HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » It's time to indulge our ...

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 05:32 PM

 

It's time to indulge our prejudices about Africans again!

Last edited Tue Jun 5, 2018, 08:00 PM - Edit history (2)

There is something of a news trope about "Comical thing some rural African did", and I have always been fascinated by the way the media will occasionally feast on an unverified story which invariably demonstrates, well, "you know how those Africans are".

Last May, a story caught international media attention, here's a link to DU postings about it:

https://www.democraticunderground.com/1218250234

It's a DU post linking to a Daily Mail article as follows:


A Zimbabwean church pastor attempting to demonstrate how Jesus walked on water by crossing a river on foot was eaten alive when he was attacked by three crocodiles.

Jonathan Mthethwa of the Saint of the Last Days church brought his congregation to the area known locally as Crocodile River before attempting his biblical recreation.

According to witnesses, the pastor entered the water and waded out approximately 30 metres before attempting to make his way to the surface. Unfortunately for the pastor, three crocodiles pounced and devoured him.

Only his sandals and underwear were recovered, according to a report in the Daily Post.


Remarkably, almost exactly a year later, we have the same story circulating in the media, and blithely posted to DU.

Except switch "Ethiopia" for "Zimbabwe" and "conducting baptisms" for "walk on water". Have a look, duly posted with link to the Independent (citing the same unverified report everyone else is):

https://upload.democraticunderground.com/100210697529

A lakeside baptism ceremony ended in disaster when a large crocodile leapt from the water and killed the pastor, it has been reported.

Docho Eshete was allegedly grabbed by the crocodile soon after he started a mass baptism for 80 people on the shores of Lake Abaya in southern Ethiopia.


No reporter was actually there. This is an "as told by" story, but I find it fascinating how it reproduces the essential elements and themes of the Zimbabwe story from last year.

Here's the Snopes page on last year's version of the "Gee aren't Africans dumb" trope:

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/pastor-eaten-by-crocodiles/

Was a Pastor Eaten by Crocodiles While Trying to Walk on Water?
Multiple tabloids repeated an unsubstantiated claim that a pastor was eaten by crocodiles in an attempt to demonstrate how Jesus walked on water.


Patheos caught the resemblance:
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2018/06/05/no-an-ethiopian-pastor-didnt-get-eaten-by-a-crocodile-during-a-baptism/

What I would really like to understand is, why does a story like this get legs? It's a report from "some remote place in Africa" and it's not as if any news organization is sending anyone out to check. It's also remarkably absent from the Ethiopian media. And I suppose people just assume, well, golly, there is no Ethiopian media. Of course there is, and with stuff like Google Translate, you can read local news from all over the place.

My guess, that I expressed above, is that these stories get legs because they confirm widely held stereotypes. After all, it sounds totally "believable" if you somehow assume that people who grew up their entire lives in an area are somehow unfamiliar with the local hazards. As if an adult raised in an environment to which crocodiles are native is somehow unaware of their habitat and/or they have a childlike religious faith (you know those Africans) which they believe will protect them.

But, maybe I'm just a wee bit suspicious.

Why do YOU think these types of stories get so much traction?

In 2016, it was in South Africa:


https://edaily.co.ke/entertainment/pastor-drowns-and-gets-eaten-by-crocodiles-after-attempting-to-walk-on-water-120603/crazy-world/

The 35-year-old man of the cloth attempted to show off in front of hundreds of congregants who were part of a baptism exercise that was held at Mgwenya River in Kanyamazane.



57 replies, 3203 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 57 replies Author Time Post
Reply It's time to indulge our prejudices about Africans again! (Original post)
jberryhill Jun 2018 OP
Blue_Tires Jun 2018 #1
saidsimplesimon Jun 2018 #2
lapfog_1 Jun 2018 #3
Vogon_Glory Jun 2018 #4
The Velveteen Ocelot Jun 2018 #5
struggle4progress Jun 2018 #6
quickesst Jun 2018 #7
trof Jun 2018 #8
mythology Jun 2018 #9
SidDithers Jun 2018 #10
ExciteBike66 Jun 2018 #51
Decoy of Fenris Jun 2018 #11
Solly Mack Jun 2018 #12
moriah Jun 2018 #14
Solly Mack Jun 2018 #16
jberryhill Jun 2018 #18
Solly Mack Jun 2018 #19
jberryhill Jun 2018 #25
Solly Mack Jun 2018 #27
jberryhill Jun 2018 #28
Solly Mack Jun 2018 #30
jberryhill Jun 2018 #31
moriah Jun 2018 #33
Solly Mack Jun 2018 #34
jberryhill Jun 2018 #37
Solly Mack Jun 2018 #39
jberryhill Jun 2018 #40
Solly Mack Jun 2018 #42
jberryhill Jun 2018 #43
Solly Mack Jun 2018 #46
jberryhill Jun 2018 #44
Solly Mack Jun 2018 #48
jberryhill Jun 2018 #49
Solly Mack Jun 2018 #57
moriah Jun 2018 #20
Solly Mack Jun 2018 #22
moriah Jun 2018 #24
Solly Mack Jun 2018 #26
moriah Jun 2018 #29
Solly Mack Jun 2018 #32
moriah Jun 2018 #35
Solly Mack Jun 2018 #36
jberryhill Jun 2018 #45
Hassin Bin Sober Jun 2018 #13
muriel_volestrangler Jun 2018 #15
jberryhill Jun 2018 #17
muriel_volestrangler Jun 2018 #21
jberryhill Jun 2018 #41
moriah Jun 2018 #23
jberryhill Jun 2018 #38
cyclonefence Jun 2018 #47
jberryhill Jun 2018 #50
cyclonefence Jun 2018 #53
egduj Jun 2018 #52
Anon-C Jun 2018 #54
BumRushDaShow Jun 2018 #55
brooklynite Jun 2018 #56

Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 05:33 PM

1. Good stuff

k+r

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 05:37 PM

2. jberry

The theater of the bizarre? It's tabloid pablum, imo. Sad, but I worry about those who are behaving like cattle herded into a pen of their own choosing.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 06:15 PM

3. we have all seen herds of zebras and gazelles and other African herds

attacked by crocodiles while attempting to ford a river.



It is a fact that hundreds of people in Africa fall victim to Hippos every year.

http://www.ba-bamail.com/content.aspx?emailid=24965

"Although they are mostly herbivorous, they are highly aggressive and are regarded as one of the most dangerous animals in Africa. They have been known to attack without provocation, even to the point of destroying entire vehicles. Around 2,900 people are killed every year by hippos."


so... when a story like "preacher killed by crocodile" is posted... it is believable. But you are correct... without a reputable news source behind it we should be more skeptical.

BTW, I didn't think that Africans were stupid... I thought the preacher was stupid... and that isn't a racial or ethnic prejudice... I think most preachers are stupid. Call is a religious prejudice.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 06:15 PM

4. What can I say? White people don't have a monopoly on stupid.

If some fundy preacher tried the same stunt here in the US, maybe he’d get bitten by a water moccasin or gather mosquito bites.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 06:58 PM

5. In this country there are people who handle venomous snakes

as part of their church services (and occasionally get bitten by them). So it's at least slightly believable that some similarly-deluded clergyman might want to baptize people in a crocodile-infested lake.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 07:03 PM

6. "Who does not enjoy reading stories about funny people far away dying horribly from stupidity?"

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 07:08 PM

7. It's human nature....

....to embellish, to make a story more exciting or interesting, but to suggest that this phenomena is exclusive to, or dominated by African Americans, in my opinion, is just silly. This sort of thing has been happening since the beginning of recorded time, and it knows no bounds as far as race, and religion are concerned. Jews, Polacks, Southern Hillbillies, Northern Yankees, Irish, Mexicans etc etc etc, and I could go on, have all been targets of over-embellishment, and stereotyping. POC have a lot of injustices to overcome, but this is one that belongs to a diverse population, and until the entire world is blended into one race, it won't end.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 07:12 PM

8. Well, a least they were identified as crocodiles and not alligators.

Not that it makes a lot of difference to the victim.

BTW, crocs are notorious for eschewing footwear and undergarments.
You could look it up.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 07:14 PM

9. But I thought everything on the Internet was true

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 07:17 PM

10. I wonder if African newspapers carry stories...

of silly North Americans getting themselves killed doing silly things. (though I'm struggling to come up with an example that isn't real. Killed when trying to feed a bear? Killed when snake-handling?)

Sid

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SidDithers (Reply #10)

Wed Jun 6, 2018, 08:02 AM

51. I can't speak for African sources, but

I have seen plenty of international coverage of stupid acts through my Google news feed. Generally the feed has american sources since I am american, but when you click on the "view full coverage" link you get all kinds of stuff.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 07:20 PM

11. Same reason as "Florida man" or "Texas man" stories. Entertainment. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 07:25 PM

12. The BBC is saying the police in the town spoke directly to the BBC about the incident in Ethiopia.

http://www.bbc.com/hausa/labarai-44373394

That's the BBC story in Hausa.

And in English

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-44366360

Because the BBC reports from (as in inside the country of) and prints in (as in publishes the news inside the country of) Ethiopia and in the Hausa language. They can send reporters to check because they are already in the country.

So is the story fake news?

If anyone has any proof that it is, they should post it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Solly Mack (Reply #12)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 07:45 PM

14. I already responded in the other thread why I think this one isn't an UL.

The Zimbabwe one obviously was -- clearly a lesson on hubris along with the "dumb Africans" trope for where they decided to set it. From him claiming he was going to do it the week before, allegedly fasting and praying for a week first, choosing a river called the "Crocodile River", and the only things left on top of the water being his sandals and underwear... it isn't necessarily idiocy being called out, but vainful pride.

Large group full-immersion baptism in a location used by fishermen using nets from the shore doesn't suggest this was necessarily considered an unsafe location for people used to the area, but a random event. Also, the Amheric version in Google Translate says they were able to recover his body with the nets and drive the croc away, and had a funeral for him.

Many of the elements that would make this worthy of being an urban legend are simply missing. I think this was a simple tragedy.

However, DUers may be inadvertently falling to the cultural insensitivity/superiority that fueled the spread of the confirmed urban legend, by mocking full immersion baptism. My Mom's Episcopalian so our family sprinkles, but there are a lot of groups here that go out to places with water moccasins for the ritual. Not intentionally to court dangers, they're just part of the natural hazards for Southern lakes/rivers.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to moriah (Reply #14)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 07:56 PM

16. I'm from the South and anyone handling snakes or taking a dunk in snake infested waters

is an idiot. Unsafe practices remain unsafe no matter where they take place.

It's not hard to bypass the snake infested water for a safer body of water in the South.

It's more a matter of people not thinking they'll be that victim they read about in the news.

This current story seems legit. Doesn't mean it absolutely is but I tend to trust the BBC.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Solly Mack (Reply #16)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 08:04 PM

18. And in 2016 it was South Africa

 

https://edaily.co.ke/entertainment/pastor-drowns-and-gets-eaten-by-crocodiles-after-attempting-to-walk-on-water-120603/crazy-world/

The 35-year-old man of the cloth attempted to show off in front of hundreds of congregants who were part of a baptism exercise that was held at Mgwenya River in Kanyamazane.

Same story, although the South African one had both elements of “baptism” and “walk on water”.

Now just think about that for a sec. in 2016, pastor eaten by croc is doing both baptism and water walking. In 2017, the pastor is just doing the water walking, and in 2018 he’s doing a baptism. The fact that the older story has all elements of both of the newer story, and that this happens EVERY YEAR is interesting.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Reply #18)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 08:06 PM

19. So the BBC is lying when they claim their reporter talked with the local police about it?

I'm sure it is possible they are lying but it would be nice to have proof they are lying.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Solly Mack (Reply #19)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 08:43 PM

25. The BBC reporter named....?

 


Could you refresh my memory as to the name of this BBC reporter?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Reply #25)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 08:50 PM

27. The BBC didn't give a name only the synecdoche but that doesn't prove it is a lie does it?

You know it doesn't.

I'm willing to allow that it could be a lie - but I want proof the BBC lied.

Much like you want more proof than the BBC story to believe it true.

I want proof the BBC lied.

Because I think it matters if they did lie.

It matters a lot.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Solly Mack (Reply #27)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 09:00 PM

28. I don't know why you keep using the word "lie"

 

Usually, a reporter has a name.

This sort of thing doesn’t require the entire institution to be “lying”. A lot of things can happen through inattention, carelessness, and someone having a lark.

There is simply something about this trope that makes it irresistible.

South Africa, Zimbabwe, and now Ethiopia. Every year an African preacher gets eaten by a crocodile during some sort of aquatic religious ritual, with the older of the three stories having the combined elements of the later two.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Reply #28)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 09:08 PM

30. It would be disingenuous to claim a story false and pretend that doesn't mean someone lied.

The BBC would have to actively lie to promote a false story.

They would be lying about talking to the police and to the locals present. Or they did talk with the locals and the police and it was the locals and the police lying. Either way - lies.

And the BBC promoting a story they didn't verify (that was false) would the BBC promoting a lie.

But there is no getting around that if the story is false - a lie was told.

So, somebody lied for the story to be false.

Either way - proof is needed.

I tend to trust the BBC so am inclined to believe the story - until proven otherwise.

Which I am open to.

If the BBC or one of its reporters was "having a lark", as you suggested, then that is very bad as well.

And, I disagree, if a reporter lies or has a "lark", that gets reported around the world, then it reflects on the entire institution.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Solly Mack (Reply #30)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 09:13 PM

31. If we don't know a reporter was having a lark

 

There is no reporter identified. Aside from which, did the un-named reporter witness this event?

Do you think anyone at KTV was lying here:



It doesn’t require the news organization to be lying for that to happen.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink



Response to jberryhill (Reply #31)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 09:22 PM

34. So reporters who don't witness an event means it didn't happen?

OK.

Because that is what you're suggesting.

Guess there goes a whole lot of LBN.

Look, in a few days there may be actual proof the BBC story is a lie. Find it and post it then.

I'll be grateful to know if they lied or not.

Because, like I said - it matters.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink



Response to jberryhill (Reply #37)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 10:09 PM

39. Yes, they count.

It counts when any actual news service does it.

It matters even when Fox does it.

Because the flow of accurate information matters.

I still trust BBC over Fox anyday of the week.

I also agree there are people who would find the passing of a false story/lie to be amusing.

Happens all over Facebook.

But when it comes from an actual news source, they should be taken to task for it.

Just like if the BBC got it wrong this time, we need to know and they should have to explain themselves.

Because that story hit the WaPo and other major news sources - and that means the BBC would have a lot of explaining to do for reporting a false story/lie.

But we still need the proof it was a lie.

Unfortunately, we have to put a certain amount of trust in the news stories we get - and when I first read the story - I did go looking for more sources - and found them...BBC-Africa/BBC, and Washington Post.

I went looking because the story did sound so familiar to the last one. I did have my suspicions.

I think the story is most likely true but it could be a lie. That happens.

People shouldn't simply swallow a story, I agree.

And once there is proof the story is a lie I'll happily accept it.

But right now, evidence suggest it's probably true.

But evidence can change.









Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Solly Mack (Reply #39)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 10:14 PM

40. The story started on Ethiopian social media

 

https://www.borkena.com/2018/06/04/pastor-devoured-by-crocodile-while-baptizing-faithfuls/

Notice how they mention that it didn’t run in the Ethiopian press, but was widely circulating on social media.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Reply #40)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 10:18 PM

42. See, now that is interesting.

Thank you!

The more you know and all that.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Solly Mack (Reply #42)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 10:22 PM

43. It makes me wonder how the anonymous BBC reporter was "told"

 

Since I doubt they sent a reporter down to Lake Abaya and didn’t even mention his or her name or the name of the copy writer. Like, why wouldn’t the reporter write his or her own copy?

The one from Zimbabwe was likewise widely circulated.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Reply #43)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 10:32 PM

46. Don't know why but that doesn't mean to me it didn't happen.

According to the BBC report, the BBC did interview locals and the police. Doesn't say how though. Could be phone or in person.

I can see how it raises questions though.

Right now, all manner of news outlets are running the story. If it is false, it's spreading like wildfire.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Solly Mack (Reply #42)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 10:29 PM

44. And this...

 


Notice the Borkena version, two days earlier, has:

“giant Crocodile which reportedly devoured him as members of his church watch helplessly in tears.”

But in the later version, his body is retrieved from the crocodile by fishermen with nets.

I don’t know much about the feeding habits of these animals, but how would you get a body away from a crocodile with a fishing net? Don’t they take their prey to deep water to drown them?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Reply #44)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 10:51 PM

48. Yeah, they have a death roll. But big prey, such as an adult human, could take a little effort.

There might have been time to retrieve the battered body.

Crocs, like gators, don't really want to fight for their food. Fight other things, that is.

If people were pulling against the croc, they might be able to get the body.

If they immediately dragged the area where the body went in, they could use a net to get the body. Toss the weighted net and drag. Net fishing usually involves weights. Even large knots can act as weight to drag for the body - or what remained of the body. Crocs can swallow big pieces and will.

But a changing story can be either developing news or someone trying to embellish.

Another reason to be suspect, of course.

I'll check the BBC for a retraction over the next few days. I'll also check other sources.

Because if it is false, they should retract and apologize.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Solly Mack (Reply #48)

Wed Jun 6, 2018, 07:54 AM

49. Here's an interesting fact nugget

 


The story is said to have taken place in the town of Arba Minch, a town of some 40,000. Looking at the satellite image, there appears to be some swampy drainage land and not a lot of direct access to the water.

On one of the few places to get to the water, there is this:

https://www.google.com/maps/@6.0301822,37.5931653,1122m/data=!3m1!1e3

The Arba Minch Crocodile farm, said to house 8000 crocodiles, appears to be one of the main tourist draws in town:



https://addisfortune.net/articles/arba-minch-crocodile-ranch-to-export-crocodile-meat/

The government-run facility feeds the reptiles two times a week. The crocodiles are either hatched from eggs collected in the lakes or pulled out as youngsters and reared on the farm. Most of the crocodiles are killed at about 2m length (five years old) when their skin is the best quality, and will end up as handbags or belts in European stores – Italy and Greece, mostly.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Reply #49)

Wed Jun 6, 2018, 08:54 AM

57. Everything I've read about Lake Abaya and Lake Chamo says both have crocs.

The two lakes are on either side of a narrow piece of land and the land is part of the larger nature preserve.

Another poster talked about fishing in the area and all the crocs eyes at night. I seem to recall the poster lived there at one time.

I've never been. Only know what I've read.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Solly Mack (Reply #16)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 08:06 PM

20. The trouble is, snakes hide... ;)

I still see people swimming in a particular lake here, it's a state park and they allow it and have a swimming area and all, I have had close personal encounters with moccasins there.

I cringe remembering swimming there before switching to only hiking the trails around it, and then to not even that when there was a bloody giant one across the trail and we were having to keep the dumb dog from not leaving it alone.

But if you're going to say anyone's stupid, it's the state park still designating it as a safe lake for swimming despite its infestation.

If some church group decides to go there and somebody gets bit, I'm not going to blame them for dunking where the state said it was safe to swim.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to moriah (Reply #20)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 08:17 PM

22. Where I'm from in the South we post notices for actual snake infested waters

For large lakes, notices aren't posted but everyone knows snakes do live in and about the lake. Not to the same degree as the snake infested waters - as the term infested has an actual meaning. (and words matter)

So, yeah, it is stupid to swim or dunk yourself in snake infested waters.

Truly moronic.

Just like it's stupid to swim in alligator infested waters here in Louisiana. Now some bodies of water only have one or two gators and that does not constitute an infestation. Still..watch your step.

But some bodies of water are covered in gators - hence - infested. Which makes it dangerous.

Not at all the same as some park service declaring it safe because of a normal - as opposed to an infestation - number of dangerous animals for the size of the water.







Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Solly Mack (Reply #22)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 08:31 PM

24. That's what I mean. If people were fishing from shore on this lake...

... obviously it wasn't considered by locals to be a lake that no one in their right mind would step/wade in.

Not a story highlighting "someone should have known better", any more than a bite during an outdoor dunking in a lake other people swim at.

Nor does the majority of the world see outdoor baptism as hubris. The 2016/2017 stories all highlighted hubris (and the 2016 story was obviously satire, talking about him claiming "miraculous" lighting of candles by matches.)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to moriah (Reply #24)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 08:45 PM

26. But if you read about Lake Chamo and Lake Abaya you'll find that both bodies of water

have a crocodile problem. Lake Abaya is where the baptisms took place.

There is a narrow strip of a nature preserve between the two bodies of water. The preserve is larger in some places but fairly narrow between the lakes.

If the fishing is good, fishermen would take the risk. Locals would also know the risk. Better than I would, of course - but that doesn't mean it wasn't risky.

Being safe is a relative thing when it comes to the degrees of danger.

I walk near gators all the time. ALL the time.

Snakes, too. Big, fat poisonous ones.

What I don't do is get too close.

Is the photograph worth the danger? Most times, yes. But only after making that determination. I judge distance and location.

What I don't do is go into gator infested waters.

Or snake infested waters.

Oh, I'll drive through nature preserves where there are many gators (and snakes) - but I don't get out of my car. Not even for the perfect shot.

I do photography, btw.

I will lean out my window if I judge it to be safe.

But if I am ever leaning out my window while on the trail and get bit?

You have my permission to tell me how fucking stupid I am.

Because I'll already being thinking it about myself.

Never said their baptism was hubris - same can't be said for the location however.

And as to what the majority of the world thinks - that in no way enters into my thinking.

Facts aren't facts by majority rule.




Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Solly Mack (Reply #26)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 09:07 PM

29. Just saying, certain essential facts IMHO are missing for this to be a valuable "urban legend".

After all, urban legends fit into tropes and spread so well because they have certain ingredients -- hubris, people getting their just desserts, unusual ironies, etc. Majority opinion on what those are make the urban legends using them spread.

Especially from the two BBC articles which seem to be the first source, even the BBC translation, this looks to be more reporting of tragedy than anything else.

None mention the lake's hazards as being so well known/considered to be so dangerous for this to simply be a "Darwin Award" moral lesson story. Also, it's a very large lake, which would suggest some areas might be safer than others. None of them mention he did anything to "deserve his fate" besides a religious ritual that isn't nearly as strange to most Americans as magical Mormon underwear.

They recovered his body, had a funeral. No wild tales of his congregation being convinced he was coming back, no suggestions at least in original reporting that they couldn't recover the body or suspicious things being all that's left....

And again, no real moral to the story besides "Damn, glad we just have moccasins in our lakes!".

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to moriah (Reply #29)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 09:16 PM

32. You've been the only one in this discussion talking about blame and deserving some fate

Just because someone does something stupid doesn't mean they deserve to die.

Doing the stupid dangerous does increase the chances of dying however.

And in some cases people have engaged in the so obviously dangerous that death is the only expected result and people are so amazed that anyone would do something so stupid - and they react from that amazement.

Which isn't to say the pastor was one of those people.

However, I will say that the newly deceased pastor and I had vastly different thresholds for danger.

Like I said earlier, relative safety within the degrees of danger.

He was willing to take a chance I would not take.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Solly Mack (Reply #32)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 09:23 PM

35. And I'm talking about the phenomenon of urban legends.

Jberryhill is making the assertion that this is entirely bogus and rooted in two other specific urban legends about "African psstor gets eaten by crocs".

Which, in both versions, very clearly the idea is pushed that the person who died deserved it from the hubris of thinking they could walk on water.

The lack of these elements in the story make me think this was tragedy, as I can't see what "lark" the original reporter could be trying to go for.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to moriah (Reply #35)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 09:27 PM

36. I get it. I do. I'm sorry if I behaved otherwise. About UL.

I don't get the "lark" thing either.

A reporter who sent a false story for a "lark" should be fired and the outlet should be held accountable for promoting such a story.

That's no way to run a serious media business.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to moriah (Reply #35)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 10:31 PM

45. I'm saying it's fishy

 


Every year this happens like clockwork in some African country.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 07:38 PM

13. Some reports say Nile Crocs take upwards of a thousand people a year.

Unfortunately, Nile Crocs live along side some fairly populated areas.

I don’t see it as a “ha ha stupid Africans” story but more of a “what a frighin nightmare” story.

These stories are not that unusual. Though they usually entail someone fishing or washing clothes.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 07:56 PM

15. An Ethiopian site (but in English):

A protestant church pastor is reportedly attacked and devoured by a crocodile at Lake Abaya which is close to Arba Minch city, some five hundred kilometers to the south west of the capital Addis Ababa, according to eye witnesses accounts who took the news to social media.

The pastor who is identified as Doche was reportedly baptizing members of his congregation in the Lante locality of the shores of lake Abaya around 4 pm local time when he was suddenly attacked by a giant Crocodile which reportedly devoured him as members of his church watch helplessly in tears. Members of the church are said to be devastated by what has happened.

Lake Abaya which covers an area of 1,162 km² is known to have a huge Crocodile population.

This horrifying news is widely shared among Ethiopians in social media although Ethiopian state and affiliated media didn’t report about it so far.

https://www.borkena.com/2018/06/04/pastor-devoured-by-crocodile-while-baptizing-faithfuls/

I have no idea about that site; the front page seems to be reporting Ethiopian news, such as a peace deal with Eritrea, seriously.

It could still be a hoax; but BBC Amharic will have people in the country who are used to contacting the police for a story. You'd hope they followed their usual journalistic practice.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #15)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 08:01 PM

17. And in 2016 it was South Africa

 

https://edaily.co.ke/entertainment/pastor-drowns-and-gets-eaten-by-crocodiles-after-attempting-to-walk-on-water-120603/crazy-world/

The 35-year-old man of the cloth attempted to show off in front of hundreds of congregants who were part of a baptism exercise that was held at Mgwenya River in Kanyamazane.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Reply #17)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 08:14 PM

21. Though the BBC story is not about "walking on water", but about something churches often do

ie baptism, and it has the quote from the police officer. So this is not just another "it".

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #21)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 10:15 PM

41. There's a clue in that Borkena story

 

...which is two days older than the BBC report:

https://www.borkena.com/2018/06/04/pastor-devoured-by-crocodile-while-baptizing-faithfuls/

“This horrifying news is widely shared among Ethiopians in social media although Ethiopian state and affiliated media didn’t report about it so far.”

Hmmmmm

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Reply #17)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 08:22 PM

23. Which is clearly labeled "entertainment", as was the original it was based on.

Look at the comments in the archive for it on News SA:

Pumeza June 4, 2016 at 9:17 am
I’m so sorry for the family really

Reply mishmont June 5, 2016 at 12:01 am
Pumeza (of the soft heart): this is a joke. Hard to believe how many here think this is “real”. Satire folks Pumeza of the soft heart: this is not real, it is satire. I’m amazed at how many thought this was a real story.

Reply Marius Calitz June 5, 2016 at 8:22 am
Mishmont, that was EXACTLY what I was thinking. ANY FOOL can see this is a JOKE/SATIRE/SPOOF…but the “prophet” will come back…as croc shit.

https://web.archive.org/web/20160607184355/http://newssa.co.za/2016/06/03/mpumalanga-prophet-drowns-gets-eaten-crocodiles-attempting-walk-water/

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink



Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Tue Jun 5, 2018, 10:40 PM

47. A black man being eaten by a crocodile/alligator

is, or was, a popular theme for "humorous" souvenirs from the South as late as the 1950s. I remember seeing little carved wooden alligators for sale in Stuckey's when I was a kid--you pulled the alligator's tail, and a "comical" black man's head emerged from the croc's mouth. I think the religious motives attached to these stories is a late elaboration.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cyclonefence (Reply #47)

Wed Jun 6, 2018, 07:56 AM

50. This was apparently a postcard in Florida....

 


From the Preitauer Black History Collection at BlackHistoryCollection.org

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Reply #50)

Wed Jun 6, 2018, 08:12 AM

53. A Fucking Riot

Jesus. What wypipo would laugh at--and these things were created by people who knew first-hand what an alligator could do to a person. That this image would be found amusing by anyone demonstrates true dehumanization of a fellow man, and even more so the dehumanization of the person who found it funny. It would take a book to describe in how many ways this is hideous.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Jun 6, 2018, 08:04 AM

52. I took these stories as an attack on how dumb christians are.

Weird where one's mind goes when reading a particular news article.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Jun 6, 2018, 08:33 AM

54. Kick and Rec!!!

Great post

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Jun 6, 2018, 08:35 AM

55. It's an old racist meme that goes back (at least here in the U.S.) for over a century

like the stereotypes of "watermelon" or "fried chicken".... although with 'gators or crocodiles, it was notably used when it came to black children ("alligator bait" ) and reinforced by being part of product advertising -









https://ferris.edu/HTMLS/news/jimcrow/question/2013/may.htm

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Jun 6, 2018, 08:51 AM

56. Because you'd NEVER read a story about a nutty AMERICAN religious figure...

Pastor Mack Wolford had many ways of getting the faithful all fired up. He would drive from town to town, preaching, singing, speaking in tongues and brandishing – on several occasions – venomous snakes. Wolford, who lived in McDowell County in West Virginia, belonged to the Full Gospel Apostolic House of the Lord Jesus, one of the few remaining small Appalachian Pentecostal sects known as “sign followers”.

They adhere to a literal interpretation of a passage from the Gospel of Mark in the King James Bible. “And these signs,” it says, “shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”

Lauren Pond began photographing Wolford and his congregation in 2011, overcoming her own fear as she shot rattlesnakes and copperheads being coiled around the arms and necks of worshippers as they reaffirmed their faith in the divine. On 23 May the following year, just before his 44th birthday, Wolford posted this message to his followers on Facebook: “Praise the lord and pass the rattlesnakes, brother.”

Four days later, Pond followed him deep into the Appalachian hills. She shot several frames at an outdoor service as Wolford held, and then walked on, a timber rattlesnake called Old Yeller he had owned for several years. “Gone was the benevolent energy I had felt the previous year,” Pond later wrote, “and in its place an odd sense of urgency.”

As she shot, “suddenly an eerie stillness fell over the picnic site”. The cause quickly became clear: Wolford had been bitten. Eight hours later, he died, his family and followers having respected his steadfast refusal to send for medical treatment until it was too late – so strong was their belief that his fate was solely in God’s hands.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/jan/26/praise-the-lord-and-pass-the-rattlesnakes-mack-wolford-lauren-pond-test-of-faith-old-yeller-rattlesnake

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread