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To Take Away the Foolish From the Fools: The Philosophical Impact of Hurricane Sandy on New Jersey

Submitted by on October 31, 2012 – 3:32 pmNo Comment

There’s nothing that needs to be said more than how remarkably well New Jersey is dealing with this hurricane. There’s no sentiments of devastation or complete anguish, mostly everyone is content with being alive, no matter what possessions they’ve lost. I’ll admit my town was in the eye for most of it, so except a couple of downed branches, I am luckier than most here. We’ve lost Halloween until Monday, but that’s kind of a great price to pay considering there’s still downed power lines afoot.

Let me make your Thor costume more accurate.

However, somehow, someway, it all comes back to pop culture. Memes have been thrown out everywhere, a comical and slightly offensive to everyone Twitter account has been entertaining, and actual, legitimate concern over Dancing With the Stars voting happened. As much as I am a supporter of laughing in the face of tragedy in order to better move on, I think it’s time to step back and look at ourselves as human beings. I’m a little mad that when the news says Hoboken is under water, the un-involved actually wonder if Carlos’ Bakery from Cake Boss is okay. I’ll admit, I laughed and posted on Facebook a GIF that showed a couple of guys doing the Gangnam Style in front of some news cameras, but there was something that sobered me up really quickly (in both senses of the word).

For the past few years, America has been exposed to the beautiful Seaside Heights through the mess of a show that is Jersey Shore. In some grand twist of irony, the cast had finished filming their last season a few months ago. There was an article  about the house they had used and how it was damaged in the storm. The cast were bummed at how destroyed their summer getaway was and how they actually had to clean up their homes. Not for a lack of sympathy, but a good bit of people are in the same position. Why should we ask the Jersey Shore folk to tell people that it’s bad? We’ve seen pictures of the NYC Subway system; that’s millions of people probably not being able to get to work. We’ve seen the destruction of the shore towns, looking like what should be the next big first-person-shooter. That’s businesses that need to pick back up by Memorial Day lest the tourists all stay home.

That’s a lot of tickets to sell.

Why do we cling on to the opinions and statuses of the famous and half-famous? We owe them nothing and vice versa. While I waited for all of my friends to let me know they were all right, I wasn’t sitting there hoping that Snooki would be okay with baby Lorenzo, specifically.  Of course we all want everyone to survive such an event, but no human being is more important than another. Can we laugh about it after the danger has passed? Can we stop the trivial frustrations that you can’t watch C-list celebrities doing the cha-cha while the historic Atlantic City boardwalk is being crunched up like bacon in a frying pan? The question should be “is there a point to the Forsythe Wildlife Refuge anymore?” instead of “is this going to affect the Real Housewives?”

I interned here once. There were definitely more trees.

I get it. We’re a densely-populated state with a lot of claim to fame. But as George Bernard Shaw said once, “A fool’s brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry”. Looks like some fools digest destruction into vanity and panic into irrelevance. Just saying.

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