Monday, June 7, 2010

Life Imitates Art

First my disclaimer: I know the entire Gulf of Mexico situation is horrible and catastrophic and it's moved me to tears several times. Having said that, something happened today that made me laugh.

Haley Barbour, the republican governor of Mississippi, today dismissed the oil spill as not that big a deal and said the biggest problem (yes, bigger than an ecological disaster that will last for generations) is how the media is scaring people from coming to the beaches... how the beaches in Mississippi are pristine so "come on down!"

It seemed at once preposterous and funny and it so reminded me of the mayor in "Jaws" who was concerned that the threat of a shark (which had already killed people) would ruin the economy for the July 4th weekend... Here's what the Mayor told the media:

Mayor Vaughn: I'm pleased and happy to repeat the news that we have, in fact, caught and killed a large predator that supposedly injured some bathers. But, as you see, it's a beautiful day, the beaches are open and people are having a wonderful time. Amity, as you know, means "friendship".

And here's Barbour on Fox News:

So it may be hard for the viewer to understand, but the worst thing for us has been how our tourist season has been hurt by the misperception of what's going on down here. The Mississippi gulf coast is beautiful. As I tell people, the coast is clear, come on down.

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