Friday, February 4, 2011

OK, News people, we get it!

It's been a few days since the great Blizzard of 2011, and we've all seen and heard the many reports about the "survivors" and the "rescuers." And there are all of the rest of us who were fortunate to be inside and warm and far from danger, watching and listening on our 47-inch screens, who really don't merit any news coverage. But now I've grown weary of all of the big "follow-up" stories and features about this big event--at least here in the Chicago TV viewing area--and have decided to stay away from the late-night news reports for the time being.

I've noticed that events such as this always have to turn into a contest, one-upsmanship, can-you-top-this, or just something for folks to talk and brag about for years to come. I can almost hear the question now in the not-too-distant future: "Where were you during the Blizzard of 2011?" News people were predicting that this storm was probably going to be the "granddaddy of them all," breaking previous "biggies" from 1999 and everyone's favorite, 1967. This storm fell a bit short, however, finishing in third place behind the two mentioned above. And, of course, that took a bit of the luster off the historic impact of this storm.

Now, just a few days after the storm's subsiding, giving way to frigid temperatures and severe wind chill advisories, there are other emerging stories. For example, I just heard from the TV set on in the other room: "Man shot in fight over snow blower" Lovely! These are the kinds of things that will be happening now that the common "enemy"--SNOW AND WIND--has departed. It will be "business as usual" with people acting like idiots again a good portion of the time.

Then there were the many folks who demonstrated just how ignorant or down-right dumb they were in ignoring the many warnings and admonishments to stay off the roads, especially as the storm intensified during the late-afternoon/early-evening hours. Many businesses and schools had the good sense to shut things down early, anticipating the coming fury of the blizzard. On the other hand, there were, for whatever reason, those who took their sweet time getting out of downtown Chicago and several hundred getting stranded somewhere "out there!" Many I heard interviewed the next day seemed intent in wondering just why it took the fire department/police department so long to come to their rescue! And the residents who popped up on newscasts could only wonder why their streets hadn't been plowed! Get a grip, folks, and start looking out for yourselves every once-in-a-while!

News stories will continue to search for those unique "angles" regarding the storm and individuals' experiences during the forty-eight hours or so before, during, and after. But I hope that we're through with all of the "officials" who had their fifteen minutes of fame, explaining why they did what they did, what was open and what was closed, and what we all could expect in the minutes and hours ahead. Is it just me, or are all officials just a bit paranoid about things and completely overreacting in situations like this one? I guess, in the immortal words of Mel Brooks, they have to "protect their phony-baloney jobs!"

I say, enough of the Blizzard of 2011! Let things return to fighting over snowblowers! So, we shall travel another road tomorrow. Should be fun...MLA

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