Monday, January 7, 2019

What’s More Newsworthy: An Uncharismatic A**hole or A Small Town First Responder Killed In The Line Of Duty?

I see on the news this morning that the first of this year’s self-congratulatory award shows took place last night. As we’ve come to expect and ignore, the Golden Globes produced the standard hate-spewing that accompanies every such gathering of the self-anointed illuminati. Last night Christian Bale decided to distinguish himself by thanking Satan as his inspiration in playing the role of  Dick Cheney in Vice, he went on to call both former vice-president Dick Cheney and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell “uncharismatic a**holes.” He would know.

Last year the Grammy broadcast lost 6 million viewers from previous years, I expect a similar decline this year. Nevertheless, if you tune into network national news on any network anywhere in America this morning you’ll see coverage of Mr. Bale’s performance.

But let me share a much more important story that won’t get any national coverage. I wouldn’t have seen it myself if I hadn’t specifically gone looking for it; this is why I did:

We switched drivers at Le Claire, Iowa yesterday and it was my turn to drive. Raj was playing with his phone when I noticed a few fire trucks, lights flashing, on the overpass up ahead in what looked like a standard traffic incident. A few miles ahead, at the next overpass, there was another collection of fire trucks and other vehicles, lights flashing, lined up. By the third overpass that also displayed a lights flashing assembly of fire vehicles you didn’t need to be an expert at recognizing patterns to know this was not a series of unfortunate incidents but rather a salute for a fallen fire fighter. First responders have a great tradition of respecting and honoring the loss in the line of duty of one of their own.

What was remarkable about this particular salute was its sheer length: it stretched from  Ankeny, outside Des Moines, to Clinton IA – a distance of 200 miles. We witnessed it from LeClaire to the west side of Iowa City. Some overpasses had just a few vehicles, others, near bigger cities, were lined the full length with emergency vehicles and ladder trucks, ladders extended, flags unfurled.

ankeny to clinton

The fallen hero was Lt. Eric Hosette, who lost his life Saturday in an explosion at a grain storage facility where he and other members of the Clinton fire department were battling a fire inside a silo. The overpass procession was accompanying Lt. Hosette’s body as it made its way home from the state medical examiner’s office in Ankeny. Fellow firefighter Adam Cain was also seriously injured in the blast and remains in the hospital in Iowa City.


Fire departments across the state lined the route along Interstate 80 to pay their respects to Hosette. - KCCI

Lt. Hosette leaves behind a wife and young daughter. He was only 33 years old. I don’t doubt for one minute that he did more good and contributed more value to this planet during his short life than the entire lot of self-absorbed actors gathered together last night to honor each other for play acting their way through life.

RIP Lt. Hosette, and thank you for your service.

P.S. In the “small world” department I note that Lt. Hosette was raised in Comanche, Iowa, which many of you may recognize as Creeper’s hometown before she pulled up stakes and relocated to Oklahoma with her beloved Guinea pig and orange Challenger.