Volcanoes and Courtrooms

Mount St Helens Erupts:

Mount Saint Helens violently erupting steam and ash yesterday, along with nearby residents witnessing the volcano

America might be the strongest nation in the world, with the deepest rivers, mightiest plains and the most bad-ass canyon on earth, but we’re definitely pulling up the rear in terms of volcanoes. After all, Italy has a volcano, Vesuvius, that fossilized an entire city into statues of panicked residents, with arms raised and mouths screaming. Our most active volcano, Mount Saint Helens, can’t even get the fat guy to quit talking on the phone. That guy looks like he’s explaining why his pizza needs to be delivered in under 30 minutes, not warning loved ones about a 300 mile-wide explosion. The whole group has the appearance of men that were just shown the town’s new Memorial day float, rather then an eruption which destroyed park stations and caused a minor earthquake. Every one wonders why natural disasters kill so many people in the modern world- if global warming has made weather less stable or if the Earth’s crust in shifting. I would argue that millions of us die in a single disaster because, unlike every sensible animal on the planet- we stick around and film the damn thing. Our instinctive ‘flight or fight’ response has been replaced with the ‘film and wave’ reply. We have erased eons of learning when a volcano gets the same reception as a circus clown or antique trolley. It’s my believe that current development curve of mankind will cause the entire race to be wiped out in 300 years, when a giant hurricane approaches Florida and every one instinctively grabs a parka, heads down there and tries to broadcast from it.

Jackson Arrives in Pajamas

Michael Jackson arrived over an hour late for his trial today, dressed in pajamas and claiming a back injury caused the delay

Most people want to discuss Jackson’s oddness when covering his current trial, but my interest in Jackson died after he replaced Catholic priests as the leading punch line for child molestation jokes. I’m a great deal more fascinated with the menial employees –the security guards and court transcribers– who simply took the job because it came with a free uniform and no evening hours. Look, for example, how the courtroom artist seems completely lost, struggling to draw pajamas in the above picture. That guy’s never had to draw pajamas before- he sketches the American Justice system, not afternoon naps. Notice that he just scribbled some purple below Jackson’s image and then smeared every thing together, like a kid who mumbles past the parts of a speech he forgot. When Jackson walked into the courtroom, this guy probably panicked: “Shit, I don’t have any ‘teal‘ pencils… …how am I gonna draw some thing that furry?”. I expect that Jackson’s trial will eventually become the first courtroom proceeding to be captured via a collage rather then a sketch, where the artist brings some pink carpet, Disney figurines and Barbie dolls to court, gluing them together as needed.