Friday, August 26, 2011

Unbridled Fear and Wretched Excess

The media are doing what they do best; whipping up a great deal of fear and uncertainty about Hurricane Irene and where it may go and what it may do.

I am watching with more than passing interest, hundreds of miles from the path of any hurricane, as our daughter now lives in Yonkers, New York (NYC metro) and one of my closest, lifelong friends and his family live on Staten Island.

I had the mandatory parental chat with our daughter this morning (electronically, as did her mother last night – nobody really talks to anybody that much any more) and dispensed the usual parental advice, which boils down to what Mayor Bloomberg said: prepare for the worst and hope for the best.  She’s a smart young woman and she’ll do what’s appropriate; and, as the daughter of parents who’ve worked in media all their lives, she understands that the media’s default position is “excess”.

I’ll be interested to see if she actually calls us Sunday night or Monday (and whether or not she’ll be able to).  She did call after the earthquake earlier this week.  She works on the 8th floor of a building in White Plains, and when stuff started rockin’, she and everybody else evacuated the building.  Knowing I’d been through three earthquakes in my southern California years, she wanted to compare notes.

In our chat this morning, I mentioned that I’d been through a hurricane (New Orleans, 1987), and when we were told to evacuate, we did…went up to Baton Rouge for a few days and came home to broken widows, water in the house, a tree leaning against our rear balcony and one that smashed our outbuilding, and a ‘frig full of food that had to be tossed, because the power was out for a couple days.  I asked her to imagine what it would be like to have no power for a couple or three days, no way to charge her cell phone, etc. and to plan appropriately.

It was just a year ago today at 5 AM that she (and her BFF Breanna, who rode along to keep her company and then flew back to Madison) pulled up stakes and headed off to grad school in New Rochelle.  And a few days after she arrived and unpacked, Hurricane Earl grazed Long Island Sound and dumped a lot of rain on New York.

We concluded our chat with the hope that on Monday we’d be laughing about it, and how the media would be screaming “New York City Dodged A Bullet!!!” and talking about what MIGHT have happened.

I hope so.


  1. And if Virginia gets clobbered, watch Eric (Government spending is bad) Kanter first in line with his hand out for FEMA cash.

  2. We have a kid in Philly. He advises that his apartment building is on the highest point in the area, should there be a big ol' flood.

    Good excuse to buy a nice i/o Merc, though.

  3. .....with a 24' Boston Whaler surrounding it....

  4. As the storm was wallowing along tonight, a CNN reporter was up to his knees in Irene-generated surf as he was breathlessly reporting on the storm's progress.

    Cut from that inane scene to Wolf Blitzer, togged out in his upscale version of the Gorton's fisherman outfit, who greeted Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley. The gov's first words ... "Tell that guy to get the hell out of the water."