Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Wind Took Your Answer

     Caligula was one of the most colorful and insane rulers of Rome. A case in point is the time he ordered a legion of soldiers to stab at the sea. Afterward, he declared victory and ordered his men to gather sea shells as war trophies. There are two stories possibly explaining Caligula's actions. The first, from sensationalist historian Suetonius, stated Caligula declared war on Neptune, the god of the oceans, in order to establish dominion over his maritime realm. The second is a legion of Romans nearly mutinied over orders to invade Britain, and the act was done as a way of declaring some kind of victory. The bottom line is Caligula was crazy because—and not only because—the act accomplished nothing.
     Flash forward a few centuries, and the idea has spread among some Florida residents that shooting at Hurricane Irma makes landfall in the Keys and moves up the Gulf Coast will push the storm back into the ocean. The suggestion came from an online post as a joking suggestion to relieve stress and boredom, but some in Florida took it seriously enough a local sheriff tweeted out a warning for citizens not to fire a gun during the fierce winds will send the bullets astray. The Facebook event at which Irma was supposed to be attacked had 26,000 people signed up to attend.
     A couple other events were planned via Facebook, such as meeting together to push Irma back out to sea and a peaceful protest against Irma to demonstrate its ideology of violence and destruction is not welcome in Gainsville. I confess to liking the jab at social justice warriors with that one. Aside from these two examples, there are other acts of absurdity planned for real. There is a fellow who planned to tie himself to a pole to wait out the storm. No word as to whether he went through with it. If he did, I assume he is now a Darwin Award finalist.
     In all seriousness, I hope everyone is Florida stays as safe as possible during Irma. Hurricanes are no laughing matter. Even in a place like Florida which suffers hurricanes frequently, never underestimate when a particularly powerful one comes along. When nature decides to show you who is really in charge, take heed.

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