This week’s inductee into the “Overrated Hall of Fame” is … last Friday’s miracle.
Unless your news consumption consists entirely of updates on Snooki’s pregnancy and the latest on The Situation’s alcohol problems, you no doubt heard about last Friday’s Navy jet crash into a Virginia Beach apartment complex. Amazingly, no one was killed. Or should I say, “stunningly” no one was killed. Or perhaps I’ll call the lack of a fried body count “astonishing.”
Any of those words would be more fitting than what a lot of news outlets are now calling it: a “miracle.” I’ve seen several headlines referring to a plane crash and the resulting inferno as the Good Friday Miracle. This implies that the absence of death is not amazing, stunning or astonishing, but instead an act of God.
That’s right. According some of his more idiotic followers, the CEO of Christianity, this being his big weekend and all, decided to remind the world of his omnipotence and mercy by … what, bringing world peace? Ending hunger? Giving the Pittsburgh Pirates the ghost of a chance at playing October baseball?
Nope. He rams a jet into some low-rent apartments and his mindless minions go all weak in the knees thanking His Almightiness for the fact that lives were spared. As miracles go, it was pretty damn lame and terribly overrated. A true miracle would leave no wreckage in its wake, but this one, while not ending any lives, brought a lot of torment and inconvenience to a lot of the unlucky participants.
First of all, despite no one dying, a number of people had to be taken to hospitals. While none of the injuries were said to be critical, people still suffered injuries. Okay, many of them were minor, but do you know what constitutes a “minor” injury? Something that doesn’t happen to you. If you’re the one with some first degree burns, or a broken bone, or an open gash that needs stitches, those injuries don’t seem so minor when you’re in real pain in a real hospital having a real needle being repeatedly poked through that big, very real gash on your forehead. “Don’t worry about that four-inch scar, ma’am. People will only notice it if they are within five feet of you. But thanks for taking a ‘minor’ one for The Big Guy and his incendiary miracle.”
We are also left with one less Navy jet. Why, in the pursuit of performing a miracle, did he have to destroy a plane that costs tens of millions of dollars to build? That’s a gross waste of American taxpayer money, and since we all know (thanks to the Tea Party) that God favors America over all other nations, the fact that he’d wreck one of his favorite country’s jets is either careless or a tad spiteful. Iran has a navy, and that navy has jets. I’d like to know why he didn’t inflict … er, sorry … I mean perform his miracle in Tehran.
The language in all the news stories says that the jet malfunctioned, but a jet doesn’t fuck up on its own. Somewhere along the line, human error was involved, either on the part of the people flying the plane or the mechanics who service it. After an investigation, blame will be assigned and someone’s head will roll, perhaps derailing a promising career and thereby causing him to suffer debilitating self-worth issues, which could wreck his marriage and blow up what had been your standard-issue, semi-happy family. That’s a pretty heavy cost for someone to pay for a little bit of Good Friday showing off on the part of the merciful Almighty.
Let’s not discount the other victims in this miracle. The crash left dozens of people immediately homeless and no doubt destroyed many – if not all – of their belongings. The rest of us voyeurs got to watch cool footage of black smoke and raging flames on the news, but a few dozen people woke up the next day in a strange bed or in a shelter, with valuable mementos and belongings forever lost in that cool-as-hell plume of black smoke that Live at Five Chopper Cam 6 treated us to as we sat in our unburning homes that Good Friday evening enjoying The Miracle. Seems the big guy could have proven his point without sending innocent people to Uncle Herb’s or Cousin Rita’s place for an indefinite intrusion. I mean “stay.”
And let’s be honest. Despite his welcoming attitude, Uncle Herb ain’t exactly thrilled about having his home infiltrated by his whiney sister, her ne’er-do-well husband and their snot-nosed toddler. But hey, when you just gotta pull of that Good Friday Miracle, someone’s gotta step and shoulder some of the costs.
What about the poor owner of the entire apartment complex, who now owns a few dozen less apartments thanks to god’s ill-planned efforts at wowing his flock? While everyone is thanking god for sparing human life, this poor bastard is now faced with insurance issues out the ass, two years of hard rebuilding and an overall major disruption of his life, all so that God could generate get some positive P.R. on CNN this Easter.
So spare me the miracle talk. If god sees fit to shove miracles into his fans’ faces, maybe he should do so with a little less destruction and fewer consequences.
Maybe the next time he shakes the earth under the ocean, he’ll stop the tsunami just before it obliterates a hundred thousand or so Asians.
Or perhaps he’ll take dear old dad, who is in the final hours of hospice care after enduring the excruciating final days of stage-5 pancreatic cancer, and cure his ass right up, delivering him from a Good Friday trip to the mortician to the hiding of Easter eggs for the grandkids on Sunday morning.
So please, let’s end right now this childlike assumption that Friday’s crash was anything more than an all too human fuck up paired with some incredible good luck. If you believe there is an all-powerful deity in the sky who occasionally sends CNN-worthy miracles just for the holidays, keep that discussion among yourselves, or at least keep it out of the news. I know that’s just not going to happen, but until then, I’ll keep waiting for a miracle.
Ned Bitters is, in fact, overrated. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.