Sunday, March 15, 2015

Cyclone Pam Likely To Become "Biggest Disaster In Decades.."

Tropical cyclone Pam struck the island nation of Vanuatu dead on, only a few hours ago, and it is shaping up to be one of the biggest journalistic disasters in many years.

" 'Six known dead' - that's been the headline for over 24 hours!  Where are the bodies?  How can we keep the paying audience interested in a dead headline- where the photos of lines of body bags- turn out to be lines of sleeping bags, not corpses?!?" said "Katastrophe Kate", the globe-trotting specialist for Rooters SNews Service. (

"It's really horrifying- we managed to milk a couple of "OMG it's all gone!" statements from  a few NGO nerds huddled in hotels; but all the photos and video feeds are showing exactly the opposite!  It's looking like a minor thunderstorm passed through.   We just don't know how long we can keep up the pretense that this is a big deal.

"Luckily, very few of our viewers know that original local architecture is designed - from thousands of years of experience- to blow over in heavy winds, and then be rebuilt from the same materials, in a matter of days.  And Vanuatu is one of the few places left where the local people still have the skills to do this.  Sure, there will be a few deaths; but nothing like the 6,000 dead from Typhoon Whatsit in the Philippines a while back.  And we're getting a few pics of "halfway" buildings that look messy- homes that are part native design, with "modern" bits that blew down tacked on; but the darn people keep smiling; and it's just a bit hard to sell "this poor man now has nowhere to live!" - when he's sitting on a bench under a nice roof...

"Pam is just not generating the bodies and images we need- waving palm fronds are great for a couple hours, but then we need some really good smashed up stuff; and so far, we're not getting it.  The downtown areas- were pretty clearly actually built to survive typhoon winds- a couple broken windows and one piece of roofing blowing around is just not - enough.

"Thank god we can depend on the John Frum guys for really good quotes designed to bring in "relief" flights.  But, there is a limit to how far that can stretch.  It's a word no one wants to hear- but we're becoming seriously afraid that this disaster is just going to prove- unsustainable.

"As of today, this is shaping up to be one of the biggest disaster failures in recent history.  Thank god- our audience is easily distracted from reality collapses- all we need is one good new cat video; and they'll forget the whole thing.  Kat-ass Kate, reporting too live, from Port Vila; most of which is still here, dammit."


(Ok, not trying to make fun of Vanuatu, in any way, or be skeptical about their need for help after what was definitely a bad cyclone.  But.  My guess is, once the information comes in from the "remote" islands- yes, their houses may have blown down- as they are designed to do; but I'm betting their elders- who are still in place- probably got most of the people into a safe place, known to them for centuries at least, to wait out the wind.  We'll see.  Fingers crossed, and I'm betting on the elders.  And meanwhile; Tuvalu and Kiribati- nations with no mountains to provide rainwater streams and shelter- have also been hit by Pam.  Harm there could be much, much larger.  We hope and pray not.)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Zombie Snacks.

I have an idea for a new, prize-winning, TV Reality show.  The need is certainly dire.  "Dirt Dynasty" and "Game Of Dregs" seem to be fading.

"Snack Spotters!" perhaps would be the title.  A bright group of "Big Bang Theory" watchers will get together every week; go out for a stroll through any neighborhood; and point out, for our joint amusement the groups of individuals - who will be the first to die, WTSHTF.

"Zombie Snacks", is how I think of them; and spotting Snacks is not a pastime I would have chosen; it's simply grown to be an inescapable compulsion.  I can't help myself.

"Wow.  No skills or talents of any kind, beyond Twitter.  Non-survivors, for sure."

One would rate the various discoveries, based on the estimates of survival times.  "Not gonna last a week."  will quickly by trumped by "I give these guys about 2 hours."

Then there's the "Five minutes.  If they're lucky."  That would apparently be the entire Minneapolis suburb of Anoka; where a local petty thief, with no brains of his own, hit the same houses, over and over- finding that the doors remain unlocked and welcoming; no matter how often the cops had been called.

After 30 attempted robberies, though; the Anoka cops finally managed this difficult capture.

So I'm guessing, WTSHTF, Anoka is going to be "harvested", top to bottom, in a few hours, cops and all.  So you can mark that area as "Vacant" on your TEOTWAWKI maps.