Skip to main content

Help, Help! Hurricane Ike Has Stolen My TV!

I was going to write this elaborate rant about all of this Ike coverage, but I can't even find the will to rail against the modern media anymore; because if I ranted about everything I thought was ridiculous and excessive in the media, I'd never be able to leave the computer.

The People need information. Sometimes this can raise public awareness, root out injustice, and even save people's lives. But I don't think all this Hurricane Ike coverage is doing any of that. This round-the-clock coverage of the Hurricanes is just--STILL--an effort by the networks to cover their asses for not paying enough attention to Katrina. Nobody wants to be "last man to the party" when the next Big One hits.

Well, it looks like the locusts will get their wish. Ike looks like it's going to be huge and going to hit the Houston area very hard. But will all of this "up-to-the-minute" coverage--like the all-important multi-colored, swirling blob; the endless stories about those who are "Stayin' put, by God!"--will any of this help Texans recover from the hurricane? Will it help keep the area safe and clean while people move back in? I doubt it. Because once the rest of the country yawns and says, "Wow. Some storm!" they'll forget about it.

If all the money spent sending reporters to stand on windy beaches were somehow diverted to evacuation and security, clean-up and rebuilding, now that would be useful. It probably wouldn't even be a story anymore! The storm comes, people flee, the storm leaves, people come back and clean up, try and get back to their normal lives.

Imagine that...if we could actually organize and prepare for these kinds of things, and oversee some kind of effective response, instead of wasting our time hovering over every undulation, every fraction of an inch of movement on a TV screen. But nah, that would take too much energy, too much foresight, too much cooperation. We'd rather watch...

No, I'm not abandoning my weekend plans to go to Houston and help clean up. I doubt you are either. The most I will suffer from Ike is that I won't be able to play golf this weekend.

So, what am I saying? I'm just an idealist, frustrated with modern society and even more frustrated with the fact I can't do anything about it other than write this blog which very few people read. This turned into a rant against the media after all. Sorry...


Popular posts from this blog

New Yorker Fiction Review: "The Apologizer" by Milan Kundera

Issue: May 4, 2015

Rating: $$

Review: It took me five years and three separate attempts to finish Milan Kundera's famous novel, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, but in spite of that, quotes and insights from that book still rattle round my head on a weekly basis. What I mean to say is: my feelings on Kundera are very similar to my feelings on Haruki Murakami. I enjoy reading his work, but in small doses, like this short story.

Like Murakami, Kundera uses elements of magical realism, but where in a Murakami story you might encounter a flying dolphin or a disappearing hotel or a person who has lived his whole life in the same room, refusing to leave, Kundera's magical realism offers more direct insights and perspective on real life.

In Kundera's worlds, time and space are malleable and everything that ever happened in history is happening at the same time, and the narrator is a completely omniscient, caring, witty, and hands-on god-like being.

And so it is with "The Apo…

New Yorker Fiction Reviews: "Meet the President!" by Zadie Smith

Each week I review the short fiction from a recent issue of The New Yorker. If you told me when I was 12 that I'd be doing this I'd have been like, "Dork. There's no such thing as blogs," and I'd have been right...

Issue: Aug. 12 & 19, 2013

Story: "Meet the President!"

Author:Zadie Smith

(Please note: I've developed a highly sophisticated grading system, which I'll be using from now on.  Each story will now receive a Final Grade of either READ IT or DON'T READ it. See the bottom of the review for this story's grade...after you've read the review, natch.)

Plot: Set in England, far into the future (lets say 2113) a privileged youth of 15, named Bill Peek, encounters a few poor villagers from a small, abandoned coastal town on the southeast shore. He meets a little girl named Aggie, who is going to her sister's funeral. Peek is cut-off from real life by a sophisticated video game system that is implanted in his head, therefore th…

A Piece of Advice I Learned From My Grandfather

My grandfather was one of the most learned men I know. He read widely and voraciously, and not just in the sciences (he was a doctor); he loved politics, philosophy, and great literature as well. Whenever he finished a book he would write his thoughts about the book in the front cover and then sign and date it. To this day every once in a while I will open a book from my bookshelf or my mother's bookshelf, or at one of my family members' homes, and there will be my grandfather's handwriting. He was also a great giver of his books; if you remarked that you liked a particular one or wanted to read it, you were almost sure to take it home with you.

Reading is a very solitary pursuit but my grandfather was not a solitary person. He relished having family and friends around him which is convenient because he was blessed with a lot of both. And he carried out his intellectual life in a very "public" way as well. He was, in some ways, an intellectual evangelist. If he r…