Last night I stumbled on to live video coverage of the Chilean miner's rescue, via The Lede at the NYT, and there was something very noble and transcendent and uplifting about it. The big, competent men in their overalls and hard hards were working hard, as they always do. The President of Chile was there, but didn't overwhelm the scene, like would have happened if this were taking place in America. The workers even sang a patriotic song or two and it didn't feel forced or weird, as (again) it would have been in America.
The first miner popped out and went through the crowd, looking incredibly strong and brave, and exactly like someone you'd want to be stuck in a hole with for two months, if you absolutely had to.
In other words, it was all genuine.
I had Twitter running alongside the video, and watched the comments come in in real time. Many were in Spanish, but I got their jist. This was something special, something unusual. Something beautiful.
Once again the world, via the ubiquitous networks that now cross (most) of our planet, had a front-row seat to a singular event, not unlike the BP oil spill. It makes such a huge difference. Imagine if there were a real-time Internet and cable feed to attacks in Darfur, or a family starving in Saharan Africa, or the Bangledeshi floods. If I were a relief organization that might be my first priority from now on -- get a camera in there, and a T1. The media, and the world, will flock to your door.
In any case, it was good, at least for a moment, to watch a success story. They seem to rare anymore. A lot of credit goes to everyone in Chile who worked long and hard to make this rescue happen. They did this, and they did it with class.