Emergency rooms jammed as epidemic of excessive eye rolling worsens, experts advise avoiding the media as a minor PLUMBING ACCIDENT somehow becomes important NATIONAL NEWS
Six years after 911, people immediately think “terror” when something goes boom, and thus a trivial incident in NYC that would barely have made the local news before 911 is a front page story on CNN, the BBC, and the Drudge Report. And presumably TV news, Fox, and everyone else. I mean, an old pipe ruptured, one person died of a heart attack…but because it was an “explosion” in New York City…it’s world wide news! Don’t people see how incredibly weird this is? It’s been almost six years since 911 and we still jump every time something goes bump in the night?
This isn’t right. Six years. It’s crazy. And worse, I think it’s deliberate. Instead of telling us to get back on the horse and continue to ride, our government has spent the last six years saying “boo!” Our terror obsessed politicians have turned a national disaster into a national neurosis. Christ, I bet there’s people who check for terrorists under their bed at night. Living in a state of constant terror anxiety isn’t making us a stronger nation, it’s making us a nation of neurotics.
And yes, I know that terrorism is a real threat. So are hurricanes, is it front page news every time there’s a thunder storm in New Orleans? And there’s always been bandits and outlaws, that’s all terrorists are, they’re nothing new. Even at the height of Rome’s power it wasn’t safe to travel the roads right outside Rome. Yet the Roman’s didn’t obsess about the next bandit attack, they worked and wondered at the glory of Rome.
I mean that’s what gets me, the USA is the greatest Empire the world has ever seen. No Empire has ever been grander and greater and richer and more powerful than ours. And even in my dark and cynical heart, I think the democratic and human rights ideals that we spout (but so often hypocritically ignore) may ultimately be a good thing for the world. Yet here we are at the height of our power, and looking for terrorists in the closets is our national priority? This is the result, an old pipe breaks and the nation twitches.
And don’t try to tell me that how we responded to this incident shows how tough we are. That’s not the point, the point is that this is not news. It was an old pipe exploding! The only people who should have heard about this are the families of the immediate responders, who said “guess what happened at work today” when they got home. Instead it’s front page news across the country. A pipe bursting. Meh.
(The above image of a municipal plumbing accident is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is not being used for profit, is central to the subject of the post, and unfortunately is arguably an historically important image. Credit: Getty Images/Drudge report.)