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viernes, agosto 26, 2011

Irene: The Hype Deficit

In New York, where Mayor Bloomberg was criticized for failing to make a big deal about an approaching blizzard that blocked ambulance access in certain neighborhoods, the Mayor has made a big deal of the approaching hurricane. In Martha's Vineyard, President Obama made a big deal of the approaching hurricane so that he would not appear to be like W in Katrina, and he actually cut his vacation short to return to Washington.

Meanwhile, in Chatham, Columbia County, New York, 25 minutes southeast of Albany, your Bloguero, a sharp critic of many local customs, decided to go to the Price Chopper Supermarket to purchase PBR and peanut butter. All of the bottled water, D-batteries, crunchy natural peanut butter, and pop tarts are gone. The premium beer is pretty much gone. There was still PBR. Ditto, expensive bread. They hare having very brisk sales, even for a summer Friday.

Says your Bloguero to the Check Out Technician, "So you're having brisk sales because it's the end of the world, right?"

Says she, "Look, these people live in the North. They need to get used to it. They need to chill out."

Your Bloguero,"Do they buy the same stuff whether it's a hurricane or a blizzard?"

Says she, "Of course. I don't know why. I think the radio tells them what to get. They need to chill out."

Then your Bloguero ran into his mother-in-law. She was wandering around in the check out lanes of the Price Chopper searching the racks of batteries. "What are you buying?"

"I'm looking for D-batteries. For my radio."

Your Bloguero notes that he does not have a radio that takes batteries. Maybe he should have one? "Why do you want to listen to the radio?" he asks her.

"So I know what's going on."

"Nothings going on. Why don't you just call me up and I'll tell you what's going on. You won't need the batteries."

"But you don't have a radio, so you won't know what's going on either. You won't be able to tell me."

"If you call me up, I'll make something up. It'll be exciting."

She frowns. Yes, she's tried the Dollar Stores. And hardware stores. And the pharmacies. All of them. She wants batteries. I have no good ideas about where to find them.

Your Bloguero realizes on his journey home that the impending "disaster" has not had the appropriate advanced notice. People are not jumping out of windows. Yet. There is something entirely insufficient about the build up to Hurricane Irene. It's not exciting enough. Yet. Something is lacking to to make Irene a really, really, really big event star. In short, there is a hype deficit. You might think there's enough hype. But your Bloguero knows better. This hurricane is definitely, positively lacking sufficient hype. Your Bloguero thinks they (please do not ask your Bloguero who "they" are) need something more like this:

Much better. Much, much better. Does not Irene deserve such promotion? Tell the truth now. Irene does. No question about it. Your Bloguero inquires: Does someone (please don't ask your Bloguero who someone refers to) have to invent the wheel every damn time some natural disaster is promised? You (please do not ask your Bloguero who "you" refers to) already know how to sell disasters. You've been doing it for half a century, if not more. Isn't it about time to get down to it? Irene won't wait. And she deserves it.

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