8/23, Never Forget.

DC Earthquake Devastation: One tipped-over lawn chair.

OMG you guys did you feel it? There was a 5.8 earthquake in Virginia, which we felt as an earth-shaking 2.2 here in New York. WHERE WERE YOU? I was walking to the copy machine, it was pretty crazy. Apparently all of DC is evacuating their office buildings. Folks in my office have been told not to leave the building in case of aftershocks (which I imagine could be as high as 1.5). Shit is getting REAL.

East Coast you are so cute.

So I grew up in Seattle, which isn’t the most earthquake-prone zone in the world, but gets quakes every few years (usually pretty small ones). But Seattle is on a fault line, and there’s a city-wide understanding that some day, probably soon, we are all going to be obliterated by The Big One. We learn about it (and are duly terrified about it) in school. We have “earthquake drills” the same way that Americans used to have atomic bomb drills — get under your desk, hang onto the leg with one hand, protect your head with the other (alternate earthquake life-saving advice: Stand in a doorway). At the beginning of the year, we would all have to assemble “emergency kits” in case of a big quake — granola bars, a blanket, a flashlight, etc etc. My mom would also include pictures of our family and a hand-written letter in which she told me how much she loved me, and that she would probably be stuck at the hospital (she was a nurse) but that she or my dad were on their way, and that I should listen to my teachers and stay safe and try to find my sister and that everything was going to be ok and that she loved us very much.

She would cry at the kitchen table writing that letter anew every year, and would cry again when school let out and she had to re-read it while we ate the emergency-kit granola bars.

If there’s ever a real earthquake in New York, at least we know Twitter will be on it, since #earthquake is the #1 trending topic right now and everyone is sharing their stories of survival against all odds. And I’m sure that various fundamentalist groups will come out any minute to blame this quake on the abortionists, the lesbians and the feminists, so I apologize on behalf of all of us for interrupting your day with a slight tremor. I know, we really had it coming. I suspect this is actually God’s response to the tragic news that Will and Jada are getting divorced — the timing is just a little too close to be a coincidence, you know? — but what do I know, God works in mysterious ways. (Although to be real for a second, if a big earthquake actually does hit? We’re all going to die.)

But guys, let’s not make this about ourselves. A 2.2 quake is EXTREMELY SERIOUS, and I hear your bed even shook a little bit? But really, it’s Virginia that has it the worst. They actually felt the ground shake for, like, ten seconds. Which is basically like being in Japan for the tsunami. VIRGINIA I HOPE YOU ARE ALL OK AND SURVIVING AN EVENT IN WHICH NOTHING WAS DAMAGED AND NO ONE WAS INJURED. OUR PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU DURING THIS EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TIME.

Today, we are all Virginians.


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178 comments for “8/23, Never Forget.

  1. Clarence
    August 23, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Smartass. Lol.

    Baltimore, here. Whole house actually shook and after about ten seconds it seemed to shake a bit harder and I actually was scared for a few seconds and got under a doorframe. But then it stopped. I say that 20 seconds of a quake (we’ve had ones and twos here before that I’ve never felt) was more exciting than I wanted it to be.

  2. August 23, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Central Ontario. My computer monitor was shaking, and I thought I was having some kind of spell. Very glad to know it’s not me. Had deja vu of last years quake that hit Ottawa, resulting in a few moments of dizziness for those of us here on Georgian bay.

    I always figure these Earthquakes are natures way of repaying us for the way we make fun of people in California for freaking out over some snow. Now it’s their turn to giggle at us and our over-reacting.

  3. August 23, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    All my Canadian peeps on the east coast are trading Facebook comments about whether or not they even felt the quake – every time we get one, I always happen to be in a very sturdy building and feel no movement whatsoever. :(

    Let’s just hope they can recover from the devastation.

  4. Simone K
    August 23, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Brooklyn, NY here – we’re very lucky. It was crazy for a bit, the kids are pre-school are all crying, went to check up on them. Phones lines are down, so the mood is anxious but surely no one is making this out to be some kind of a big deal.

  5. Juke
    August 23, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    I’ve found a harrowing photo of the devastation in Washington, DC.

    Andie: I always figure these Earthquakes are natures way of repaying us for the way we make fun of people in California for freaking out over some snow.Now it’s their turn to giggle at us and our over-reacting.

    That seems about right.

  6. August 23, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Oh, that was funny, Jadey. I’m still giggling.

  7. Juke
    August 23, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Damnit, way to take away my moment of glory, Jadey.

  8. August 23, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Jadey:
    All my Canadian peeps on the east coast are trading Facebook comments about whether or not they even felt the quake – every time we get one, I always happen to be in a very sturdy building and feel no movement whatsoever. :(

    Let’s just hope they can recover from the devastation.

    Everyone in the office is questioning whether we’ll have a tornado this afternoon (that’s what happened last year)

  9. August 23, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    For the love of god, Jill, just update the post with the lawn chair picture so we can all stop linking it already!

  10. Kristen J
    August 23, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Dammit Jadey! You are always beating me to things I want to post about! ;)

  11. preying mantis
    August 23, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    I may need to repurpose this for the ZOMG HURRICANE season (not to be confused with actual hurricane season). There’s only so long you can keep taking a shot every time you hear “Nag’s Head” whilst watching the news without needing your stomach pumped.

  12. Zoe
    August 23, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Oh, don’t make fun of them too much. It’s not their fault earthquakes are a new experience. I can’t believe that I moved from PA to Seattle and I STILL haven’t experienced an earthquake.

    • August 23, 2011 at 2:05 pm

      Oh, don’t make fun of them too much. It’s not their fault earthquakes are a new experience. I can’t believe that I moved from PA to Seattle and I STILL haven’t experienced an earthquake.

      Yeah, have you seen West Coasters try to drive in the snow? The entire city of Seattle basically shuts down if there’s a flurry. So there’s enough mockery to go around.

  13. Gretel
    August 23, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Oh come on, Jill! The tchotchkes in my antique type drawer came dangerously close to tumbling onto the quivering floors of my Brooklyn apartment. I mean, they didn’t, but still–I was worried. And now I have a perfectly valid excuse to being drinking.

  14. August 23, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Jadey:
    For the love of god, Jill, just update the post with the lawn chair picture so we can all stop linking it already!

    Done and done.

  15. Val
    August 23, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Unlike the west coast, if a real earthquake hit the east coast, as it did in 1755, we would be unprepared. Thus the toll would be higher.

    Yes, a lot of idiots need to get over themselves. But what I’m afraid of is another 1755.

    http://www.boston.com/news/globe/magazine/articles/2006/05/28/bostons_earthquake_problem/

    My mom was in Loma Prieta, and she was fine, but I have been thoughtful since that day.

  16. August 23, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Your mom was in Loma Prieta in 1755?

    • August 23, 2011 at 2:09 pm

      Haha Andie, that’s what I first read the comment as saying also! But Loma Prieta was in San Francisco in 1989.

  17. August 23, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Last week, we had snow falling at our place, enough for my children to play in and build their first snowman ever. It was Very Exciting. We took lots of pictures and I blogged about it and everyone had a lovely time, both experiencing it, and then talking about it afterwards. FTR, the last time snow fell and settled where I live is thought to be back in 1939.

    I’m with you, East Coasters.

  18. David
    August 23, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Loved the post!!!!!!

    Ok, we live by a quarry, so I thought it was our weekly blast shake. But when it lasted over 10 seconds and the house started to creak, I knew something was up. I jumped up and told the kids to get in the doorway. When it was over everyone was outside wondering what happened. USGS was very quick to get info online.

  19. Maggie
    August 23, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    I’m 35 miles north of HOTlanta and I felt it!!!! very strange!! I too grew up in Seattle & Portland — remember some plates flyin’ outta the cupboards and pictures falling off walls earthquakes!!
    p.s. ‘you’ are soooooooo right about us Left Coasters NOT knowing how to drive in the snow!!! (‘we’ believe snow belongs on mountains NOT city streets!! LOL) :)

  20. Han
    August 23, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    There was an earthquake?

    I thought it was my fart!

    Also,

    Andie:
    Your mom was in Loma Prieta in 1755?

    LOL at this.

  21. wembley
    August 23, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Hey, look. Nothing happens in Maryland, okay? We have to take our excitement where we can get it. (LOLOLOL this post, I love it so much.)

  22. shfree
    August 23, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    I moved to Portland OR the summer before the snowstorm of letsee, I think it was 2007, or 2008 (I forget) from Iowa. And watching everyone’s inability to cope with all that snow just made me laugh and laugh.

    Now, however, I’m a big baby and when I went to visit family in the Midwest during the heatwave, I thought I was going to die. I know I used to live through that shit, because I lived that one summer in Chicago when we had all those people dying and I didn’t even have air-conditioning, but I question whether or not I could take it now.

  23. August 23, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Laugh away, West Coast native, but I’ll tell you what—if your cat is half as perturbed as mine are, you’re going to have a fun night of consoling epic levels of neediness.

  24. liz
    August 23, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    It was actually a fun event here in Ashburn, VA.

  25. August 23, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    I live in a country, Denmark, where earthquakes are extremely rare – as a matter of fact, until a couple of years I would have said that they don’t occur here (or at least, none of them are serious enough to be felt).

    That was until the Earthquake of 2010!

    It was headline news in all Danish newspapers the next day.

  26. August 23, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Speaking as another Seattle kid (hi! I think we were in the same earthquake terror lectures!), exactly. My coworkers worried about their families? Big deal. A 5.8 earthquake? Not such a big deal.

    The science behind it is rad, though – an intraplate earthquake is, relatively speaking, very mysterious.

  27. vanessa
    August 23, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    dude. just because we didn’t get a lot of damage doesn’t mean it wasn’t scary as fuck, because it really, really was. scary.as.fuck.

  28. Maribeth Lowe
    August 23, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    central VA here – and while I agree that our little 5.9 quake is not up to par with a tsunami or other disasters – we do have some damage, and a middle school that collapsed. Don’t make fun – it was a scary couple of minutes, and the area is still experiencing some after shocks.

  29. Marissa
    August 23, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Yes, thank you, @vanessa! I was still sitting outside my building, shaking, having just run down eight flights of stairs from a building that sure as shit FELT like it was coming down, when some smartass on Facebook was like, “LOL, that’s not an earthquake.” Thanks. Thanks so much.

  30. Tim
    August 23, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Another (ex)-Seattleite here… in fact, the Seattle area is one of the most geologically active and dangerous places on the planet due to the proximity of the Juan de Fuca plate (and subduction zone). The last huge earthquake (according to Wikipedia) was in 1700 and was likely in the upper 8s/lower 9s of the Richter scale – not to mention the high density of active volcanoes in the area.

  31. Fauzia
    August 23, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Girl, you are too funny.

  32. August 23, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    I don’t know about others, but I’m not laughing at people in Virginia that are freaking out. They are well within their rights to be freaking out. I’m laughing at people in Central Ontario that are freaking out.

    And I’m so glad I’m not the only that read that wrong.

    • August 23, 2011 at 2:41 pm

      I mean, yeah, people in Virginia are totally within their rights to freak out while the ground is shaking. Ground shaking is scary! I’m more laughing at people up the Eastern seaboard who are like, “OMG I FELT IT EVACUATE THE BUILDING.” I mean, if you’re in NY and your building starts to shake, I totally understand running for the door. It’s the post-quake New York Twitter freak outs and the local news panic that make me be like, REALLY?

  33. Rebecca Rogers
    August 23, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    LOVE IT!

  34. Casey
    August 23, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    You’re so callous, Jill. The water cooler was SWAYING in the Union County Courthouse. SWAYING! There will be talk of the bubbling devastation for years!

  35. Sheelzebub
    August 23, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Maribeth Lowe:
    central VA here – and while I agree that our little 5.9 quake is not up to par with a tsunami or other disasters – we do have some damage, and a middle school that collapsed.Don’t make fun – it was a scary couple of minutes, and the area is still experiencing some after shocks.

    Maribeth, where is the middle school that collapsed? Was there anyone in there for summer school? Are they okay?

  36. silentbeep
    August 23, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    I’m from Los Angeles. I’m really trying to feel for the NY peeps, I’m really trying.

  37. Sid
    August 23, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Just because it hasnt been on twitter or on facebook yet doesn’t mean that no one was injured or nothing serious was damaged. I live in Virginia and it actually was pretty damn scary for 10 seconds there (as in, potentially house caving in have to evacuate disable family scary). So really, fuck your sarcasm.

  38. Han
    August 23, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Yeah, I guess I should add that I’m up in Philadelphia where it’s equal parts, “OMFG EARTHQUAKE!” and, “WTF I’M SO PISSED I DIDN’T GET TO FEEL THE EARTHQUAKE!”

    To those that were a lot closer than I was, I hope you’re all well!

  39. Anne Marie
    August 23, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    Windows shattered at local hotel during conference. Washington Monument may be tilting. Word is route 1 has a hole in it. I’m glad it wasn’t worse but we don’t need to play natural disaster Olympics. I work at a hospital. Patients were scared and unsure of what was going on. It wasn’t funny to see. Plus, i doubt west-coasters would deal with blizzards well.

  40. Anne Marie
    August 23, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    silentbeep:
    I’m from Los Angeles. I’m really trying to feel for the NY peeps, I’m really trying.

    I’d worry about Virginians instead.

  41. Rodeo
    August 23, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Feministe commenters: proving that feminists have no sense humor since 2003.

  42. August 23, 2011 at 3:02 pm
  43. Rodeo
    August 23, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Maybe she is worrying about Virginia, but since this post is about New York, that would be off-topic and irrelevant.

  44. LG
    August 23, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    I’m from Seattle, and I also remember having those earthquake kits and the earthquake drills. Total Seattle childhood experience. My kit also had a little candy, and a stuffed animal.

    I’m outside NYC right now and this afternoon I felt the house vibrating a bit and thought “That feels like a small earthquake, but this is NY, so it’s not.” Also, there are painters who have been sanding and power washing the house all day, so I just thought it was one of the power tools making the house shake a bit.

  45. August 23, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Sid:

    Who are you referencing? I’m not sure I’ve seen anyone say that people in Virginia or surrounding area are being silly/overreacting. I’m pretty sure this is mostly aimed at people in NY and beyond who get a little wobbly and freak the fuck out.

    I have nothing but sympathy for the people who may be injured and/or suffered property damage.

  46. Anne Marie
    August 23, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Rodeo:
    Feministe commenters:proving that feminists have no sense humor since 2003.

    What a stupid go-to insult on a feminist site. If you disagree with something, you’re humorless? You can’t just find something not funny? You’re really using the oldest anti-feminist jab in the world? I’ll just go back to listening to Tim Minchin. Man, my life is just sooooooo humorless.

  47. Marissa
    August 23, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    This is ridiculous. It was a very small quake. I live in Japan and was here for the big one in March and that is something to truly be concerned about. Our nuclear reactors are still leaking radiation and we have bigger earthquakes than this on almost a daily basis. We sleep through them now. I’m sorry it scared everyone in the Virginia area…and I do hope nobody was hurt. But…please…this was not a big deal. Sorry I know it scared you guys but there is just no way this is a cause for concern the way people are making it out to be. Keep praying for the Japanese people…who are still suffering greatly from the quake in March. Thousands homeless….Fukushima uninhabitable….thousands still missing and likely to never be recovered. Count your blessings and thank God (or whoever) you are safe.

  48. scone
    August 23, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Jill: Just a note: that law chair photo is from the Maryland earthquake LAST year around this time – which was only a 3.6. Hence the joke.

  49. Laura
    August 23, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    So I take it it’s like when my university in PA was closed for a day because a hurricane was supposed to hit the PA coast? My uni a bit north of Pittsburgh … that wouldn’t shut down for snow less than some absurd number of feet high despite the fact that any profs that didn’t live near the school were snowed in … oi (I’m from the Gulf Coast, btw)

  50. Anne Marie
    August 23, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Also: many in DC & NYC who’ve never experienced and earthquake thought “terrorism” before “earthquake.” Given the cities’ histories, it’s not an unrealistic fear and may trigger bad memories and take a while to shake off.

  51. Rodeo
    August 23, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Dang, I honestly thought that we’d see “earthquakes are triggering! Don’t make jokes!” before we hit the 50-comment mark. Off by three.

  52. Gretel
    August 23, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Anne Marie: Also: many in DC & NYC who’ve never experienced and earthquake thought “terrorism” before “earthquake.” Given the cities’ histories, it’s not an unrealistic fear and may trigger bad memories and take a while to shake off.

    During the 2003 blackout my first thought was “terrorism,” but during this my first thought was “very large truck rumbling past my crappy building.” That sucks for those who were reminded of terrorism.

    And on other natural disaster fronts: East Coasters should prepare for Hurricane Irene. I’ve been through a bunch of hurricanes, but they never cease to terrify my sea level—residing self.

  53. Q
    August 23, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    I’m about an hour outside Indianapolis. I felt an earthquake a few years ago, and I’m so unfamiliar with earthquakes that the most logical explanation I had was that my house was haunted.

    Some friends of mine working in the office building across the street said they felt the quake today; I didn’t.

  54. Rodeo
    August 23, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    I’ve known lots of unfunny people who didn’t really understand jokes, but they tend not to shame people for making the joke to begin with. I’ve been in feminist communities for many decades now, and we constantly shame each other for our senses of humor.

    It makes sense that we’d take offense to everything; most humor is based on mockery of some kind, and mockery is frequently based on insults. But with feminists, it’s an art. On Feministe, it’s performance art.

  55. Anne Marie
    August 23, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Rodeo:
    Dang, I honestly thought that we’d see “earthquakes are triggering!Don’t make jokes!” before we hit the 50-comment mark.Off by three.

    Get over yourself. I’m just saying it could be scary to think terrorism was happening.

  56. Kaylie
    August 23, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Admittedly the earthquake was tiny in comparison to the ones the West coast regularly experiences, but it did cause damage to buildings like the National Cathedral, etc.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/23/virginia-earthquake-washi_n_934307.html

    Of course that may just mean that the Cathedral was rather shoddily built, which is entirely possible.

  57. jeff
    August 23, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    The thing is, a lot of us in New York live and work in hundred-year-old brick buildings that are basically only supported by the buildings next door. Here on the fourth floor, the room was shaking, our full-length mirror was wobbling and rippling, glasses on shelves were sliding around and clinking together…. These buildings weren’t built to withstand earthquakes, and it wouldn’t take a hell of a lot to turn entire blocks here to rubble. I think that earns us a Twitter freak-out or two.

  58. Anne Marie
    August 23, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    And I never said don’t make jokes, we’ve been joking about some stuff here. I jut explained why it wasn’t just people being stupid to be freaked out.

  59. Diane
    August 23, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Wait, Shut The Front Door!! Will and Jada are getting divorced??

  60. thedongshow
    August 23, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    I love how everyone’s freaking the fuck out. Jesus fuck, calm down, it was nothing.

  61. julia
    August 23, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    is there anything more tiresome than someone who comes in on a discussion with the “hey, what’s the big deal. What happened to ME is much more interesting (aka, I used to live in Seattle). In fact, it’s this reaction that’s so predicitable and cliched as to warrant a post.

    And what was so important on Twitter that was interrrupted by this? An earthquake hitting the I-95 corridor, home to 30 – 40 million people, is actually pretty interesting.

    But, then, we forget, you’ve lived in Seattle.

    So since we’re not supposed to find this noteworthy, it would be helpful if, given that you’ve lived in Seattle, you could give us a list of topics you find sufficiently interesting and dramatic for us to comment on and which wouldn’t demean the important conversation going on on Twitter.

  62. Ladeeda
    August 23, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    My first thought, as I felt the rumbling in DC, was that it was an earthquake. My second thought: Wait, we don’t have earthquakes. My third thought: Oh shit, Metro bomb.

    I’m super-duper-relieved by first instinct was right. It was a weird, confusing, kinda-scary 10 seconds or so, followed by a what-just-happened? next several minutes.

    There’s a good reason a 5.9 earthquake here felt quite a bit different from a 5.9 on the West Coast. Two reasons, actually. The first one is that it was an intraplate quake, which means the shockwaves travel further without dissipating. The second is that the ground is colder, which also makes the ground shake harder. So, sure, it was only a 5.9 — but a hard 5.9.

    There seems to have been a bit of damage here and there, but nothing too serious. Best I can tell, no lives lost. In retrospect, the whole thing feels more weird than funny, but I think it’s good to keep a sense of humor about the whole thing. I can’t blame people for freaking out, though. If there’s one thing DC is unprepared for, it’s dealing with a freaking earthquake.

  63. August 23, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Diane:
    Wait, Shut The Front Door!! Will and Jada are getting divorced??

    Right?!?! Why isn’t that trending in my twitter?

  64. Kat
    August 23, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    So I’m in DC, was outside on AU campus, and didn’t feel a damn thing. I didn’t even know what was going on when all the buildings were evacuated. Then again, I’m from the West Coast where I grew up with the threat of destructive earthquakes hanging over my head.

  65. Rodeo
    August 23, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    is there anything more tiresome than someone who comes in on a discussion with the “hey, what’s the big deal. What happened to ME is much more interesting (aka, I used to live in Seattle). In fact, it’s this reaction that’s so predicitable and cliched as to warrant a post.

    Julia, good question! Let’s see … well, I think it’s tiresome when feminists henpeck each other because one feminist wrote a post mocking stuff that was happening on Twitter and the other feminist doesn’t have a similar sense of humor and therefore doesn’t want to laugh at those types of jokes. I think that’s tired because it causes burn-out and insecurity which prevents us from forming solidarity.

    But yeah, not nearly as tiresome as Jill sharing what it’s like living in an earthquake-prone area.

  66. August 23, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    I believe I felt it in Indiana.

  67. Annaleigh
    August 23, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Here in California my mother was upset that Univision pre-empted her telenovela over a 5.9er. And then we laughed about the at least 7.0 one that happened out in the middle of the Kern County portion of the Mojave Desert (which literally woke me up to the sight of my bed swaying) back when I was in high school. “Mom, I think we’re having an earthquake…” I said. She got mad at me for waking her up. ;) (As an aside, I got mad at her earlier that year when she woke me up at 3am to tell me it was snowing…we hadn’t had a snowfall like that in 60 years).

    But really, I hope everyone in Virginia’s ok, and aside from my mother’s grumbling about her pre-empted telenovela, she thought of the possibility of DC & NY people being caught off guard and thinking it was terrorism, so we hope everyone there is ok too.

  68. August 23, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Hilarious! A friend of mine from Pittsburgh wasted no time starting the Facebook survivor page. I considered joining until I remembered that I live in Minnesota.

  69. August 23, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Diane:
    Wait, Shut The Front Door!! Will and Jada are getting divorced??

    Apparently not!

  70. August 23, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    People here in Maine felt it, too.

  71. August 23, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Ha. I live in California.

    You’re all wimps.

  72. Iam138
    August 23, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    As a long-time reader and rare poster, I’ve watched dozens of posts where someone gets offended and “will never come back here again.” I seem to recall someone referring to that sort of post as proof that the OP was worthwhile, or something like that. This site seems to have more easily offended posters than any other place I’ve ever been on the Internet. Could it be that people feel that it is a safe zone and when something comes up that is offensive to them, they feel more betrayed than they would generally?

  73. August 23, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    I never thought I’d say it, but I really wish Jill would write even more smartass posts, because she’s really good at them.

  74. AnonymousCoward
    August 23, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Yeah, this is some freeze-dried bullshit. Maybe it wasn’t such a big deal in New York, but maybe you could bother to, you know, do a little reading before you assume that it was no big deal here in VA? Turns out the quake was pretty damn close to a nuclear reactor that’s not really built to handle quakes. Looks like there wasn’t serious damage, but this was a 5.8 earthquake and the reactor was built to withstand up to a … 5.9-6.1 earthquake. That’s a bit closer than I like to cut it.

    There are definitely injuries and property damage throughout the state; my hometown (35 mi away from the epicenter) has several buildings in various states of collapse, and some accompanying injuries. Here in the District, several buildings were damaged, and there was apparently some damage to one of the Metro lines (and significant economic disruption from the delay).

    But all of that is no big deal – because you lived in ~*SEATTLE*~.

  75. Rodeo
    August 23, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Iam138, have you never been to Shakesville?

    My own suspicion is that Feministe attracts mostly women who are relatively new to feminism and are starting to pick up on the manner in which women’s experiences/decisions are dismissed. Their solution is to ensure that all individual women’s experiences/decisions are valued. It’s a noble motivation.

    However, the problem with focusing on individuality and the single life that each woman leads is that every single woman is different. For instance, one woman might respond to an earthquake with mocking humor, which in turn causes irritation for the woman who thinks it’s inappropriate to 9/11 survivors. Which experience are we supposed to support? The best answer, one I agree with in many circumstances, suggests that it’s better to do no harm than to say/do something that might cause offense. However, some things just aren’t, in the grand scheme of fighting off the oppression of the patriarchy, that important to cause a division among women on the basis of humorless scolds.

  76. Anne Marie
    August 23, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    “It was more than the locals could take
    As their neighborhoods started to shake
    But still worse were the smirks
    From the West-Coaster jerks
    With their constant ‘You call that a quake?'”

    -cuttlefish

  77. Rodeo
    August 23, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    It’s one thing for you, as an individual, to worry about something that, come on now, didn’t happen. It’s another to get pissy because other people aren’t worried about the thing that didn’t happen and are, in fact, are feeling levity because they got off pretty damned easily, especially since it really, really could have been much worse for NYC.

    Perhaps Jill just doesn’t feel any empathy for anyone outside of New York, or perhaps she just didn’t have anything insightful or funny to say about Virginia since she’s still processing what she did experience. What kind of person do you want to be? One who is charitable or one who believes the worst thing possible about a person?

  78. August 23, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    @marissa i know! it was scary! yea, i’m gonna have to go with the fuck your sarcasm here, too. i thought that was a terrorist attack. it was really fucking scary. so we aren’t used to earthquakes…that means we can’t be scared when even little ones happen? what kind of bullshit is that?

  79. blondegirl
    August 23, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    It’s not accurate and it’s quite insensitive to compare a 5.8 to the 8.2 that happened in Japan. It’s nowhere NEAR what experiencing the tsunami. Over 20,000 people are dead and missing. Entire communities were wiped out, children were swept away and people’s lives were forever changed. I really think you should amend the end of your post.

    To the Virginians, I sympathize!! I’m in Tokyo where the quake measured 5.3. I’m well used to earthquakes (they happen here litterally every day) but that one scared the hell out of me even before I learned of the tsunami. The bright side is that the pressure on thst fault has been relieved and (hopefully) it won’t happen again gor a long tine.

    As we say in Japan, Gambaroo!! :)

  80. Anne Marie
    August 23, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Rodeo: Julia, good question!Let’s see … well, I think it’s tiresome when feminists henpeck each other because one feminist wrote a post mocking stuff that was happening on Twitter and the other feminist doesn’t have a similar sense of humor and therefore doesn’t want to laugh at those types of jokes.I think that’s tired because it causes burn-out and insecurity which prevents us from forming solidarity.

    But yeah, not nearly as tiresome as Jill sharing what it’s like living in an earthquake-prone area.

    Why are you on a feminist site if your go-to insults are to refer to people who disagree with you as “humorless” and “henpecking”?

  81. Rodeo
    August 23, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    I’m here because I’m a feminist and I enjoy Jill’s writing, same as you, I presume. As you well know, being a feminist doesn’t preclude women from being humorless or from engaging in henpecking. And calling it like I see it doesn’t negate my feminist activism.

    Why is your immediate response to accuse me of not being a feminist? Do you think all feminists agree on everything? Even the part about not using language that some feminists think is offensive?

  82. Cagey
    August 23, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Yeah, as someone who remembers what it felt like when the Pentagon got hit and who really had a good freakout today after feeling something very similar, I can tell you it wasn’t all that funny.

    And if we’re talking about things that cause division in communities, it isn’t “humorless”, “henpecking” feminists reminding people that their fears were legitimate and varied even if the crisis wasn’t large, it’s jerks who proceed to ridicule those people with increasingly sexist remarks and patronizing “but let’s talk about something that’s actually important” bs.

  83. August 23, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    This one made me laugh. I was sleeping in Massachusetts (afternoon nap), were we suppose to feel anything?

  84. Athenia
    August 23, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    I was sitting at my desk and my chair was shaking. I thought it was the fire truck that went by, but then it kept shaking and then the lights started to move and I was all, “Errr, earthquake??”

    We evacuated, but mostly because we weren’t sure what else to do.

  85. August 23, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Oh, here’s that Facebook page if you want to like it, because I like promoting my friends and stuff.

    jeffliveshere:
    I never thought I’d say it, but I really wish Jill would write even more smartass posts, because she’s really good at them.

    And, for seriously. Write more sarcastic posts, Jill. They’re funny, PLUS, we can make some popcorn and watch all the drama unfold in the comments about how you’re not being sensitive enough to every single individual on the planet at all times.

  86. Chai Latte
    August 23, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Sid:
    Just because it hasnt been on twitter or on facebook yet doesn’t mean that no one was injured or nothing serious was damaged.I live in Virginia and it actually was pretty damn scary for 10 seconds there (as in, potentially house caving in have to evacuate disable family scary).So really, fuck your sarcasm.

    Agreed. I mean, we never get these things–we have no fucking clue how to react. I myself didn’t really understand what was happening till it was over–they kept saying ‘earthquake’, but I didn’t process it till I was standing out on the street with the rest of my class after the evacuation.

    My friends and I were cracking jokes afterward, more to diffuse tension than anything else. Hell, I’m still a bit paranoid that there’ll be another one.

    (Added note: Aside from inexperience with such events and the validity of one’s feelings, I should point out that some genius decided that the fault lines of PA and NJ would be an AWESOME place for chemical/refinery/anything else that goes boom/ plants to reside. It’s true. So maybe think before you mock–’cause this could’ve gotten a hell of a lot uglier than it did. We were very lucky.)

  87. August 23, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    blondegirl:
    It’s not accurate and it’s quite insensitive to compare a 5.8 to the 8.2 that happened in Japan. It’s nowhere NEAR what experiencing the tsunami. Over 20,000 people are dead and missing. Entire communities were wiped out, children were swept away and people’s lives were forever changed. I really think you should amend the end of your post.

    …oh dear god. Will I get evicted from the blog if I make a blonde joke in response to this comment?

    • August 23, 2011 at 7:34 pm

      Also FYI I never said that people should not be allowed to feel scared. I think the earthquake drama in New York is funny. I think the way kids are taught that they’re GOING TO DIE IN THE BIG ONE on the West Coast is also funny (and sick). Yes, sometimes I laugh at things, and sometimes those things involve other people, because sometimes people are ridiculous and funny. I think if peoples’ feelings are seriously hurt by a post making fun of the twitter and local news response to a 2.2 earthquake, they should reevaluate their lives.

      And I think if you don’t understand that the Japan comment was making fun of people who were over-dramatizing this earthquake, I just don’t even know what to tell you. Good luck, you need it.

  88. PrettyAmiable
    August 23, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    jeff: The thing is, a lot of us in New York live and work in hundred-year-old brick buildings that are basically only supported by the buildings next door.

    More later, but ahhh eff. I’m at work and didn’t even think about how disturbingly rickety my building is. I’m sure it’s okay. I live next to an above ground station, so if it can handle subway rattling, it should be able to handle the quake.

  89. August 23, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    I was in the PNW snowpocalypse of 2008, and it was totally frustrating/mind-boggling to this Chicago native. It was also my last winter break ever, and was totally ruined by the complete meltdown of the Seattle bus system. I also found it totally hilarious that 6-8 in of snow shut down the city for two fucking weeks. I mean, yes, devastating to people who own small businesses that rely on pre-Christmas sales and terrifying for people who couldn’t get to grocery stores and whatnot. But also HILARIOUS because less than a foot of snow wtf.

    I can tell you that if Seattle actually gets the big one while I live here, or even gets something smallish, I will totally be yammering like a baby because I don’t like it when the ground moves. I like my feet to stay where I put them.

    Hope all’s well for Virginia folks.

  90. iiii
    August 23, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Another huge difference between east coast and west coast quakes: the building code. Buildings here out west are chock-full of rebar and retrofits and other engineering goodness that buildings back east aren’t required to have. I was in Santa Ana for the Sylmar quake, San Francisco for Loma Prieta, and San Luis Obispo for Northridge. I also lived in Charlottesville for two years. I’ll tell you, the idea of going through a 5.9 in Central Virginia, land of aging unreinforced masonry, scares the shit out of me.

  91. Sheelzebub
    August 23, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    This has fuck all to do with Jill’s post or anyone’s comments, but why not?

    I figured it was time for me to move home from Osaka when I woke up to one of my roommates freaking out about an earthquake at 3:00 a.m. It was a small one, it felt like the quake felt to me in Boston today. I would have slept through it had it not been for roomie twitching. And I said, “It’s just an earthquake. Go back to sleep!”

    Then was all O_o. I just said “It’s just an earthquake, go back to sleep.” It may be time for me to move back home.

  92. Kristen J
    August 23, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    Jill:

    …oh dear god. Will I get evicted from the blog if I make a blonde joke in response to this comment?

    Yes. Yes you will. Also, I would have to go to the grocery store to buy additional popcorn because (1) reverse racism and (2) hatred of the blonde.

  93. Marksman2010
    August 23, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Jill, I enjoyed your stories about the emergency quake kits put together for school. You’re mom sounds like a really sweet lady.

  94. Bagelsan
    August 23, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    I can tell you that if Seattle actually gets the big one while I live here, or even gets something smallish, I will totally be yammering like a baby because I don’t like it when the ground moves. I like my feet to stay where I put them.

    Well, if you’re living near the waterfront you’ll be yammering like a baby at the bottom of Puget Sound, ’cause that whole landfill area is gonna liquefact and sink straight into the water. Sweet dreams!

    And yep, I too grew up in (just outside of) Seattle, and fondly remember the various quake drills and actual quakes we had. Did your schools also play a tape of crashing/rumbling sounds over the intercom during drills? I always thought that was a nice silly touch. :)

    Oh, and by the way y’all, I believe that you are no longer supposed to stand in a doorway during a quake. You should instead crawl under a sturdy desk or table (with your head pointed away from any windows or breakable glass), hold onto the table leg with one of your arms, and use the other arm to cover your face/eyes and head. Trying to evacuate in the middle of the quake is probably also a terrible idea, especially if you don’t have somewhere very safe and very close that you could magically reach in the middle of being shaken around.

  95. PrettyAmiable
    August 23, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Update: my apartment is awesome!

    Yeah – I work at a bank in lower Manhattan. Per regulations, we don’t have access to social media from our work stations. We can still access them on our personal phones.

    When the building started shaking and once we realized it definitely wasn’t something internal, it honestly made more sense that our building was bombed. Lots of people angry with our industry, 10 yr anniversary of a massive terrorist attack coming up, no immediate access to our friends, with cell phones jammed. And the first message that we got from outside was that another bank in Manhattan had evacuated, and some fuckers were clearly on the staircase in our building, and I work on the 20th floor.

    It was a little scary. Yeah, in retrospect, not a big deal. It was still interesting and new though. Shrug!

  96. Cactus Wren
    August 23, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Best comment so far, started on Twitter and I’m doing my best to spread it:

    “There was just a 5.8 earthquake in Washington. Obama wanted it to be 3.4, but the Republicans wanted 5.8, so he compromised.”

  97. Bagelsan
    August 23, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Also, Jill, I must reiterate what a horrible person you are. Look at the suffering of this poor woman:

    Laugh away, West Coast native, but I’ll tell you what—if your cat is half as perturbed as mine are, you’re going to have a fun night of consoling epic levels of neediness.

    We all know Marcotte is a tough lady, but for fuck’s sake multiple needy cats is no laughing matter! But I guess you didn’t think of that, with your disgusting single-cat privilege. >:|

  98. August 23, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    People were evacuating buildings in Pittsburgh. I’m sorry, but that’s pretty hilarious (and I’m a native Easterner and have never experienced–to my knowledge–an earthquake before). Especially since you have to have at least three feet of snow on the ground before they’ll evacuate in Pittsburgh.

    I was in a darkened movie theater when it happened, I feel cheated. Probably my only earthquake and I didn’t get to see it (although the picture did go out). BTW, spoiler alert: apes win!

  99. Ens
    August 23, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    I have a knack for avoiding earthquakes. Never felt one. I happened to be in Seattle instead of my usual Ontario, and their roles were reversed.

    I END earthquakes.

  100. August 23, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    Oh God, I grew up in the Seattle area too, and my childhood terror of The Big One was only mitigated when, to my surprise, I survived that sort-of-mild earthquake we had in 1995.

  101. August 23, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Bagelsan: Well, if you’re living near the waterfront you’ll be yammering like a baby at the bottom of Puget Sound, ’cause that whole landfill area is gonna liquefact and sink straight into the water. Sweet dreams!

    Hooray! There had to be some benefit to living in boring east Seattle. Hello, Lake Washington. You will not drown me in an earthquake (I hope I hope).

  102. Charity
    August 23, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Loved this, Jill!

  103. Rachel
    August 23, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Wow, I would have expected a lot better from a ‘feminist’ website than to invalidate other people’s experiences and emotional reactions. Even aside from the fact that this earthquake hit people that weren’t used to them, in buildings not built to withstand large earthquakes, tremors can be very upsetting. But I guess you people don’t really get the ultimate point of social activism, that being to look past your privilege and treat people *and their experiences* with respect…

    Oh and since apparently you need to have “earthquake cred” to be allowed to speak on this subject, I’ll just point out that I live in Christchurch, New Zealand, where one hundred and eighty one people died almost exactly six months ago in an earthquake. I found your critical, nasty, mocking post to be extremely upsetting in the light of this. The people upset over a relatively small earthquake – not so.

  104. Bagelsan
    August 23, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    Hello, Lake Washington. You will not drown me in an earthquake (I hope I hope).

    I hope not too; my parents live on Mercer Island! Of course, they’re on the higher/middle part of the island, not anywhere near the water where it’s super expensive and where an earthquake might slosh you.

  105. Bystander
    August 24, 2011 at 12:20 am

    I think it’s perfectly fine to mock people’s alarm about things that scare them, provided that, when it’s your turn to ride the other end of the teeter-totter, you’re fine with receiving the same treatment.

    For me, earthquakes stopped being funny in any way when my friends died.

  106. Placebogirl
    August 24, 2011 at 12:29 am

    I’m from New Zealand, where you might know we had an earthquake in Feb, leaving lots of people dead. Aftershocks are continuing, and many people are still jobless and homeless.

    This post had me in grit-my-teeth-don’t-laugh-out-loud-or-you’re-gonna-get-caught-surfing-at-work stitches.

  107. Annaleigh
    August 24, 2011 at 12:34 am

    Rachel: But I guess you people don’t really get the ultimate point of social activism, that being to look past your privilege and treat people *and their experiences* with respect…

    Wow, living in/being from an earthquake-prone region is a form of privilege now? Hmm.

  108. Bagelsan
    August 24, 2011 at 12:42 am

    But I guess you people don’t really get the ultimate point of social activism, that being to look past your privilege and treat people *and their experiences* with respect…

    Damn our earthquake-having-been-in privilege! :p

    Seriously though, the East Coast teases us about our precipitation-related flailing panics and we tease them about their precious wee earthquakes. Maybe it was scary for a lot of people, but so is driving in 1/2 inch of snow for some people, and either one is fair game for a giggle as far as I’m concerned.

  109. Bagelsan
    August 24, 2011 at 12:50 am

    Here, to make it fair, an infamous video of people trying to drive in the snow in Portland:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-roeYQPscSc

    There is no way that’s not hilarious!

  110. Rachel
    August 24, 2011 at 12:59 am

    How about phrasing it a different way, as your having-buildings-that-are-made-to-stand-up-to-earthquakes privilege? But as much as you’re saying earthquake priv. to make me look silly, that’s not what I even said, I know there’s no systematic repression of people who’ve not been in earthquakes. But understanding that other people can’t always handle things the same way and that some things mean more to other people depending on their situations is implicit in understanding the whole privilege thing isn’t it? As is *not* saying that because someone’s experience wasn’t as bad as your means they shouldn’t complain at all, or making fun of them for being affected by it.

  111. seisy
    August 24, 2011 at 12:59 am

    I always figure these Earthquakes are natures way of repaying us for the way we make fun of people in California for freaking out over some snow.Now it’s their turn to giggle at us and our over-reacting.

    Pfft. Plenty of us Californians shook our heads sadly at the total meltdown back east over a couple piddly feet of snow. Everyone always forgets about the Sierras. Now, if we had a hurricane or tornado or even just a big hail storm, then there’d be total freak out.

    Plus, earthquakes on the east coast are weird. Apparently they can be felt a lot further away, even when they’re faint little things. Here, you’d probably never actually feel a two-point-something, or if you did, it’d be a funny little bump you could swear you probably imagined. So it always reads very strangely when people back east talk about feeling a small earthquake a hundred miles from the epicenter.

  112. Rachel
    August 24, 2011 at 1:02 am

    Also as much as you say its all in good fun, I’ve seen several people posting that they felt hurt by this article so good intent only counts for so much…

  113. Annaleigh
    August 24, 2011 at 1:04 am

    Rachel: But as much as you’re saying earthquake priv. to make me look silly

    Oh, that wasn’t necessary, you did it all yourself by dragging the idea of privilege into this.

  114. Rachel
    August 24, 2011 at 1:14 am

    Well it’s a shame you think I look silly, Annaleigh. That makes me feel a bit crappy. But not enough to stop me standing up for myself or other people in future when I think someone should say something, so I won’t go writing sad, verbose poetry yet. xD

  115. Annaleigh
    August 24, 2011 at 1:23 am

    Rachel: That makes me feel a bit crappy. But not enough to stop me standing up for myself or other people in future when I think someone should say something,

    Eh, why not, I guess? I suppose someone will next declare that people living in hurricane territory are privileged because they’re used to hurricanes and stuff. More ridiculous things have happened, after all.

  116. EG
    August 24, 2011 at 1:25 am

    This post had me in grit-my-teeth-don’t-laugh-out-loud-or-you’re-gonna-get-caught-surfing-at-work stitches.

    How dare you find this funny?! Don’t you realize that you’re participating in your own oppression by people who sometimes make jokes about things?

    I would have expected a lot better from a ‘feminist’ website than to invalidate other people’s experiences and emotional reactions….But I guess you people don’t really get the ultimate point of social activism, that being to look past your privilege and treat people *and their experiences* with respect…

    Seriously? Look, I’m not sure when it became feminists’ job to “validate” everybody’s experiences and emotional reactions, regardless of what they are or what they are about or if they have anything to do with feminism or social justice whatsoever, but it sounds an awful lot like you’re upset because Jill isn’t being a nice good girl who always puts other people’s feelings first. Being nice to everybody is not the same thing as being a feminist. Being a feminist is about recognizing gender as a category of oppression; it’s not about staying po-face all the time and never laughing at other people’s ridiculous behavior. Being a feminist does not mean you have to “validate” everybody’s emotional reactions as important and meaningful and legitimate and interesting and blah blah blah. That’s not Jill’s job; it’s what my therapist is for.

    And I missed the memo informing me that the “ultimate” point of social activism is to “look past your privilege and treat people *and their experiences* with respect…” If it is, I’m no longer interested. As far as I’m concerned, the ultimate point of social activism is to make systemic, radical changes to our society in order to create a more just world in which people’s life chances aren’t abrogated by what race/gender/orientation/social class they happen to be part of.

    Being upset by or excitedly overreacting to a harmless earthquake does not make you a member of a systematically disadvantaged group. It just doesn’t. Going into full-blown panic mode because of some snow flurries doesn’t make you a member of a systematically disadvantaged group either, even if you personally have had a snow-related trauma. Why on earth would refraining from making fun of people who do those things be part of feminism?

    Jeez. What if I make fun of my mother for jumping onto chairs whenever a mouse is spotted? Is that anti-feminist of me because I should “validate” her experiences and emotions of being irrationally scared of a small rodent? Am I allowed to make fun of groups of tourists who stop in front of the crosswalk on 39th and 8th during rush hour in order to take a full minute to center a very important photograph of the Empire State Building, seemingly oblivious to the way they’re blocking the movement of the crowds trying to go home, because then I would be invalidating their feelings of awe at seeing the ESB? Because the alternative to me making fun of them is me shouting at them to move the fuck out of the way.

    I make jokes about the weather all the time in the summer and use a bunch of sarcasm and hyperbole…but, hey, people die in heat waves in this city every year! How awful and cruel of me, I guess. The fact is, that if we’re fortunate to live long enough, every single one of us will see friends and family die; many of us have done so already. If we, as a culture, refrained from making jokes about things that caused or were related to death, we wouldn’t ever make any jokes at all, and I’m not willing to live like that (to say nothing of the fact that not making jokes about dangerous things ignores one of the essential functions of humor).

    As Emma Goldman didn’t say, if I can’t mock, I don’t want to be a part of your revolution.

    On the other hand, I am deeply disappointed in my NYC brethren and sistren. What happened to the sense I grew up with, that part of being a New Yorker was never getting thrown by anything, because we’re so cynical and cool and shit, and so take everything in stride? It’s like we’ve become a bunch of out-of-towners staring gape-mouthed at shit.

  117. seisy
    August 24, 2011 at 1:26 am

    Bagelsan:
    Here, to make it fair, an infamous video of people trying to drive in the snow in Portland:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-roeYQPscSc

    There is no way that’s not hilarious!

    Yikes. The thing that kills me is the cars that just keep going. Like they still have their foot on the accelerator. Though it looks like more than just snow- the people walking were having a hard time keeping their balance and the way some of the cars were sliding… those had to be very slick conditions.The thought of being in the middle of all that scares the crap out of me. Mostly because of the other people, but I also once had the misfortune to get in stuck in extraordinarily slick conditions while I was still waiting on new snow tires, and the feeling of sliding down that hill and realizing that every last trick I knew for getting out of a slide or spin was absolutely useless is never really going to leave me.

    On the other hand, I found that video of cars (and a bus) doing loop de loops down a steep hill in…Seattle, I think, set to some humorous music hilarious.

  118. EG
    August 24, 2011 at 1:34 am

    But not enough to stop me standing up for myself or other people in future

    Well, I guess it’s good to know that there will be somebody out there willing to stand up to the plague of feminists making fun of New Yorkers treating a minor, harmless earthquake like OH MY GOD ALL CAPS ABOVE THE FOLD HEADLINE NEWS by referring to their “privilege” on a blog comment. Too few people have such courage and conviction. Truly, you have struck a blow for social justice against the oppressive bullies of this world.

  119. Rachel
    August 24, 2011 at 1:35 am

    You’re putting words in my mouth. I never said there’s some sort of “earthquake privilege”, I simply thought you would be better at remembering that things are not all equally affecting to all people. That things are not all equally affecting to all people is one of the fundamental bases of the concept of privilege, even if this is not a matter of privilege itself, which is why I had hoped for better from here.

    I stand by my point. It is mean to mock people for ‘overreacting’ to an earthquake just because *we* have been in far, far worse ones.

    If people say they were hurt by it, shouldn’t their word be enough?

  120. EG
    August 24, 2011 at 1:38 am

    I stand by my point. It is mean to mock people for ‘overreacting’ to an earthquake just because *we* have been in far, far worse ones.

    That wasn’t the point you made. You said it wasn’t “feminist” to mock people for overreacting; you tried to tie it to the “ultimate point” of social activism. Just…no. I’m not fighting or agitating for a world in which nobody is ever “mean.”

    I mean, I disagree that it’s mean–I mock the NYC response to our yearly heatwave every damn time it come around, and I don’t feel that I’m being particularly mean to those who get too hot, but that’s not even the point you made.

  121. Annaleigh
    August 24, 2011 at 1:42 am

    Rachel: You’re putting words in my mouth. I never said there’s some sort of “earthquake privilege”, I simply thought you would be better at remembering that things are not all equally affecting to all people.

    If you didn’t want to have people interpreting your comments as suggesting that West Coasters have some sort of special earthquake privilege, then you probably really shouldn’t have dragged privilege and “social justice” into the discussion. It’s annoying and it doesn’t accomplish much but probably would be interpreted in such a way as to reinforce the beliefs of some West Coasters that East Coasters are acting silly. It also ignores the fact that while some people have joked or teased, they also expressed well-wishes for anyone who might have been impacted negatively by the quake.

  122. Juke
    August 24, 2011 at 2:51 am

    Bagelsan:
    Here, to make it fair, an infamous video of people trying to drive in the snow in Portland:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-roeYQPscSc
    There is no way that’s not hilarious!

    Heehee. This Portlander will never get tired of that video.

  123. Bagelsan
    August 24, 2011 at 3:42 am

    Heehee. This Portlander will never get tired of that video.

    Yup! I was at work last winter (in Portland) and we had someone new in, who hadn’t been in the area for any of the “snow” we’ve had. The first thing we told her is that Portlanders completely lose their shit at any hint of ice or snow and we immediately brought up the video to prove it. It’s like how as a former/occasional Seattle-area-ite I also laugh about the Starbucks jokes and socks-with-sandals teasing; it’s one of those things you just have to roll your eyes about and embrace. :D

  124. Julie
    August 24, 2011 at 8:01 am

    I am in Central NY and felt my house shake for like 3 seconds. I live in an old house, it’s creaky and unstable and it felt weird. I didn’t even know it was an earth quake until I got on facebook a little later. I called my husband to see if he felt it our “scary, scary” earthquake and he laughed. I see nothing wrong with mocking people for absolute and total overreactions, sorry.

  125. Anna
    August 24, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Most of the ones that were really shocked around here (in NY) were ones who have never felt an earthquake in their lives, so I can understand them. I lived 25 years in the Philippines were earthquakes are more common than usual, but the first time I ever felt one (it had been a 4 on the Richter scale), I was scared out of my wits. As I grew older, I wasn’t scared of those 4s anymore, but the worse I’ve ever felt measured a 7.8 back in 1990. I thought *that* was terrifying–I was literally running scared, and that earthquake toppled an entire hotel building and a school full of children (it still makes me teary-eyed) to the ground. So you could probably imagine that a 2.2 felt more like–I don’t know, my vibrator going off unexpectedly in my purse (not that I’ve really ever kept it in my purse. No really).

  126. Casey
    August 24, 2011 at 8:52 am

    This reminds me of my friends who actually spend the night in their bathtubs if a thunderstorm warning is issued, while FB-ing, “OMG! This is so scary! Take cover!”

    I understand that lots of people have a fear of tornadoes, and having seen a couple up close, it’s a reasonable fear; but the Midwestern country girl in me rolls her eyes every time the sky clouds over and the local news teams nearly wet themselves. (This often occurs while I’m standing in the yard, looking at the sky, thinking, “Are you fucking kidding me? Does no one actually go outside anymore?”).

    But I’d be way out of my element in an earthquake. Give me hail and damaging winds any day.

  127. blondegirl
    August 24, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Jill:
    And I think if you don’t understand that the Japan comment was making fun of people who were over-dramatizing this earthquake, I just don’t even know what to tell you. Good luck, you need it.

    20,000 people died less than 5 months ago.

    In the least, it’s in very bad taste to make jokes about a tragedy of this proportion. While bad taste can be forgiven, defending it in such a insulting and confrontational way only shows immaturity and an inability to be self-critical.

  128. EG
    August 24, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Oh, come on. People shouldn’t make jokes about horrible things happening? Well, there goes most of humor as human beings have practiced it for thousands of years. What, exactly, should we make jokes about? Fluffy kittens? Deal with the fact that not everybody agrees with you about what constitutes “bad taste,” and rolling her eyes at your pearl-clutching is not evidence of “immaturity and an inability to be self-critical.” It’s evidence of thinking you’re being silly.

  129. Lottie
    August 24, 2011 at 10:54 am

    I didn’t feel the earthquake (I was in the car, which apparently prevents feeling earthquakes?) in Maryland, but one of my cats was so shaken (…pun not intended) when I got back. It was interesting because one of them was perfectly fine but the other was more terrified than I’d seen her in a long time. She calmed down after I’d been home for a little while, though.

    Amanda Marcotte:
    Laugh away, West Coast native, but I’ll tell you what—if your cat is half as perturbed as mine are, you’re going to have a fun night of consoling epic levels of neediness.

  130. Rodeo
    August 24, 2011 at 11:56 am

    In the least, it’s in very bad taste to make jokes about a tragedy of this proportion.

    Taste is subjective. It’s perfectly within the realm of acceptable, feminist, good-human behavior to engage in gallows humor. The only other option is to cry, all the time. Then, instead of people shaming us for laughing, we’d be shamed for pausing in our crying for a moment because that implies that You Forgot how sad life is.

    Gallows humor isn’t for everyone, god knows. But you’re going to have to do a much better job of explaining why your pet issue is off-limits if you want people to knock it off. Simply saying “people died” isn’t enough, because people die ALL THE TIME.

    I can’t be in a room with people talking about Katrina because I don’t see anything worth mocking about that particular situation and gallows humor seems inappropriate. But, since other people are making those jokes, they seem to disagree. Why would my discomfort trump their need to make themselves more comfortable with the tragedy of life?

  131. Cactus Wren
    August 24, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    The Washington Monument is closed to the public indefinitely while engineers assess the structural damage it has incurred.

  132. Bagelsan
    August 24, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Poor Torrey Smith apparently doesn’t like earthquakes… short but sweet:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/shutdown_corner/post/I-get-the-feeling-Torrey-Smith-isn-8217-t-used-?urn=nfl-wp5755

    XD

  133. Maresa
    August 24, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    As a Dallasite in NYC this week for work, all the quake did was make me wonder if I was having eye problems until we realised the walls of the store were actually moving. We promptly looked at each other, said “Earthquake? … Cool!” and went back to work. But then it was all over the news and I was amused because it was funny. Then I went and did touristy things. The end.

  134. laura
    August 25, 2011 at 12:58 am

    you know, making fun of the cliches and slogans about 9/11 that were ubiquitous to the point of absurdity at one point might have been prescient a few years ago, but now i think it’s just mocking people’s grief. why would you ever think that it was a good idea to write an article using language that obviously is meant to remind us of 9/11 to make a cheap attempt at humor? omg you are soo smart, you came up with this brilliant satire where you compare people’s reactions to probably the most tragic event in american history, and apply it to something minor and unimportant!! who are you poking fun at here? what was the purpose of doing this?

  135. laura
    August 25, 2011 at 1:03 am

    On the other hand, I am deeply disappointed in my NYC brethren and sistren.What happened to the sense I grew up with, that part of being a New Yorker was never getting thrown by anything, because we’re so cynical and cool and shit, and so take everything in stride?It’s like we’ve become a bunch of out-of-towners staring gape-mouthed at shit.

    are you serious? you think that being upset by someone invoking the memory of 9/11 to make a belittling and stupid joke somehow makes you less of a “new yorker”? what is wrong with you?

  136. Azalea
    August 25, 2011 at 1:49 am

    lol OK Jill, I am going to second the “smartass” comment here. I’m in D.C. and I can assure you as a lifelong resident of the DC-MD-VA area we’ve never felt a 5.8 earthquake before (the last time it got that high in the DMV was shortly after slavery was abolished…yeah.)

    People were scared because earthquakes were new. My hubby has been in Cali during worse earthquakes and was reassuring about the whole thing but for the most part everyone was afraid of the unknown.

  137. co44mali
    August 25, 2011 at 2:08 am

    I’m in nj. The phones went out and my dad spent the whole afternoon trying to get through to us because he thought a bomb had gone off. The last time the phones went out here (that wasn’t a hurricane) was 9/11. The ground shaking or the fact that it’s almost september didn’t help either.

    please don’t become jezebel feministe. There’s enough mildly degrading backhanded bs out there already.

  138. co44mali
    August 25, 2011 at 2:20 am

    sry, the mildly degrading back handed bs alludes to your title. A post 9/11 slogan, ‘never forget’ which you use to title a piece on the response to an earth quake in new york like 2 weeks before the 9/11 10yr anniversary.

  139. Lara Emily Foley
    August 25, 2011 at 4:08 am

    How can you be so insensitive to the plight of those who may have had loved ones stumble a step forward as a result of this quake. I expected a lot more from you Jill. I’ll be damned if i keep reading a site that would make such a mockery of a disaster like this.

    *roll flounce*

    XD

  140. Medea
    August 25, 2011 at 3:32 am

    co44mali:
    sry, the mildly degrading back handed bs alludes to your title. A post 9/11 slogan, ‘never forget’ which you use to title a piece on the response to an earth quake in new york like 2 weeks before the 9/11 10yr anniversary.

    A very common slogan that precedes 9/11 by centuries.

  141. EG
    August 25, 2011 at 9:20 am

    co44mali:
    sry, the mildly degrading back handed bs alludes to your title. A post 9/11 slogan, ‘never forget’ which you use to title a piece on the response to an earth quake in new york like 2 weeks before the 9/11 10yr anniversary.

    A very common slogan that precedes 9/11 by centuries.

    Indeed. 9/11/2001 does not have a monopoly on human suffering. Even as a New Yorker, I do get sick of hearing people speak of it in hushed tones as if nothing this horrific had ever happened before in the whole history of time. There’s a way in which I wonder how much of this is age-related. A few years ago, one of my students said, as if it was obvious truth, “Well, you know, before 9/11, we’d never felt vulnerable in our own country like that.” As somebody who grew up at the end of the cold war and spent countless nights as a child worrying about nuclear war, I had to inform her that her memory was not the same as “never.”

    • Kristen J
      August 25, 2011 at 9:27 am

      @EG, Yeah, plus you know…Pearl Harbor? Or are they amongst the percentage of people who don’t think Hawaii is part of the US?

  142. August 25, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Frig.. Forget Not (Ne Obliviscarus) has been on my family crest for centuries. Never Forget is not a copyrighted term specifically for post 911.

    In other news, I got a little spooked when the day after said earthquake, we get struck with multiple tornado warnings (we’ve been spared here, so far). Last year, Earthquake and Tornado on the same day. This year, Earthquake and Tornados with 36 hours of each other. Weeeeeird.

  143. EG
    August 25, 2011 at 9:54 am

    I suspect that for a lot of people, if it isn’t immediately relevant to their experience, it didn’t happen. Fortunately, that’s a correctable condition…especially if you get hold of ’em young.

    And you know…as for feeling vulnerable…when I was a kid, fairly young, because it was before my sister was born, my mother took me to renew my passport. I think I wasn’t sure why, because we certainly had no plans and could not have afforded to go anywhere, and my mother told me, quite matter-of-fact-ly, that we always had to have our passports ready and available, because we’re Jews, and you never know if or when we might have to flee, because “it hasn’t happened here yet” is not the same as “it can’t happen here.”

    I can’t say I was unduly worried, or even that I consider this concern a significant possibility in my lifetime, so I wouldn’t say that I necessarily feel vulnerable…but I have always remembered this exchange, and I have religiously kept my passport up to date and in my purse, and this conversation has always been in the back of my mind whenever I think about my passport. I do know that my mother was born a few years after the Holocaust, and even though all her family had been in the US for a couple generations at that point, she did, as a child, have nightmares about it. So…feeling vulnerable on your own ground very much depends on your group membership…as I suspect any person of color in the US would have been able to tell my student.

    • Kristen J
      August 25, 2011 at 10:07 am

      @EG,

      Whew…do I know how that feels. M is absolutely required to keep his passport on him at.all.times. Under penalty of one ticked off partner. Probably the effect of (1) hearing too many stories from undocumented workers about the abuse they suffer at the hands of the police and (2) being stopped so often by cops to “check”

  144. August 25, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    co44mali: sry, the mildly degrading back handed bs alludes to your title. A post 9/11 slogan, ‘never forget’ which you use to title a piece on the response to an earth quake in new york like 2 weeks before the 9/11 10yr anniversary.

    That’s right, tell the New Yorker how to feel about 9/11! OH MY GOD DON’T YOU NEW YORKERS UNDERSTAND THAT 9/11 CHANGED EVERYTHING???

    Oh, for fuck’s sake, people, take the poles out your asses. NOBODY DIED ON 8/23. That makes it not like the Christchurch earthquake, or Haiti (remember Haiti? Nobody here seems to be worried about them and how they’re getting along; is that FIRST-WORLD EARTHQUAKE PRIVILEGE?), or Japan, or Loma Prieto.

    A bunch of people who weren’t hurt and didn’t suffer catastrophic infrastructure damage freaked out over what turned out to be initially scary, but in the end a whole lot of nothing. And now Jill is poking some gentle fun at them. A lot of them are poking gentle fun at themselves as well!

    If you’re wondering why the stereotype of the humorless feminist persists, look in a mirror. Oy vey.

  145. August 25, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    And just a reminder: Jill was in NYC on 9/11. So was I. And so yes, she understands the whole “Shit, are we under attack?” initial reaction to catastrophes, particularly unusual ones. I mean, NYC *isn’t* Seattle or San Francisco; the ground *doesn’t* generally start moving. Yes, after 9/11, it’s perfectly natural for someone who went through it to have a flashback to that day when a building falls down or a street blows up or there’s an earthquake in a place that just doesn’t get them.

    But laughing at people’s overreactions when something initially scary turns out to be not a big fucking deal at all? Also perfectly natural!

    So stop trying to police people’s emotions. How VERY unfeminist.

  146. Daisy
    August 25, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    If only everyone could have such perfect control of themselves: “Oh look, it *wasn’t* a bomb afterall. Just a lil’ ol’ no-big-deal earthquake. Well then, listen here mind and body, you drop this anxious and tense feeling RIGHT NOW! You hear me?”

    What was that you said again about policing people’s emotions?

  147. Mom
    August 25, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Eating 10 month old disaster granola bars was a blessed event! I am still thankful. the last big earthquake in Seattle was on your Sisters 16th Birthday. Remember I went to your high school looking for you both and how embarrassed you were??? Love – teary eyed all over again – Mom

  148. Bagelsan
    August 25, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    If only everyone could have such perfect control of themselves: “Oh look, it *wasn’t* a bomb afterall. Just a lil’ ol’ no-big-deal earthquake. Well then, listen here mind and body, you drop this anxious and tense feeling RIGHT NOW! You hear me?”

    If you’re still panicked and tweeting days later about something that didn’t actually happen, hie thee to a therapist stat.

    But seriously y’all, I was in the Loma Prieta as a toddler with my mom and baby sister, and my mom’s never been able to laugh about it since. Sure she snickers and giggles while talking about how her (normally quiet and delicate self) scooped us kidlets up under each arm like squishy pink footballs and barreled down the hall to the doorway like a boss, but never properly belly laughs about it. We lost a lamp that day. Tragic.

  149. Annaleigh
    August 25, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    co44mali:
    sry, the mildly degrading back handed bs alludes to your title. A post 9/11 slogan, ‘never forget’ which you use to title a piece on the response to an earth quake in new york like 2 weeks before the 9/11 10yr anniversary.

    A Google search produced the following list of tragedies we have been admonished to ‘never forget’:
    The Holocaust
    Invasion of Normandy
    Rwanda Genocide
    Khmer Rouge regime
    Vietnam POWs/MIAs
    Japan earthquake/Fukishima Nuclear Disaster
    Chernobyl Disaster
    BP Oil Spill

    Etc, etc. etc.

    Oh and as recently as last month, ‘never forget’ was used jokingly in reference to Carmaggedon over in Los Angeles where I-405 shut down.

    A lot of people have true sympathy for NYers and DCers who were scared at first during the earthquake because they thought it might be a terrorist attack. Sympathy for NYers who think they own the phrase ‘never forget’ and insist it should never be used jokingly? Not so much.

  150. Annaleigh
    August 25, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    co44mali:
    sry, the mildly degrading back handed bs alludes to your title. A post 9/11 slogan, ‘never forget’ which you use to title a piece on the response to an earth quake in new york like 2 weeks before the 9/11 10yr anniversary.

    A Google search produced the following list of tragedies we have been admonished to ‘never forget’:
    The Holocaust
    Invasion of Normandy
    Rwanda Genocide
    Khmer Rouge regime
    Vietnam POWs/MIAs
    Japan earthquake/Fukishima Nuclear Disaster
    Chernobyl Disaster
    BP Oil Spill

    Etc, etc. etc.

    Oh and as recently as last month, ‘never forget’ was used jokingly in reference to Carmaggedon over in Los Angeles where I-405 shut down.

    A lot of people have true sympathy for NYers and DCers who were scared at first during the earthquake because they thought it might be a terrorist attack. Sympathy for NYers who think they own the phrase ‘never forget’ and insist it should never be used jokingly? Not so much.

  151. Annaleigh
    August 25, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Oops, how I did a double post is beyond me. Sorry everyone. :S

  152. August 25, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Daisy:
    If only everyone could have such perfect control of themselves: “Oh look, it *wasn’t* a bomb afterall. Just a lil’ ol’ no-big-deal earthquake. Well then, listen here mind and body, you drop this anxious and tense feeling RIGHT NOW! You hear me?”

    What was that you said again about policing people’s emotions?

    You know, “perfectly natural” does not mean “exclusively the good and right reaction.”

    English! It’s what’s for dinner.

  153. August 25, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Annaleigh: Sympathy for NYers who think they own the phrase ‘never forget’ and insist it should never be used jokingly? Not so much.

    Usually the people who insist on it aren’t actually New Yorkers.

  154. Bagelsan
    August 25, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Oops, how I did a double post is beyond me. Sorry everyone. :S

    Just as well you posted it twice; I’d already forgotten the first list.

    ;D

  155. Daisy
    August 25, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Bagelsan: If only everyone could have such perfect control of themselves: “Oh look, it *wasn’t* a bomb afterall. Just a lil’ ol’ no-big-deal earthquake. Well then, listen here mind and body, you drop this anxious and tense feeling RIGHT NOW! You hear me?”If you’re still panicked and tweeting days later about something that didn’t actually happen, hie thee to a therapist stat.

    It was posted the same day as the quake, within a couple hours or so.

    So, what… if one is still panicked and tweeting after 1.5 hours, one needs to get to a therapist? Just what is the cutoff?

    As those who have argued for gallows humor have pointed out, people cope in different ways. But, that goes both ways. So, to ridicule people coping with a scary (and in some cases triggering) event and brand them as over-reacting does seem a bit out of tune for a feminist site.

    Why are we any better arbiters of what is or is not an appropriate reaction than those who say to women laughingly “You’re over-reacting.” when they are upset about say… verbal street harassment. “How can that even be scary? It’s not like he even touched you or anything. It’s a compliment.”
    (Not a perfect analogy, I know, but they never are.)

    That said, I don’t think this is some sort of “great indignity”; it just seemed a bit on the callous side. But then maybe this was just a case of… too soon, too soon.

    On a side note: I lost a lamp in this quake. It was one of my favorites. *sniff*

  156. Daisy
    August 25, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    zuzu: You know, “perfectly natural” does not mean “exclusively the good and right reaction.”English! It’s what’s for dinner.

    So ridiculing someone’s emotions is or is not a form of policing them?

  157. Rodeo
    August 25, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    So, to ridicule people coping with a scary (and in some cases triggering) event and brand them as over-reacting does seem a bit out of tune for a feminist site.

    I wonder it says about the people who are asking feminists to be nice about other people’s feelings?

    Face it: not everyone cares that your feelings of fear and anxiety can’t be laughed off the same way that other people’s can be. You apparently need a lot more support to process those types of emotions. That’s fine. But, uh, feminists aren’t really known for being nice, so asking us to stop using this space for our coping techniques so that you can use it for yours is pretty selfish.

    Ultimately, everyone is entitled to their own feelings, and everyone is entitled to call the other an asshole for those feelings. No one is wrong here. But in the end, the people who can find laughter and levity always win the argument. The person laughing always beats the person flouncing and huffing.

  158. Rodeo
    August 25, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    It might very well be a form of policing someone. Sure. If you think so, then hit the X button on the upper right hand side of the window and you’ll win. Probably the easiest way to avoid being policed.

  159. EG
    August 25, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    If only everyone could have such perfect control of themselves: “Oh look, it *wasn’t* a bomb afterall. Just a lil’ ol’ no-big-deal earthquake. Well then, listen here mind and body, you drop this anxious and tense feeling RIGHT NOW! You hear me?”

    I can only quote Amanda Marcotte: “Feminism is not a birthday party thrown for you by your mother.”

    There’s nothing in any feminist book I have ever read, any feminist speech I have ever heard, any conversation about any feminist issue I have ever had that has suggested to me that feminism is about being nice to everybody. It’s not. It is not anti-feminist to make fun of people freaking out for no real reason.

    Nobody gives a shit if you drop your anxious or tense feelings now, tomorrow, or ever. Keep them as long as you like. You’re the one expecting Jill to lock down her reactions in deference to you.

  160. August 25, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    Daisy: So ridiculing someone’s emotions is or is not a form of policing them?

    Sure, why not? But I’m not the one running around chastising Jill for ZOMG NOT RECOGNIZING HER PRIV-A-LEGE because how dare she not validate everyone’s emotions — thereby telling Jill that HER reaction isn’t valid. Her emotional reaction is to point and laugh. Is that less valid than yours?

    Besides, I don’t, in fact, believe that every emotional response is equally valid. You’re entitled to your reaction, but I’m also entitled to disagree with it.

    And, yes, if you haven’t gotten over a non-event an hour and a half after NOTHING HAPPENED AND NO ONE GOT HURT AND NO ONE HAS TO LIVE IN A TENT AND GET TETANUS SHOTS, you probably should talk to someone.

  161. Annaleigh
    August 25, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    zuzu: Usually the people who insist on it aren’t actually New Yorkers.

    That doesn’t surprise me. Thanks Zuzu, point taken.

  162. Annaleigh
    August 25, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Bagelsan:
    Oops, how I did a double post is beyond me. Sorry everyone. :S

    Just as well you posted it twice; I’d already forgotten the first list.

    ;D

    LOL! So much for never forget! :P

  163. CurrentlyAnonymous
    August 25, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    See, recently I read some women’s magazine (maybe it was a Hairpin post?) with sex tips and one of them was “Never forget the balls!” I told my husband about this, and now our running joke is, “Never forget!” (followed by a friendly squeeze of the balls).

    Am I showing disrespect to lots and lots of historical events by associating the phrase “Never forget” with testicles? Inquiring minds…

  164. Bagelsan
    August 25, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    And, yes, if you haven’t gotten over a non-event an hour and a half after NOTHING HAPPENED AND NO ONE GOT HURT AND NO ONE HAS TO LIVE IN A TENT AND GET TETANUS SHOTS, you probably should talk to someone.

    Yeah, I said it in a snarky way, but seeing a therapist is actually legit advice if you’re still upset about the earthquake (or often have a hard time calming down after being scared and then finding out nothing bad happened.) Because at the very least that sounds like a miserable way to live, and maybe there’s something you could do to improve your recovery time.

    I’m giggling at the overall reaction, ’cause NYC freaking about their baby earthquake is funny, but I certainly know people can be traumatized by “funny” stuff — geez, I was genuinely traumatized* by the cheesy human sacrifice scene in Temple of Doom as a kid, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still fair game for people to lol at.

    *the whole intrusive thoughts/obsessive side of my OCD didn’t do me any fucking favors as a child. -_-

  165. anthrosciguy
    September 2, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Jill: Yeah, have you seen West Coasters try to drive in the snow? The entire city of Seattle basically shuts down if there’s a flurry. So there’s enough mockery to go around.

    I take it you’ve never been through a D.C. winter and seen how they react to a half inch of snow on the road.

  166. K
    September 4, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Actually, it’s kind of offensive that people are not worried about the pre- revolutionary war buildings in Virginia that could be condemned because of this. But it’s just history, it’s not as important as the National Cathedral that was started in 1907, right? Also the damage to schools isn’t as big a deal as the Washington Monument closing.

    Virginia damage As per Wikipedia (Because there is no coverage of this anywhere else I can find):
    Downtown Culpeper was one of the communities most affected by the August 23, 2011 Virginia Earthquake. Several buildings along Main Street and East Davis Street suffered structural damage, some being condemned. The earthquake also led to the temporary evacuation of the Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation, which at the time was hosting a town hall event for Senator Mark Warner.

    The roof of Mineral’s town hall collapsed, and three of the six schools in the county’s school system suffered heavy damage. There were no fatalities, and only minor injuries.

  167. Rich
    September 7, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Good post! I agree, the East Coast is very wussy on things like earthquakes because we don’t experience them very often. On the other hand, I was very concerned when my sister called me and said her office building in Boston shook! Hmmm, she called me first when my first thought would be to save my own ass. I ran outside where I work (an old building in the burbs) and tried to call her back. Interesting fact: men are far less likely to get out of danger to prove their “toughness” to other men, while women leave when they sense danger! We men need to learn from and respect women and stop ridiculing them.

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