even though the wait is really less than 2 minutes). In fact, on TV - the ambulances are already there. (From Jameel)
10) On TV, you don't hear alarms going on and on and on...(not sirens, but burglar alarms from shattered windows) . (From Jameel)
11) On television, the hero jumps in to shield the heroine using only his body - which of course is shrapnel proof and both get off and then just dust themselves off and walk away - perhaps a skinned knee - if anything. (From Washington Gardener)
12) On television, people are not deafened (even temporarily) and can hear perfectly. (From Washington Gardener)
13) On television, people immediately know what happened and assess the situation accurately - within 10 seconds they can ID the bumber, their motive and exactly how they did it (From Washington Gardener) (Ed: Well, here as well, we can get the motive and the how right off the bat. The ID'ing the bomber part is a bit more difficult, seeing that she or he has just been blown up to smithereens. Luckily for us, normally the terrorist organization jumps in to help us with that part.)
14) Television bombing scenes are so much, well, orderly than in real life. Less blood. Less gore. Less blown up sh*t. Fewer people in shock and/or hysterics.
15) The problems that the victims of terror face are not resolved by the end of the hour. (From the Jerusalem Artichoke)
16) In real life, unlike television, bombing-related: religious conversions, declarations of love, sudden, brilliant revelations, swings in political views or other life-altering epiphanies, do not necessarily come at the scene of the bombing. And in fact, they may not come at all! Sometimes real bombing victims just get on with their lives!
17) For many people there are no happy endings. (From Jack)

And I think that Jack's is an appropriate ending to the list.

In all seriousness, I believe that the presentation of bombings, illnesses, and other tragedies and catastrophes in the media has had a major impact on how we perceive these events and what our expectations are in respect to these events. I cannot tell you how many stupid questions or comments I, and other victims of terror, illnesses and other assorted tragedies and challenges, have had to field from otherwise intelligent people due to these warped perceptions and expectations.

Just a thought....
The bright thing about the stupid comments is that, once you have them, they make excellent blog material.

18 comments:

Jerusalem Artichoke said...

OK, I'll bite.

4) The problems that victims of terror face are not resolved by the end of the hour.

Baila said...

Well, having never been in a real life bombing (ptuy ptuy ptuy), I can't really say for sure. But I don't think that things happen in slow motion.

Or do they?

Gila said...

Arty--really? My gosh, that would explain an awful lot.

Baila--clever--did not think of that one!

Gila

Miriam Goldstein said...

I would imagine there's no heavy-handed foreshadowing, either, like scary music when the Victim mentions that she forgot give her puppy extra treats but not to worry, she'll be back home soon. Da-dum!

(Great blog, o poor sad victim of terror.)

Bas~Melech said...

You don't know who the bomber is before. (Or at least I'd imagine that real-life bombers aren't necessarily any scarier-looking than other people, looking around shiftily...)

Gila said...

Bas Melech--oh, good one. I cannot tell you how many times people have asked me what the bomber looked like, whether I noticed anything odd about her (of course, that is why I just stood there, like an idiot, waiting for her to blow me up).

Lurker said...

In a real bombing, the effect is not limited to the victim turning temporarily black and smokey, with an annoyed grimace on his/her face. (See Cartoon Laws of Physics, Amendment C).

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Terror attacks on TV keep the same footage repeating itself for hours.

On TV, you dont hear alarms going on and on and on...(not sirens, but burglar alarms from shattered windows)

On TV, you don't experience the "long" wait before the ambulances come. (Even though the wait is really less than 2 minutes). In fact, on TV - the ambulances are already there.

WashingtonGardener said...

from the movies vs real:
- the hero jumps in to shield the heroine using only his body - which of course is shrapnel prrof and both get off and then just dust themselves off and walk away - perhaps a skinned knee - if anything
- everyone is wearing the latest fashions - which of course includes lots of skirts and high heels
- people are not deafened (even temporarily) and can hear perfectly
- people immediately know what happened and assess the situation accurately - within 10 seconds they can ID the bumber, their motive and exactly how they did it

Jack said...

For many people there are no happy endings.

Fern Chasida said...

As my fellow bereaved parents and I always say, we could write a book (and probably should) about the stupid comments people make. I guess every situation has its own unique idiotic comments. Want to compare?

Baila said...

Fern (and Gila)

My favorite comment is "G-d chose you for this unique challenge, because He knows you can handle it"

The person usually goes on to say, they could NEVER handle it.

The thoughts that went through my head when I heard that were terrible.

Gila said...

Oh, let's see.... I think my hands-down favorite goes something like this:

"G-d is putting you through this to you because he loves you so much".

Usually received from people who G-d (apparently) despises, as is evidenced by the fact that they have the nice spouse/ children/ house etc and no fun surgery scar collection.

Best response to that type of comment? With a straight face and a beatific smile, look them in the eyes and say "Oh, I know motek (sweetie). I am truly blessed. And b'ezrat Hashem (G-d willing), soon by you".

That shuts 'em up pretty quickly.

Hmmm...as a public service--everyone is welcome to send their own favorite stupid comment. I will collect them and, next week, will post the whole kit and caboodle on my blog. It does not have to be bombing-related, of course. Any sort of catastrophe will do. Either post it in comments or send it to my email: gila.weiss@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Gila - for those people who unfortunately suffer from infertility: G-d wants to hear your prayers/see your tears because you are so special (based on a midrash about the Matriarchs). This remark is ALWAYS made by people who have tons of kids.

westbankmama

WashingtonGardener said...

On #13 - I now realize that what is really unrealistic in TV/movies portayal is that the bomber always gets away pretty unscathed - this is so the hero can spend the next hour (or two) hunting them down for revenge - cause of course "this time its personal"

Gila said...

Yes. My bomber was cooperative in that respect; she took care of that part of the job for us.

That being said, my understanding is that her handlers have been hunted down and put into prison by the IDF. :)

And yes, this time, it is personal.

Gila

Hanoch Ne'eman said...

May you be blessed with a good new year (5770), with a lot of strength and good things! I live in Jerusalem too, for 15 years, and have seen too many people hurt. Thank you for writing this blog.

Sivan said...

I'm not sure if you are used to random people commenting on your blog. But then again, I'm not totally random. I am one of the tribe and therefore we are probably 6th cousins twice removed somewhere along the lineage. I was google searching for things related to Aliyah and found your blog and read your entry about why you made Aliyah and it could not have resonated more. I, too, went to Israel for this past year at age 26 and decided that although I am most definitely going to make Aliyah, that I had to come back to the US to finish my PhD first and then I'll come back. By then I'll be 29. Close to 3-0. And what if I get locked into a relationship here with someone who does not have the same dream? So in the meantime all I can do is think and dream about Israel. I have a picture of the Kotel on my night stand. And a nana plant. I <3 Israel buttons all over the place. Ynetnews as my home page. So what am I doing here ... ? I was glad to read your blog because it shows that Israel is there for us when we need her and when we are ready. I'm sorry to read that you were hurt several years ago in a bombing. My aunt was killed in a bus bombing in Ramat Gan in July 1995. I'm sure you get those stories all the time. Anyhow, I wanted to just let you know I appreciate your writings and G-d bless.

Sivansc@gmail.com