This evening as we watched Lakewood Church mega-pastor Joel Osteen get straight roasted on Twitter, we recalled humanity's need for a villain in the narrative of their lives. It's easier to pin your frustrations on a perceived bad guy (or a bad baseball team) than an abstract concept like "an unfeeling, uncomprehending natural disaster."
To wit, the earliest emerging contenders for Hurricane Harvey's biggest villains—at least according to Twitter:
- Joel Osteen, for allegedly keeping the doors to his megachurch shut despite a citywide need for shelters in which to house our numerous displaced flood victims (UPDATE: It appears that Lakewood Church will be opening up, prepping with air mattresses.)
- Ann Coulter, for suggesting "Hurricane Harvey is God's punishment for Houston electing a lesbian mayor"
- Matt Walsh, for taking heroic photos completely out of context and twisting them to fit his bizarre political narrative
- Floating mounds of fire ants, for being a Lovecraftian horror from the watery depths
- Chicken and waffle-flavored Lays potato chips, for being so terrible that not even desperate Houstonians prepping for the storm wanted to eat them
- Price gougers, from people overcharging for cases of water to hotels overcharging for rooms
- President Donald Trump, for telling a press conference he decided to pardon controversial Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio on the same night as Harvey headed towards Texas because he "assumed the ratings would be much higher"
- The Texas Rangers, for refusing to reschedule an upcoming series to assist the beleaguered Houston Astros
- All the armchair quarterbacks out there, for questioning Mayor Sylvester Turner's decision to ask Houstonians to shelter in place instead of issuing a mandatory evacuation (which would have made things a thousand times worse)
- Looters, both for looting and for then shooting at would-be rescuers (though this has all thankfully been very minimal)
- Senator Ted Cruz, for not being able to keep his dang foot out of his mouth