We had our pre-Parade meeting yesterday. This Saturday the City of Stafford will be holding their annual 4th of July Parade (which is, I realize, not the 4th at all, but that’s just the way it goes). Work assignments were hashed out, crew calls, that sort of thing. Like most large enterprises, this thing starting eating its own tail fairly quickly, as things were repeated and confirmed, and then repeated; but the worst thing for me that kept getting repeated was, “But what about the hurricane?”
In case you’re not in Texas or Mexico: Hurricane Alex will be making landfall sometime early tomorrow morning in Mexico, or what cartographers (and people who can read maps) refer to as NOT HOUSTON (sometimes “Nowhere Even F@#king Close”). This has not stopped local news media from addressing the storm’s approach with all the excitement and rapturous verbiage of a cheeseburger commercial. My friend Rick pointed out that local weathermen are relying more and more on infra-red photos of the storm complex because they make it look BIGGER and even MORE MENACING. According to those, we got hit with outlying bands of heavy rain last night, because we’re on “the dirty side of the storm”.
SPOILER ALERT: We didn’t.
This hasn’t stopped normally sane people from being tipped over into panic by breathless pronunciations. There is a chance that the Parade will be rained out, and I will lose out on some of my overtime. But there are precisely two chances of it being called on account of Hurricane Alex: slim, and nil. As ever, when somebody starts babbling to me about the approaching watery doom, I click on The Central Florida Hurricane Center and, if necessary, click over to their awesome array of maps and forecasts. This is what hurricane tracking should be: sane and scientific. I have found you can no longer rely on getting either from the news media.
In short, to paraphrase the emperor Caligula, I wish the creature the news media has become had a single throat, and I had my hands around it. Some idiot made the decision years ago that the news had to operate as a profit center, and desperate outlets rely on reporting rumors, unfounded attacks, mere surmise and outright fearmongering as news in order to get ratings and page views. It’s not a game I am even remotely interested in playing anymore – if in fact I ever was. Having been told the last ten years how afraid I am supposed to be, I am apparently going to spend the next ten years wondering how disgusted I’m going to be.
Oh, and safety tip? If you start grunting to me about the “lamestream media” expecting me to nod in approval, I am going to punch you in the neck. That’s something you picked up from said media, and you’re part of the problem.
Or, to put it in MySpace terms – Today’s Mood: Acrimonious.
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