Hope Wins, for a Change

By Yul

Cats Working spent hours yesterday watching many of the trapped Chilean miners rise to the surface after 69 days of living like sewer rats. We were amazed at how well-groomed they looked. They must have spent a lot of time giving themselves lick-baths.

It was truly impressive that the authorities left no stone unturned (pardon the pun) to find the miners after 700,000 tons of rocks fell on them. And that the men kept themselves alive for 17 days until they were discovered, and continued to hope even when they learned it could be months before they were freed from their fetid inferno.

What we usually see in such seemingly futile situations, whether natural or man-made, are clueless suits with their thumbs up their butts, yakking about what they might do (see Hurricane Katrina), or making pledges they never deliver (see post-earthquake Haiti) while the people involved get sick, starve, and die.

As the rescue continued yesterday, we kept checking back, waiting for the other shoe to drop, as it always does. News that the capsule had broken down and it would take months to build another one. It got stuck mid-way or plunged to the ground when it was just 6 feet from the surface, killing the miner inside. It accidentally crushed a miner who should have been next and was eagerly standing too close as it completed its descent.

But, miraculously, none of that happened. The capsule worked almost flawlessly 35 times (2 additional guys went down to help the miners up). How often does tailor-made technology work so quickly and so well when lives are at stake (see BP Gulf oil spill)?

Maybe God got distracted and forgot to indulge his usually sadistic sense of humor at man’s expense by letting everybody get their hopes up, only to dash them for a celestial laugh (see “Mission Accomplished”).

Maybe the Devil got distracted and forgot to hold onto the miners’ feet to keep them from escaping hell (see victims of 9/11) while angels made sure they all lived.

Who knows? Cats can’t begin to understand or trust a being whose name spelled backward is “doG.”

But whoever or whatever watched over those miners, we’re just thankful that every one of the men survived.

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3 Responses to Hope Wins, for a Change

  1. adele says:

    The rescue of the miners was a bright spot in the otherwise mind numbingly grim news cycle. I read another blog, which compared the emergence of the miners with the Greek myth of the emergence of Persephone every spring, and it occurred to me that in Chile, it IS spring, since they’re below the equator.

    If, as Marx and Lenin say in Das Kapital that capital is born with a birthmark on its cheek, then mine owners must have one honking big collective birth mark. The mine in Chile, the mine in West Virginia, most mines in China, South Africa, and I could go on and on, was deemed unsafe, yet the owners kept running it. The mining industry is really good old fashioned unfettered capitalism where the workers are completely expendable.

  2. catsworking says:

    Adele, it didn’t look like spring in Chile. Everybody was wearing jackets and scarves.

    I was reading that China gave the rescue a lot of coverage, even though they lose 1,500 miners a year, and their media even bragged that the big crane Chile used was made in China. No irony there.

    It will be great if the president of Chile delivers on his promise to make mine safety a priority. The bar has already been raised sky-high for the next country that has a cave-in.

  3. Tuxi says:

    Hi Yul! That was great to see all those men rescued in Chile. My crazy Mom noticed the younger ones and said, “‘Chile (Child!), there are some hot men in Chile!”. We got a laugh out of the fact in some cases the men’s wives AND mistresses were there awaiting the men being brought out of the mine!

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