13 January 2011


 If you are planning to be in the right place at the right time during an unprecedented wide-scale natural disaster, to film on your iPhone what you expect to be arguably the most horrifying and riveting footage taken of the disaster in your area, to upload it to youtube and then arrange for it to go viral in an extremely short space of time, here are a few handy points to keep in mind as you prepare. 

I shall compile them in the form of a script for appropriate dialogue that you and your work colleague should rehearse meticulously before the natural disaster hits.  This dialogue should be performed during the filming of the disaster, and should deflect most of the potential criticism that could be leveled at you by trolls in the comments section.

- - - - - - - -

A: Oh, look, it's really coming now!  There is no way anyone would have predicted the water would have come up this high, or this quickly!  This is a one-in-100-years flood!  Unfortunately these cars are going to be engulfed in the water.

B: Why yes.  I should point out that many of the car owners have been warned and taken their cars and gone home now.  The rest of the people standing around watching aren't moving to rescue any cars, so I wonder who belongs to the rest of them?

A: I have no idea.  They could be working in any of the buildings in the city, and we have no way of tracking them down.

B: What a shame.  It is also the commuter carpark for the bus station adjacent to this building, meaning that it is probable that a few of the car owners have parked here and taken a bus to other rural towns for any number of days.

A: That's true.  We've done all we can, now we just have to stay put.  We can't go down and move the other cars ourselves.

B: This carpark has been used for many years without any sort of flooding like this.  The car owners could never have foreseen this happening when they parked this morning.  Nobody in their right mind could say they were foolish to park there.

A: You are so right.  We've never seen this sort of flooding here, ever! 

B: You can say that again.  Oh, look!  The water is so brown!  That's because these are flood waters, and they have come from heavy rains picking up dirt as they travel.

A: I heard that when Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans, the water was clearer.  Is that because it was sea water?

B: Why yes it was, and therefore it was bound to appear clearer than these flash flood waters inland.

A: Oh, look at that guy.  He is brave to try to save his 4x4, but he's judged that he will get it away safely.  He's a big boy and can make his own decisions.

B: Look what he is doing now.  He is locking his hubs to engage 4WD.

A: Yes he is.  How clever of you to know that, despite the fact you are not familiar with 4 wheel drive vehicles.

B:  Thankyou.

A: This is flooding on a massive scale.  There is no way that you could fake this.  I mean, imagine how impossible it would be to arrange a deluge of megalitres of brown water to cascade down here and to find some cars to float down in it, film it, 'photoshop' it, and upload it to youtube while simultaneously arranging for the world's media to report on it immediately.

B: You could always use chocolate milk instead of brown water.

A: True.  That would make it easier.

B: You would have to be sure when you distributed it that people knew it happened in Australia.  You know how confused people get between Australia and Austria.

A: There is a chance that mentioning that we are in Australia might spark a heated and highly irrational argument regarding the relative disadvantages of the USA and Australia, and offer an opportunity for a minority of Canadians to say that both countries pale behind the brilliance of Canada.  But I will take that risk.  Oh, look, a floating industrial waste bin.  It would be so natural for me to chuckle a bit at this point, but I will be very careful not to do so, for fear of watchers assuming I was taking this lightly.

B: Oh no.  At this point, we already know of the devastation in other parts of the city and surrounding areas, and are fully aware of the loss of homes, material possessions and human life.  Chuckling in amazement at this immense flood would obviously be indicating a callous disdain for the suffering of others.

A: And while we're speaking about not showing disdain, I should ask you - while we've been filming this, have any of the cars floating by had people inside them who subsequently went on to perish in the waters?

B: Obviously not.  Clearly all these cars but one were from this carpark, unable to be saved because they were empty - vacant of people, people who could have driven them away had they been in them.  I also can confirm that the future will show that none of these cars will be found to have bodies in them.  I should point that out for any concerned youtube watchers, after this video is uploaded and goes viral.

A: Alright, now the flood waters have subsided I will clean up what has happened here.  It's only fair, after I have filmed this.  It will demonstrate that I am a decent human being.

B: Wonderful.  I shall film you.  Stand over there and throw his piece of wet paper into the bin that has been washed up here.

('A' goes on to clean up 75% of the state.)

- - - - - - - -

Following these points may deflect the worst of the irrational and hateful criticism directed at you from internet trolls.  Then again, it may not.


Emily Sue said...

That is, of course, assuming that internet trolls are rational human beings who can listen to reasoned argument... rather than hairy, hunchbacked, evil creatures who live under bridges.

Heather said...

OMG I just clicked over to youtube to see the comments to which you were referring and the language nearly seared my eyeballs. Seriously, some people - erm, trolls are humanish, right? - need to really get a life. Egads.

Anonymous said...

I just clicked over and saw the youtube video and unfortunately, read some of the comments. I don't know what to say. Except, what is wrong with people? I'm shocked and appalled and I'm dumbfounded by the vile, filthy, ugly, irrational words our fellow humans feel compelled to "share."

Nana Tantrum

Tracy P. said...

Wow, that is super handy that you would do that for us! Because all of these mounds of snow are destined to melt, and it's only mid-January. Flooding in spring is a given. PERFECT script!

Maybe it should be added to the description of the video. Some people really need a little social coaching.

Now I am going to go finish watching the video! Praying for God to step in as relief efforts are carried out.

stefanie said...

Wow. American people can be so rude. I am sorry.

What a clever script!

The Accidental Housewife said...

Thanks lovely, I'll print that one out and keep it in my purse just in case. I know that I would be the very first person to chuckle at a floating bin, especially since that is a natural human response to adrenaline and surprise... and I wouldn't want to be thought of as callous.

Keep your chin up, I hope the GdE's stay healthy in the messy aftermath.

BGSydneyside said...

I'm not going to read the comments- but how horrible! Miss-understandings and thoughtless people suck. So glad you and your family are alright- and continuing to pray for you and your state.
love Belinda

Hippomanic Jen said...

Great script. Thanks for sharing, because otherwise I might have thought that Mr de Elba is callous and uncaring, or that the two of you had photoshopped it all.

Andi said...

Wow! I really needed those pointers...except I don't own an iphone. And I don't post to youtube. And I'm not planning on witnessing any natural disasters. But if that trifecta ever occurs I can now rest assured that I have the proper resources for dealing with it!

You are funny.

veiledturnip said...

Words can really hurt. How thoughtless some people really are.
Much love to you & your family.

CraftyMummy said...

Wow! There must be some amazing comments over there to have prompted this!! How rude! Anyone who knows Mr dE just has to laugh at some of these ideas associated with him of all people! If I didn't know how much you'd prefer your privacy, I'd be tempted to put a comment over there linking to this - but I won't, of course. Hang in there, Friend.

Anonymous said...

What nasty blighters they are! Jealous they are - J.E.A.L.O.U.S. They are jealous of Mr DeE's good looks, charm and sheer UNfortune to witness a natural disaster from his work place.

What kind of creeps lurk around facebook judging whether something is doctored or indeed genuine? Good grief. Perhaps instead of watching youtube, they should look up the Toowoomba Disaster Relief website and then judge whether this is a genuine natural disaster. Man, if I had a potty mouth, they would indeed have ringing ears....

Wait until Mrs La Nina lands in their backyards.... What will they do?? Humph.....

Mwah, B

~Taz~ said...

Some people have nothing better to do than judge and criticise others... it makes me mad that people would be like that, when they actually have no idea of the situation. They are just being losers. The rest of the world knows that Mr de Elba did the right thing-- and it's only the opinion of those rational people that is worth listening to.

I love the way you word stuff- this had me laughing all the way through :)

Crazy Sister said...

This is so funny, but I'm so sorry about the mindless idiots! I'm not going to read any of the You Tube comments, cause it sounds ridiculously awful.

May life move on quickly.

CynthiaK said...

You know that those ridiculous trolls are just idiots and that (speaking on behalf of Canadians, because that's where I am) we are not all like this. At all.

I made my donation to the Australia Red Cross and I've been thinking about you all and hoping things get better soon.

Trolls can suck it. Oh, and I laughed at the autocorrect post, too, because it happens to me all the time with my new iPhone. If nothing else, it's the laugh I need during the day!