So, the History Channel has this slogan that seems slightly melodramatic. History: Made Every Day. I mean, clearly history is made every day. It is a day by day process. But really, the melodrama of the Made Every Day slogan has quite amused me. And then I realized something. Melodrama or not, history is made every day and you may just find yourself in the middle of it.
MommaBean confession: I am a crime show junkie. CSI, NCIS, Law & Order, you name it I love it. In Jordan, my favorite channel – bar none – was Discovery ID. We didn’t get the new Crime and Investigation channel, but it sure sounded like it would be exactly my speed. When we moved, the program El 3atal picked didn’t give us ID. I was a bit heartbroken. However, on the good news side, while he spent weeks on end without us this summer and got bored with the terrible channels and inability to actually record properly, he switched back to Showtime. And now we get both ID and CI! I was watching a program yesterday on CI and realized something interesting. Not only is history made every day, but several times I’ve been right in the middle of it.
The show yesterday was about Laser Man. This is a guy who spent 6 months terrorizing Sweden in 1991 and 1992. From August to January, he went around shooting immigrants to Sweden in some bizarre spree. The thing is, I was there. I was in Sweden during that December and January. This was a huge topic of conversation. Not only was I in Sweden, I was in Uppsala when he shot his victim there. People were very afraid, and yet his target was those who were visibly different. So, in this nation of blonds, dark haired folks became wary. Watching the program reminded me of the bizarre events. And then I thought of other shows I watched last year.
Back in 2002, a banner year for Baton Rouge Louisiana, there were two major events that occurred. The first was that Baton Rouge had its very own serial killer. At the end of his spree, he would have killed 7 women. The second was an outbreak of West Nile Virus, a mosquito-born virus that can turn into encephalitis/meningitis. In the last couple of years, I’ve seen several fascinating programs on each of these events on either the History Channel or ID. It kind of put into perspective why one of my dearest friends called me in the summer of 2002 and asked, are you guys okay? Bottom line, it wasn’t so safe to be living in Baton Rouge that year. Now, the serial killer liked thin brunettes (SO not me) and mosquitos think I am not tasty. It was a great year not to be anyone’s type ;). But watching those programs made me realize that even as you’re sitting there living through history, you don’t realize it’s history being made.
I mean a serial killer is a huge thing, right? And yet, it kind of wasn’t. Both times I’ve been in the same place as a serial killer, it’s been kind of a non-event for me. In Sweden, I looked like a Swede. In Louisiana, I was the wrong type. And yet watching the programs afterwards, you wonder how you weren’t totally freaked out. How did you just go on about life as usual. I remember watching programs about the DC sniper and wondering how after the second shooting anyone could go out. And yet, twice I’ve been in the same locale as a seriously dangerous individual and twice it hasn’t caused the worry and concern it perhaps should have.
So, each of us has the opportunity to be part of history being made every day. Come to think of it, I was also in Ontario back when they had the huge scare about the drinking water that was contaminated by e.coli. Odd, so many programs that I see on these channels talk about places I lived or visited when they were making history. How odd is that? I wonder if everyone has that experience? Surely history is made everywhere, or do I just get a lion’s share of bizarre circumstances that will later be made into specials on the channels I love to watch? Interesting thoughts anyway…
Happy Historical Coincidence!