I flicked through the news channels early this morning to see how New York was faring.
The first thing I would like to say is that I strongly object to naming a storm after a gentle dog who was not known for passing wind.
Apart from that though, I flicked mainly between CNN, Bloomberg and Sky News. Of course two of those channels were American and the other is British. The contrast was remarkable.
The British bloke on Sky was quite laid back about the whole thing. He calmly told us about travel disruption and showed us streets running with water. He interviewed a couple of Brits [and an Irish girl] who were stuck in New York.
The American channels by contrast were unmitigated hysteria.
The women doing the “anchoring” or whatever they call it were leaning into the camera with terror in their eyes [or maybe it was the effects of cocaine?] breathlessly telling us of all the horrendous happenings, like waves breaking on the shore or strong winds blowing. Their mission obviously was to whip the audience up into a frenzy of excitement, so everything they said was filled with breathless superlatives and constant reminders that this was live and happening now. They kept passing us over to some gink who was “live” out on the streets. Of course he was fucking “live” – not much point if he’s dead?
The reporters on the streets were worse. One bloke kept hopping from one foot to the other shouting things like “Look at those waves! And this is happening right now”. Everything he said ended with a hysterical “right now”. All he showed us was some choppy water that just reminded me of wet summer holidays in the west of Ireland.
And what is this thing with Americans and superlatives? They can’t have a storm. They have to have a superstorm. Another word that was bandied about a lot was “unprecedented”. One bloke came on and announced that they hadn’t had a storm like this since eighteen something-or-other and in the same breath said that the current storm was unprecedented. Listen, you fucking twat – if it happened before, it is not unprecedented.
I also read on the CNN channel some bloke telling us the reason this storm was unprecedented was because of the high winds, combined with high tides and [I kid you not] melting polar icecaps. The melting polar icecaps were the reason for the unprecedented high water levels! Did they have melting polar icecaps back in eighteen something-or-other? I suppose it is only natural that a storm should be blamed on Global Warming, and I shouldn’t be surprised if someone blamed the storm on smokers as well.
So here is a message for all you television people in America.
What you have is a case of bad weather. Fairly exceptional bad weather, I grant you but it is not unprecedented. Other parts of the world have to put up with that kind of weather on a fairly regular basis.
There is no need to get hysterical over it.
Take a chill-pill.