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12/28/2004: "Wave of Mutilation"

tsunami1 (8k image)Pacific Rim Job: WPVI Delegates Disaster to Fifth Place

I written before about just have immensely bad our local ABC News
affiliate (the most watched local news affiliate in the country) is, but
nothing really drives the point home like last night's 6:00 edition of
Action News. While most news shows (Lou Dobbs - who picked the wrong time
to go vacation - Tonight, for example) led off with the Asian Tsunami,
WPVI relegated that story to fifth place. Here's last night's
opening line up of news pieces:

Lead Story: Cold Spell Strikes Delaware Valley

OK, I can see how this bit of information could take precedence over giant
waves wiping out fishing villages half a word away. After all, I wouldn't
have even know it was cold outside had it not been for Action News. Sure,
I noticed the snow and, come to think of it, I do seem to remember
building a fire in my fireplace…oh, and then there was all that shivering…
But, had it not been for WPVI's Action News, I would've never been able
to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Second Story: Philly Police Radios Go Dead

It seems that for an entire three minutes (until a backup system
was engaged) Philly's own Blue Man Group (AKA "the cops") were unable to
contact each other via radio. Philly averages about 300 murders a year,
folks. So I don't see how three minutes of dead air is going to push us
over the line into total chaos.

Baggage Crisis at Airport

Oh, for Crap's sake, I feel stupid just for writing about just how stupid
this story is. Apparently, US Airways' Philly division lost so much
baggage over the holidays that they had to arrange for two jets to be
filled with luggage to pick up the slack. The day after this debacle,
most of US Airways' baggage handlers called out sick.

OK, if you're sitting around a baggage carrousel wondering where your
Samsonite bags got to, then I can see how this story might be of interest
to you. However, if you're hanging around the White Zone ("If you've gotta
load or unload: GO TO THE WHITE ZONE") puzzling over the failure of your
relatives, who were on vacation in Phuket, to appear…

Reggie White is Still Dead

Who the fuck is Reggie White and why should his death take precedence over
the deaths of 45,000 Pacific Islanders? Until last night, I was unaware of
the late Mr. White's existence, let alone his tragic death at the age of
forty-three. As a matter of fact, the only Mr. White that I was aware of
was the one portrayed by Harvey "look at me, I'm nekked" Keitel in the film
Reservoir Dogs. Maybe I should've have used the Sports section of the
Sunday Inquirer to start that fire?

It seems that this Mr. White had played football with the Philadelphia
Eagles (just like Roberta Muldoon in The World According to Garp)
where he became known as the "gentle warrior" by "terrorizing
quarterbacks by making an art of brutally dumping them to the ground"

"Tidal Wave" Strikes Asia

Yes, they said "Tidal Wave" and not Tsunami. I have to give Action News
points, however, for running "teh best Tsunami interview EVAR!" Here's what
a Belgian tourist had to say about the disaster:

"We were standing along the beach and all of the water just went away. And
we stood there, looking at each other and asking 'where did the water

Gentle reader (who "who terrorizes librarians by making an art of
brutally dumping them to the ground"
), should you ever find yourself in
a similar situation, don't focus on "where did the water go?".
Instead, try to ask yourself "when - and in what volume - is the water
coming back?"

I'm not an expert in seismic activity (yet), but I know enough that if I
ever see an entire bay drain, I'm going to run in the opposite direction.

As if placing the news of a massive natural disaster ten minutes into a
half hour newscast wasn't bad enough, WPVI now had to give its viewers
"The Delaware Valley Connection". You see, an event isn't really
newsworthy (or Action News worthy) unless it somehow impacts the Delaware
Valley. If Reggie White had been killed by the Tsunami (the "gentle
warrior" of killer waves), Channel Six would've led with the story.

"The Delaware Valley Connection" results in viewers of Action News

being treated to shots of nervous relatives sitting beside their phones
(in some of the most horrendously decorated living rooms imaginable)
awaiting word of the fates of their loved ones.

Now, I happen to have a sister (with whom I am engaged in a friendly
competition to see which one of us can more articles published than the
other, ala the Bronte sisters - whom neighbors referred to as "howling
bitches") who lives on a small island in the South Pacific, and I have to
admit that I was concerned for her safety (because, if she should be
swept away by a giant wave, I win the contest by default).

Fortunately for my sister, the wave wasn't looking for White people living
on islands that are predominately inhabited by Christians. This was a
welcome break in God's usual pattern of sending dangerous natural phenomena
in the direction of those who believe most deeply in him and his son.

Tornadoes and hurricanes tend to strike the Red States. This is because God
loves people like Christopher Hitchens more than he loves the hicks who
actually believe in him.

If you can find a crazy piece on the web about how the Tsunami was "God's
punishment", please post a link to it in the comments section.

The ancient Greek word of the day is:
pareimi - to be at hand
present; be near

If the above word looks like ippojshit to you,
then you need to go here
and download the SPIONIC font for either MAC or PC. Dude.

The Latin word of the day is:
adesse - to be here, present

Replies: 6 Comments

on Tuesday, December 28th, Rodney said


on Tuesday, December 28th, Doc said

Hmmm,seem to recall that a lot of cheap garments,electronics and other consumer crap come from that area( next time you're in Ikea-just turn over the 'Pornendrecken' bowl and if the label doesn't say China,it's a sure thing it'll be Thailand or Indonesia...).The only way most of the people in this country-blue states included- are gonna care is when prices at Wal-fart,The Gag etc go up. The News Ho's in the media know this...

on Wednesday, December 29th, Gigunda Cowabunga from down under said

I suppose that the "local news" shouldn't really cover it at all. I mean, all they are going to give to us is what scraps the network sends them. I have always thought that local news should be just that.

Leave the national/international stories to the higer paid (off?) journalists, show us local kids doing heartwearming shit.


on Wednesday, December 29th, Andrew said

Not the writer, but the natives, in this article see the tsunami and coming illnesses as an act of god/sorcery

on Thursday, December 30th, oswaldsmerck said

re the tsunami: the oil companies did it.


on Friday, December 31st, Christine said

I didn't realize New Zealand was a small island in the South Pacific. Guess I need to read up on my geography.

Besides, we live at the bottom of Mount Victoria. I could always run up there if the water ever goes out of the bay.

I don't have a link to put up, but there was an editorial in this weekend's New Zealand Herald that talks about "God's punishment", etc. My take is that if there were a God, he really does want to punish us...over and over again. Why else would we have John Howard and GWB still be in office?

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Ronald Reagan in Hell
The Paul Kircher Show
The Dead Milkmen

December 2004

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