So far there have been 36 hours of non-stop news coverage and discussion of the tornado that hit Moore Oklahoma. Every network has a crew on the scene and all the talking heads are falling all over themselves to interview what’s left of the bedraggled inhabitants, and assure all involved that their prayers are with them. “We are all praying for you” they claim. My television is flooded with requests for donations to every conceivable “organization” claiming to be dedicated to helping the people. Before I hit the hay last night the Pope in Rome was on TV claiming to be “with” the people of Moore Oklahoma. He did not take that opportunity to remind them not to use condoms. I thought that was a nice touch.
So, what’s really up with this? Twenty-four people were killed. That’s roughly the number of people killed from texting while driving every three days. Oddly enough, texting while driving and getting killed, or, killing someone else doesn’t kick up nearly the hubbub that a good twister does. No one is awed by, or, glued to their TVs over the coverage of a car accident. No network, let alone all of them, will ever consider dedicating round the clock coverage to the carnage caused by texting while driving. Even the Pope isn’t praying that people give it up. Mrs. N. finds all this very curious.
Ever since I read about Terror Management Theory in Scientific American I have had a hard time not seeing that American corporate media is out there 24/7 trying to fuck with our brains.
They never seem to miss a good opportunity to drill home the idea that if we are not currently terrified about something we are not really with the program here in the good old USA. A few weeks ago it was getting blown up by crazy people while running a marathon. Today it’s a twister. Tomorrow it will be another school shooting or some other crazy bastard doing what crazy bastards are want to do… (crazy shit that kills people). There will, again, be round the clock coverage and intimate portraits of people in pain, and prayers, lots and lots of prayers directed at the God who has a (seemingly insane) plan for us all.
The people of Moore Oklahoma were hit and flattened by another tornado less than 15 years ago. Mrs. N. was struck by the fact that almost none of the people have tornado shelters in their homes or back yards. I saw some of the residents on TV and heard their answers to questions from the talking heads with regard to why that is. The general consensus seems to be… the ground is pretty hard in Oklahoma. “It’s red clay don’t ya know”. One Hispanic family was interviewed, and they all made it through without a scratch, and the father said that digging a shelter in the back yard was the best $2000 he ever spent. $2000 it seems will save your ass in Tornado Alley, and yet it appears to be too much expense and bother for almost all the people who live there. Go figure.
I’m sorry to have to report to all my friends at corporate media that Mrs. N. has not been left terrified by all their expensive coverage. I don’t subconsciously hate people different from me any more after their coverage. Any political leanings that I may have had have not become more rigid. My plutocratic masters will not find me more easy to manipulate. My life is just as absurd now as it was before. If anything, the constant level of embarrassment for my species that I float in like a swimmer in a warm sea has been increased ever so slightly.
The Governor of Oklahoma took time out of her busy schedule of fighting abortions, birth control and any reasonable control females in her glorious state may wish to have over their reproductive systems to assure the world that the stupid bastards who live there and vote for her… WILL REBUILD! The people I saw interviewed on TV all stated that they had every intention of staying in Moore Oklahoma, smack dab in the middle of Tornado Alley.
Oh, how much better Mrs. N. would have felt, how wonderful it would have been if just one person interviewed on TV would have said when asked if they planned on rebuilding… Are you fucking nuts?
No such luck I’m afraid.