Shaken, Not Stirred

Stupidity is an elemental force for which no earthquake is a match. —Karl Kraus 

So that “earthquake” New Yorkers say they “survived” today wasn’t much of an earthquake at all. It’s called The Harlem Shake. It was an aftershock, the mere vibrations of an earthquake that actually began in a small town called within Mineral, Virginia, that made their way up through the East Coast from Washington D.C., to New York City, and then Boston. These minor tremors began at around 1:51 PM this afternoon, all of which lasted for a few seconds. That was it. That is what people are freaking out about. The lackluster leftovers of a minor earthquake. “You spilled your chai latte” and people in Japan and California, who survive earthquakes like it was their job, are shaking their heads. It’s a fucking laughter shock.

I’m a little surprised and very disappointed to see how the people in this city reacted to the situation today. I expect better from New York and I hold this place in high regard. The pervading sense of terror and paranoia among New Yorkers these days exemplifies this amateur alarmist ethos burgeoned by the September 11th attacks. And it sucks. Yeah. 9/11 was fucked up, and scary, and utterly catastrophic. You don’t have to tell me. I was there. I’m a real New Yorker, born and raised. But has it really devastated our spirit of fearlessness, and our ability to remain unperturbed to the point where we now flinch and gasp with every erratic gust of wind or the sound of an unfamiliar jangle?

Fuck that.

I’m sure or I hope that most people were fine today. They made a few calls to their loved ones to check up or check in and they stayed calm. Or maybe they didn’t. Isn’t it funny that when you truly need to have a cell phone, the shit doesn’t work because the networks are down? I don’t have a cell phone. Never have and never will. But I’m not worried. Anyway, I bet everyone enjoyed being sent home from work early because of what happened. I know I did. But as comedian and frequent Daily Show contributor John Hodgman notes on the situation, “We liked the earthquake when it first started. But now it’s like, the wrong people are into it.” And the wrong people often begin with those in the media.

Why was this shit the top story on every news program on every hour of every news channel today? Was there really a need to interrupt the “regularly scheduled programming” for a few hours to tell the people that they experienced a minor something over and over and over again? Regularly scheduled programming sucks enough as it is, to interrupt that over something equally inconsequential is totally ridiculous. Sure. It’s news. And it should be broadcast as such. But maybe as a brief commercial or something. At most, one of these bitches shoulda come on the screen like “We interrupt this program to bring you news on the effects of a minor earthquake being felt across the city today. Mayor Bloomberg and city officials report on very minimal damage. More on the minute aftershocks that hit New York on the 10 o’clock news. See you then. And now back to the shitty day-time talk show you have the audacity to be watching.” But no. Instead, we are bombared with “breaking images” and “on the ground coverage”–in HD no less–with eyewitnesses and chopper angles and all kinds of incendiary bullshit that plays upon fear and rattles the masses.

Not that some people don’t get worked up on their own.

However, it is “interesting” to note that not one report I happened to catch on the news today made use of the word “aftershock” or “minor,” both of which would’ve drastically changed the tone of the conversation. It was all about an EARTHQUAKE that HIT somewhere and ROCKED New York and the EAST COAST. Hay, please. As far as we know, the only affect this earthquake had was that it inconvenienced Barack Obama’s golf game today. POTUS is currently on vacation and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t give a fuck.

I do think there is a real cause for concern, but I highly doubt that it will be included in the discussion of this unusual earthquake, and that is the drastic climate changes taking affect as a result of global warming.  We are truly fucking with “Mother Nature” and we are playing a dangerous game with the environment. It’s Man v. Nature and my money is on Nature. Can’t fuck with it. But I’m not trying to promote some scary doomsday bullshit, nor am I here to proselytize on the validity of global warming. At least not in this post.

All I’m saying is that New Yorkers were a little shaken today. But we while we are shaken, we must not become stirred. The time to become a fearless people again is now. “This City is what it is because our citizens are what they are.” –Plato


3 thoughts on “Laughter Shock

  1. I totally agree. I didn’t even feel it and I’m even a little disappointed that I didn’t. I was annoyed that there was a FULL HOUR on NY1 about people calling in with their sissy bullshit about how it was “terrifying”. NYC really needs its balls back.

  2. LOL omg, yes! ugh. i got home early and the news was on nearly two hours before the regualr news at 5pm. which of course they began with the same news of the “earthquake.” it was the same redundant shit. they had at least 3 different anchors “on the ground” all over the city. i was totally appalled. did they really need that many people “breaking” the news asking passerbys what they experienced and repeatedly doing close up shots of buildings that could potentially crumble if there was a potential earthquake sometime in the future? omg. i am so disgusted. we need a prescription for fucking extenZe to grow a bigger dick asap. smh.

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