Thursday, January 28, 2010

Don't Act So Surprised, Haiti

For the life of me, I cannot fathom why people are outraged over Pat Robertson's comments in the wake of the Haiti earthquakes. In case you haven't been watching the 700 Club, let me bring you up to speed. In the immediate aftermath of one of the most devastating natural disasters in history, Mr. Robertson opined that Haiti had it coming for its pact with the devil at the end of the 18th Century. Mr. Robertson believed that the slaves of Haiti, shipped over to work in sugar plantations to feed the endless appetite of the English for tea sweetener after the local population was almost totally annihilated, were unable to unshackle themselves from their cruel overlords without the machinations of satan. Living in brutal conditions in which the life expectancy for new arrivals was best measured in months, the slaves of Haiti revolted against their harsh French masters (preceding sentence only funny if you are not Haiti, Vietnam, or Algeria). But instead of heroically mounting the first successful slave rebellion in the Western hemisphere and establishing a republic with broad rights on their own, they had to drag the devil into it. In return for two centuries of crippling poverty and corruption, some sucker on Haiti got an eternity of damnation. Granted, not the best deal with the devil that's ever been made, but Haiti should have known that no deal with the devil works out well. Unless it's an arrangement to teach fiddle skills. Then you're probably ok.

Other famous deals with the devil:
-Johann Faust: A hobo chemist and astrologer (hey, the 1500s were weird) of Germany, Mr. Faust entered into a deal with one Mephistopheles to make him into an astrologer to the stars. After several years of being a well respected advisor to the court, Faust, or bits of him, were discovered in the aftermath of a gruesome alchemy experiment.

-Lando Calrissian: In order to secure the freedom of Cloud City, Lando, the dashing administrator of a successful mining operation, strikes a bargain with Darth Vader to deliver his best friend to a bounty hunter and Luke Skywalker to the Emporer. In return, a princess would be his alone, and his city would be spared. Lando (and Lobot) selfishly broke this bargain, dooming the rest of the inhabitants of Cloud City to an agonizing death and ensuring that Princess Leia would prefer a man/wall decoration to the equally charming Billy Dee Williams.

-Pat Robertson: A young Mr. Robertson went to the Tchula Junction in Mississippi and traded his immortal soul for the ability to go on television and blame natural disasters on the victims. Who but one in league with Lucifer could remain on the air after attributing terrorist attacks to lesbians and the ACLU, hurricanes to abortions, and the robot invasion of the Upper Midwest to women's suffrage? Will ol' Pat remember this deal so fondly when he is toiling in Hell's brimstone mines and writhing in the sulphur fields of eternity?

-Kobe Bryant: I don't know what the terms were, but no one will ever convince me that the Grizzlies gave up Pau Gasol to the Lakers for a bag of magic beans and Javaris Crittendon.