Punchinello’s Chronicles

September 2, 2008

America Disappointed: Thousands Survive!

Filed under: Butterfly Wings — Punchinello @ 1:57 pm
Tags: , , , ,

By show of hands: How many people see the general news media as hoping for escalating disaster? First we had the fizzle of hurricane Fay, and now it seems the folks along the gulf coast actually knew how to handle Gustav. Hoping to keep the story going, everyone in the media looked to Hanna to kill everyone. Now that’s just a tropical storm, or as we know them in the midwest, “a thunderstorm.”

Yet for weeks, we’ve all been held to the edge of our proverbial chairs by the news reports. There’s a gleam in the voices of each newscaster, with a feeling that they’re rubbing their hands in anticipation. Millions and billions of people will DIE! Explosions, havoc, alien invasion, and utter disaster will surely happen this time!

That’s okay: the hurricane seasion is Just Starting, we hear on the news. We’ve got LOTS of opportunities for a real humdinger of a destructive season! Stay tuned, story and pictures at 10:00!

I wonder what’ll happen when such a disaster actually happens? Oh! But of course! We’ve seen it! The news people will at last have an opportunity to correctly identify the proper words healthy people use to express empathy, sympathy, and other emotions. They’ll have an orgy of never-ending interaction, demonstrating to the viewing public that it’s not all that hard to pretend to be human.

The problem is that it’s getting harder and harder to fake sincerity, these days. When there’s good news, fewer people really understand why it’s good. “Drama” has come to mean “It looks like somebody’s gonna die for sure!” Of course a large percentage of the viewing population is in just as bad shape, so this passes for “news.”

Bad news and disasters, though, make it easy. Everybody knows that when there’s blood and gore, destroyed families and demolished buildings, the proper thing to say is, “uh…oh…!” What must it be like to live day to day, never really understanding all this emotional stuff other people experience? What sort of panic and anxiety does someone feel when they feel nothing at all; when they’re emotionally dead? Isn’t feeling anxiety a contradiction in terms, in this context?

What a relief it must be, to know their disguise is foolproof when they clearly show how terribly concerned they are about the looming meltdown.

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