Yes, I know….they”re all safely back on this side of the grass and not hundreds of feet below the surface in a living Hell on (in) earth, but the word “safely” is the operative word here. Yes, some of them will survive the whole ordeal in Chile quite nicely, but others, and I fear many others will not. It was the epitome of “reality TV” to watch these guys being dug out of the ground, televised around the world, but their celebrity status I’m afraid is not going to serve them well.
All thirty-three of them agreed that once rescued, they speak with one voice. Any proceeds to be gained would be divided 33 ways and one miner does not speak without the full consent and blessings of the other 32. All the above didn’t last twelve hours before at least one of them was granting an interview, who knows for what in return. Fully understandable, they were turning on each other in a desperate situation below the earth’s surface (even cannibalism was discussed) and now on top of the earth’s surface, the situation among these thirty three…I promise…. is going to get ugly. Some have asked for religious guidance, some have asked just to be with loved ones. Some have required medical help, some just want to be with their children, some have actually asked to go back and see the mine where they were buried. And as so aptly pointed out by Jay Leno, one of them (the guy with the wife and the mistress) has asked to be put into the witness protection program. :-)
These guys are miners. There were no members of the Mensa Society down there and their ability to deal with the intense scrutiny, the insufferable media attention, to say nothing of the days, weeks and months of mental decompression, could become impossible for any one of them…..or any one of us for that matter. The Chilean billionaire who told the miners they would never have to work the mines again, and offered them a million dollars each, is going to make a difficult situation even worse. Bad move.
These 33 guys may have “rock-star” status right now, but they’re not heroes…they’re miners The heroes were the guys above ground who got them out. As the ongoing story unfolds, there promises to be some ugly chapters.