Hurricane Sandy leaves behind destruction, bad jokes

Forum Editor and Forum Editor

The wind and rain slammed against my window as I watched Monday Night Football in the comfortable confines of my apartment.

“Holy crap, there’s snow out here,” my friend said.

Instantly, I was excited for winter to be here. However, there are millions of people in the United States and Canada who didn’t get to embrace the drastic change in weather with such comfort.

If you’ve been in tune with the news, social media or any conversation in the past few days, you would know that Hurricane Sandy’s effects are surrounding us.

Here in Bowling Green, we have only seen some melted snow and winds that can turn even the most durable umbrella inside-out, but that’s just normal for us, right?

If you take a trip to the east, Sandy’s effects are fatally worse.

According to CNN.com, as of Tuesday evening, 26 deaths have been reported and more than seven million people are without power. The government shut down. The New York Stock Exchange was closed. Gas prices rose significantly.

I checked my Twitter feed and saw CNN’s live broadcast of Sandy’s effects and I couldn’t help but be worried for the people holding on for their lives or, at the very least, sitting alone in their apartments, without power.

Besides the factual and informative tweets, I saw a significant amount of troublesome parody accounts and tweets about getting classes cancelled.

“Thank you, Hurricane Sandy!”

How selfish and insensitive can we be? I understand that humor can help one get through even the most troubling of times, but don’t joke about something that is currently taking place.

People were worrying about getting a day off, while other people were worried about surviving.

During this summer, I lived in Columbus and a large storm hit. Power outages soon followed and I was stuck in an apartment by myself. I lit a candle and had my own Unplugged acoustic guitar jam session. Later on, while checking Twitter and Facebook (mobily of course), I noticed the empathetic posts and found them comforting, but I also saw the joking tweets and found them to be outrageous.

“Serves those Buckeye fans right.”

I know it was intended to be a joke, but it just wasn’t funny. Tragedies shouldn’t be made light until the victims, themselves, feel comfortable joking about them.

People need to take a step back and be more sensitive to national and international tragedies or at least give them a few days to die down before posting memes and cracking jokes about them.

We need to keep the victims’ well-being in mind in those days following. Even if we cannot help them now, keep eyes open for opportunities to later.

If you’re a person who prays, step back, count your blessings and pray for the victims, not for your professor to cancel class.

If you don’t pray and you cannot help monetarily, do your part by not perpetuating jokes about recent tragedies.

Send your parents a text and let them know you’re alright. This time, we’re blessed that we live far enough away, but this won’t always be the case.

Our nation is in a time of need. The least we can do is be supportive.

Maybe the Hurricane Sandy parody accounts could become humane and issue some sort of sympathy tweets for the victims.

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