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Forum Post: (Disaster)Control: #Sandy & Media Manipulation

Posted 1 year ago on Oct. 29, 2012, 5:04 p.m. EST by shawn (0) from New York, NY
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

We live in an age where we experience events through mediated channels more than with our senses. The drama of a natural disaster like Hurricane Sandy becomes as much a media event as it is a meteorological event. Amidst the 24-hour multi-network news coverage, the simple message to 'be prepared and stay indoors' becomes totally engulfed in by the torrential barrage of the redundant, monotonous fluff that provokes panicked hysteria and drowns out any other real news.

At the same time, we see the officials desperately feel the need to justify their legitimacy and reinforce a fiction that we rely on them to keep us safe. Figurehead mayors and governors standing in front cameras trying to capitalize on the occasion to bolster their popularity and take credit for the actual emergency work being done by thousands of crews working out in the wind and rain.

These work together to create an environment of fear, and in a position of passive disempowerment, the inability to act in the face of the storm extrapolated into an inability to act at all, in deference to the instructions of the men on the television. We are left only with the choice to do as we're told, stock up on commodities, stay indoors, keep consuming, be afraid, and trust the government.

Meanwhile, using extraordinary emergency situations as a justification for the ever-augmenting powers of the state is becoming an increasingly popular tactic. Yearly freak hurricanes mean delirious rushes to stock up on water and batteries, and the bureaucrats getting more and more comfortable declaring states of emergency. The constant specter of an unexpected catastrophe means "preparedness" through surveillance, security, paramilitarized police forces, suppression of freedoms in the name of maintaining a tenuous status quo.

This is a distinctly American hysteria.

12 Comments

12 Comments


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[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Actually, I spent almost a decade in the Keys. So, we would be told to evacuate. If you choose not to evacuate then you accept the fact that you will not be able to contact the police, ambulances, fire department. Paramilitary my ass. They aren't there and they aren't coming. Not until its over and if you do see them-the odds are that you are really damn happy.

People stock up on items because you have no idea how long everything is going to be down or the electricity is going to be out. I was never in a situation where it was frenzy. Mostly controlled anxiety. Hurricane season is June to November and if it is humanly possible then you get stuff in June. That may not be feasible.

People don't leave because they have no place to go or they do not have enough money to stay gone for an indeterminate amount of time. They sure as hell don't want to sit outside in a line waiting for the ok to drive home to check on their stuff. The water has been becoming warmer and the hurricanes are not so much as "freak" accidents. It is very much apart of the climate.

There is a difference between watching the shit on tv and actually being in the middle of it. I traveled up into bumfuck Florida and couldn't get, for the life of me, on any channel if US1 was open so that I could go home. So, as an excuse? I'm not seeing it.

[-] 1 points by penguento (362) 1 year ago

Ah, and if the government was slow or inadequate to respond, then they'd be pilloried for that as well. The government is regularly pilloried here for that very sort of failure. What, pray tell, would you have them do?

[-] 1 points by frogmanofborneo (602) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Bloomberg once pooh poohed the problem of construction violations. His commissioner quit- remember? http://tinyurl.com/9bg2xfo

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (26672) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

For those of you on the east coast - I pray - you no doubt know better than I - but this storm surge is already greater then the last hurricane - high tide is - what(?) 8:PM (?). All I can say is stay away from the water - go to high ground if you can.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

It looks bad. It's just coming ashore now?

Hoping everyone who wanted to get out has done so.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (26672) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Record storm surges have been reported already - high tide is a ways off yet and the worst of the wind is yet to come.

[-] 0 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 1 year ago

This is the best source I've come across for what to expect; Landfall should be at around 11:00 PM.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-douglas/hurricane-sandy-updates_b_2017644.html

[-] -1 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 1 year ago

Here's a look. Not sure what this means as far as rainfall; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/29/hurricane-sandy-graphics_n_2038056.html?ref=topbar

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

I grew up with cyclonic weather. It was the only chance we had to get some awesome waves at our town beaches. The water was the colour of chocolate milk, and often had dead and live critters floating around in it. I recall catching waves generated by a huge concrete pipe rolling around in the water.

[-] 0 points by Futurevision1 (-75) 1 year ago

And when the looting begins the media will ramp up the hype.

[-] 0 points by frogmanofborneo (602) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Is there a "for dummies" explanation of how a poster can put visuals on here like you did? It's quite breathtaking and effective.

[-] 0 points by frogmanofborneo (602) from New York, NY 1 year ago

I think they probably had to shut down the subway. Do you use the subway?