Friday, April 20, 2012

PSA: Don't Be a Thunder-Lover-Shamer

I am not a Thunder Over Louisville fan. I "get" Thunder-lovers. Occasionally, the sight of expertly-flown fighter jets dancing in the skies over the city makes me go all Lee Greenwood inside. How can it not? It's an art. It's a talent. It's dangerous and beautiful. And how can you not admire the brave patriots who fly those planes?

But the air show makes me squidgy. So much money goes into all that. And fuel and other resources. And the celebration of instruments of war and destruction?... I'm not really cool with that. And certainly, I can't help but ache for those Louisvillagers who have at one point in their lives lived somewhere where the sound of a fighter jet overhead was not the sound of celebration or martial artistry but the sound of immanent peril.

Lord knows, as someone who was one of the first groups of people to return to New Orleans after the mandatory evacuation, post-Katrina, I was-- for years-- wigged out by the sound of low-flying helicopters. I still kind of am.

And fireworks at close range have always made me edgy.

I'm not a Thunder-hater, but I'm not a Thunder Over Louisville fan, either. I could absolutely do without it.

But you know what I like LEAST about Thunder? All the Thunder-Lover-Shamers.

It's the day before Thunder Over Louisville, and this is about the time when the Thunder-Lover-Shamers start rearing their ugly heads. They pop up on Twitter or Facebook. They emerge among your co-workers. They start troll-posting on the CJ website.

Their primary goal: to make people who genuinely enjoy Thunder feel terrible about their love for this event.

Listen, it's totally fine with me if you hate Thunder. As I said, I'm mostly in your camp. But it's not okay to, once a year, express your hatred of Thunder by deriding and shaming those people who truly love it. If you have serious moral objections to Thunder Over Louisville, then you should be working ALL YEAR LONG to somehow ban and/or improve what happens during this Derby season opener.

I don't know if it's the same people, but Thunder-Lover-Shamers are the same beasts as Awards-Show-Lover-Shamers or Football-Lover-Shamers. The people who tweet during the Emmys: "I don't know who Julie Bowen is or what she is wearing... Thank God! Curled up with the latest Jonathan Safran Foer and my cat."

Love what you want to love, and let other people get their giggles from whatever it is that tickles their toes. Thunder-Lover-Shaming makes you sound like a jerk.

In the immortal words of Bill & Ted, "Be Excellent To Each Other."

Party on, dudes.

And want to watch the finale of Thunder 2009 from my back yard? Check this out (bonus, for those of you who don't know me, you get to hear the dulcet tone of my voice). Thunder from my back yard


Julie Faulds said...

This is my fourth year here in time for Thunder and I haven't made it to the show yet.

As a military brat- I have literally seen hundreds of air shows. I love them, but if I don't see it, it's okay.

On the other hand, I LOVE me some fireworks. I could very happily watch them for hours upon hours. I would love to take the pups, the man and some good grub and spend the afternoon/evening outside, ending it with great fireworks show.

What I don't love is crowds and traffic. I did Pop Goes the Fourth many times and each year it got progressively worse in terms of rudeness on the ground and on the roads. Maybe I am just getting old. Maybe some year I will buy a home with a good view of the fireworks without having to drive to see them. Maybe some year I will be able afford box seats and a driver to get to Churchill for the Derby. Until then- I escape the area both for Thunder and Derby.

I agree with you on the bottom line though- If you hate the biggest events in the area, there's no reason to harsh on everyone who loves and enjoys attending them.

Brooke said...

Excellent post. I too am not a Thunder-Lover. It's just too many angry, sunburned people in one area.

jugband girl said...

I am the weirdo that always worries about animals. Dogs, cats, birds - like the doves currently nested outside of my office window and the eagles that are currently nesting very close to the river in Indiana. Ugh - and you thought jug bands were my only weird obsession. lol...

M said...

Jug Band Girl--

Looks like you're not the only one concerned. I'm glad to see that people are keeping an eye on the eagles!