Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Re: tornadoes

Tornadoes were, in our part of Central Illinois, the dimensionless point at which parallel lines met and whirled and blew up. They made no sense. Houses blew not out but in. Brothels were spared while orphanages next door bought it. Dead cattle were found three miles from their silage without a scratch on them. Tornadoes are omnipotent and obey no law. Force without law has no shape, only tendency and duration. I believe now that I knew all this without knowing it, as a kid.

David Foster Wallace, “Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley,” in A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again (New York: Back Bay Books, 1997)
Related reading
American Red Cross Expands Relief Effort as More Tornadoes Batter Midwest (American Red Cross)
Missouri and Minnesota: how to help (The Maddow Blog)

comments: 5

Elaine said...

So...Arkansas is chopped liver? (Actually, if you get an objective look, Yes, it is. And we aren't the only ones--Mississippi, Alabama--other states are hurting equally, but with a disproportionate population of poor folk, with attendant inabilities to tap into resources.)

I know that The South is not a popular part of the country, but the tornadoes and floods didn't check what color people were before wrecking their meager properties. Everyone suffers together in a disaster.

Michael Leddy said...

Elaine, I really don’t understand your comment. I linked to a page with recommendations re: the recent tornadoes in two states. That’s what I found. There are of course other states being hit by tornadoes and other ways for people to help out. My post wasn’t meant to snub any state.

Michael Leddy said...

The American Red Cross has relief operations in twenty-two states. I’ve added this link to this post.

Rachel said...

I quote this passage on Facebook a few weeks ago!

Michael Leddy said...

Isn’t it great to see “east-central Illinois” in lit?