Eastern Montana writer John Moore alerted me to the great October blizzard in South Dakota a few days ago. I told him I would blog on it, but assumed something of such magnitude would soon get out. But nooo… apparently the actions of petty bureaucrats top any need to report the effects of the greatest storm disaster in “Flyover Country” in decades– or ever. Do the coasts really want ignore, to write off the vital rural heart? Does Congress give a damn? Do suburbanites think they can prosper without some relation to the land? Food comes from someplace other than the market; even urban locavores seem to be getting that much. Why haven’t our so- called serious news organs reported this situation?
Annie D , who is not western but is awake and aware of many things, read and mailed me this heartbreaking link. A quote will start you off:
“The worst blizzard in recorded history of
South Dakota just swept through the state. Tens of thousands of cattle
are predicted dead and the much of the state is still without power. The
Rapid City Journal reports, ”Tens of thousands of cattle lie dead
across South Dakota on Monday following a blizzard that could become one
of the most costly in the history of the state’s agriculture industry.”
“The only reason I know this is because my parent’s ranch, the setting for Meadowlark,
lies in the storm’s epicenter. Mom texted me after the storm. “No
electricity. Saving power on phone. It’s really, really bad….” She
turned on her phone to call me later that day. “There are no words to
describe the devastation and loss. Everywhere we look there are dead
cattle. I’ve never seen so many dead cattle. Nobody can remember
anything like this.” Author of several books and infinite numbers of
articles, Mom said, “I can’t imagine writing about this. I’m not going
to take photos. These deaths are too gruesome. Nobody wants to see
“I searched the national news for more
information. Nothing. Not a single report on any of major news sources
that I found. Not CNN, not the NY Times, not MSNBC. I thought, Well, it is early and the state remains without power and encased in snow, perhaps tomorrow. So I checked again the next day. Nothing. It has now been four days and no national news coverage… Meanwhile, ranchers on the plains have been dealt a crippling blow the likes that has not been experienced in living memory.”
Read The Whole Thing.
Update: Big Media begins to react, in brief bland paragraphs that do not suggest that they find it necessary to send a live reporter to such a place (if they think like some of the commenters John mentions below, why would they bother?) It was a week ago, folks– is that all you can do? Or is it more important for us to know every nuance of the latest pearls of wisdom from Harry Reid and John Boehner?
John Moore writes: “One local young rancher has started a campaign to collect heifers to send to South Dakota ranchers. So far he has pledges for over 100, yet the local paper hasn’t even covered his efforts yet. I’ve never seen a situation like this. It just boggles my imagination. The worst part has been the web attacks by some urbanites on the whole situation, some calling it fabricated and others saying who cares? the ranchers are all rich and will get reimbursed by the government anyway. Some going so far as to say the ranchers should be punished for letting their livestock die… “
The disconnect between rural and urban may be greater than any time I can remember.