Ask Matt Labash

Ask Matt Labash: Why selfish Haitians should help American earthquake victims, and the tubing menace — a fly fisher’s lament

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Matt Labash
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      Matt Labash

      Hi, welcome to “Ask Matt Labash.” I’ll be your host, Matt Labash. The idea for this column – if idea isn’t too strong a word – is that it is not a column at all. Rather, it’s a conversation. One in which I do ninety-five percent of the talking. If you did most of the talking, you’d have to watch my eyes go dead and my attention wander until it was my turn to talk again. So trust me, it’s better this way.

      For those unfamiliar with me from my day job at The Weekly Standard, I’ll give you a capsule bio by way of introduction: I have the gift of wisdom. Does that sound arrogant? I’m sorry, that wasn’t my intention. I didn’t choose wisdom. It chose me. If I had my druthers, I’d have chosen another gift, perhaps the untold riches of Lil’ Wayne, whose teeth are made of actual diamonds, or to be the sexiest man alive, like Rachel Maddow. But wisdom is what they gave me, so wisdom is all I have to give back to you.

      This is not, you should know, a mere advice column. If you need advice, I’ll give it. But the only rule here is that there are no rules. You can ask me a question about anything that’s on your mind: current events, pop culture, media, theology, string theory, fishing tips, wicker repair. The only limits we have are those of your imagination. And those of my knowledge base. Which is considerably limited, truth be told. So try not to ask me anything that requires research. Though they tell me I have access to Google on this computer if we need it.

      If all goes according to plan, ours will not be a traditional writer/reader relationship. It’s more complex than that. I might empathize or cajole. I might educate, instruct, or inspire. I might pretend to answer your question while actually reporting you to Social Services, since you’re a dangerous person who should not have contact with children. I might tell you to climb up on my shoulders, that you’re not heavy, you’re my brother. Or I might tell you that you are heavy, and that you should hop down until you lose a few pounds. I might just sidle up behind you, put my big strong man hands on the small of your back, and whisper in your ear the words of the poet, Kenny Rogers: “We’ve got tonight, who needs tomorrow?”

      To which you’ll say something like, “I can’t, I’ve got to go home and wash my hair.”
      To which I’ll say something like, “Shhh. We’ve got tonight babe, why don’t you stay?”
      Wherever this takes us, our journey begins now:

      <i>Matt Labash is a senior writer with The Weekly Standard. His first book, <a href="">Fly Fishing with Darth Vader: And Other Adventures with Evangelical Wrestlers, Political Hitmen, and Jewish Cowboys</a> will be published next month by Simon & Schuster.</i>

Editor’s Note: Have a question for Matt Labash? Submit it here

Hey Matt, you live on the East Coast. How are you putting your life back together after the 5.8’er? – Levi S.

Though as an advice columnist, I enjoy playing God with people’s lives, I don’t pretend to speak for Him. But when an unlikely 5.8 earthquake originates in Virginia, shaking a dozen states and several Canadian provinces, and that is only the second biggest disaster story of the week (after Hurricane Irene), then I think it’s safe to say that if God doesn’t want us all dead soon, He’s at least toying with the idea. And who could blame Him for bringing the judgment to a people who’ve kept “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” on the air now for six seasons? Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

That said, I’m still recovering from the Three Seconds That Changed The World. I’ve learned from covering previous natural disasters, like Katrina, that what is most important in the aftermath is for survivors to share their stories. So I’ll now share mine. I remember standing there, and next thing I know, I saw a bridge shaking. That’s pretty much it. As I said, it was only three seconds. End of story. Except, as I later found out, I was one of the lucky ones. Plenty were far less fortunate, like my neighbor, whose Yankee Candle fell off the mantle and shattered. (Why, God, why?)

As someone who covered the Haiti earthquake, and who has even brought out the tin cup on behalf of Haitian victims, I think it’s time for self-centered Haitians to start reciprocating, and to share their earthquake relief. Do you have any idea how much a 2-wick Fluffy Towels™ Yankee Candle large tumbler costs these days? Try $25.99, before tax. To put that in perspective, since the average Haitian makes about 2 dollars a day, that’s about two weeks worth of salary. Expensive. So pony up, Haiti. We scratched your back, now you scratch ours.

  • joeaiello

    That’s funny! The “Tea Party” clowns are still holding up disaster relief to sick and dying Haitians and they want them to help us! Fire the Tea Party!

  • Adam Moreira

    But are those “selfish Haitians” of any use to us to begin with? I would take someone who has internal drive over these people. Think about it.

    They are the oldest country in the Western Hemisphere after the USA…they have had 200 years to figure out how to do things.

  • Adam Moreira

    But are those “selfish Haitians” of any use to us to begin with? I would take someone who has internal drive over these people. Think about it.

    They are the oldest country in the Western Hemisphere after the USA…they have had 200 years to figure out how to do things.