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tom moody

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I just talked to my friend Bill, one block over, who's still without power. NYC subways aren't running, a lot of stuff's out. We've both been listening to the benign porridge on the radio, and wondering "Where's the out(r)age?" Apparently the European press is really playing this up, with 24-hour coverage and tabloid headlines like "Blackout Hell." Over here, we're getting an endless string of government officials and media types praising the good nature of New Yorkers and telling one stupid human interest story after another. If I hear another official say "We got people lookin' in on the seniors in their neighborhoods and doing other nice things," I'll gag.

This is a lot like 9/11 in that no one is accountable. Apparently New York's Republican Governor Pataki took a lot of regulatory heat off the state power companies, but he admits no culpability. ("The chickens came home to roost...and all George Pataki [can] do [is] squawk," says Wayne Barrett in the Village Voice.) On the radio, Pataki speaks with anger in his voice trying to blame other regions for this mess. Lately it's "the Midwest," he won't say where, and for a while the media was working a US vs Canada angle.

An intelligence/law enforcement shakeup should have occurred after 9/11: it was a blatant, obvious failure by the people who are supposed to be protecting us. As far as I know, no one got fired except critics of Bush's various irrelevant war plans. The same will happen here, I think: some lower echelon schmuck at one of the power companies may ultimately take the fall, and the Republicans will espouse their usual "It's just life" attitude.

UPDATE 8/16/03: Okay, everything's back to normal now. Just one heat-related death and millions in lost sales, spoiled food, etc. Nothing to get mad about, really. All those people at the power companies mean well and are very nice folks--it's not like they wanted this to happen.

UPDATE 8/18/03: Via Travelers Diagram, here's a picture of a looted McDonalds. Funny, I missed hearing about that on 1010 WINS. (Also linked by TD, pictures of a lightless Times Square.)

- tom moody 8-15-2003 11:15 pm [link] [3 comments]