Well, for those of you who haven’t heard, much of eastern Iowa is experiencing major flooding. It’s pretty much national news at this point. The levees protecting Cedar Rapids have given way releasing the river into the downtown area. It’s pretty unreal to see that much water in the business sector of the city.
Iowa City, where we live, is gearing up for the worst which should happen sometime in the next week. Many neighborhoods are flooded, roads and bridges closed, etc. We’ve been fortunate because we live very high in town, so it would take a major disaster like the dam breaking for our house to be affected.
Of course that’s not to say that we haven’t been affected at all. Jason has to take increasingly circuitous routes to get to work as more and more roads close. Some of my walking routes are now in the river. And the whole town is just wet and generally unpleasant to be in. The university will most likely take big losses as the river creeps up on major landmark buildings like the performing arts complex and the union. All the sandbagging in town really takes me back to the floods in Fargo/Grand Forks in 1997. I remember being stunned by the power of nature to do whatever it wants with regard for the wants or best efforts of homeowners. I had that same feeling this week every time I crossed the bridge on my walk to work. The water levels have continually risen to the point where the river water runs right beneath the bridge. The river water is certainly moving faster and faster, but being so close to it is kind of frightening. The water looks violent and unyielding.
When I thought about the angry rising waters, I couldn’t help but remember this hilarious outtake from Waiting for Guffman. It’s a song from “Red, White and Blaine” that didn’t make the final cut of the film. I’m not surprised it was cut because it gets long after the first couple minutes, but my god the first minutes are hilarious. Catherine O’Hara and her ridiculous bangs have some great moments here. The video and audio get uncoupled after the first couple minutes, which is truly one of my greatest pet peeves, but the best parts at the beginning (“hush child, hush”) are unaffected. I hope you enjoy revisiting This Bulging River as much as I did.
By the way, I hesitated to even post this because I don’t want anyone to think I’m being disrespectful of their situations with the floodwaters and their homes, but you know what this is really funny and sometimes a laugh can be good medicine.
Also, an FYI, I fixed the link to the Holophonic illusions website from a couple posts ago if you couldn’t get there the other day.