Sunday, March 26, 2006

Disaster Management

Dear Indigna,

I just saw an ad for a show on the Discovery Channel called “Perfect Disaster.” The show is going to be about hypothetical natural disasters and how they would destroy civilization as we know it (dry, hot, ferocious wind causes major city to spontaneously combust, collision of earth with cosmic plasma, etc.). Now, this show is clearly intended to do no more than stir up anxiety, fear, even hysteria about events whose chances of happening are vanishingly small, at best. Meanwhile tens of thousands die in traffic accidents each year; why can’t they make a useful show about how to improve highway safety? This “pretend disaster” show just sounds irresponsible and sensationalistic, akin to passing off “The Day After Tomorrow” as a documentary.

Drain, OR

Dear Disgusted,

I cannot believe it. I simply cannot f***ing believe it. Just goes to show, you can never underestimate the intelligence of the average television viewer. Here you are, trying to pass off highway fatalities as in the same league as the end of the world! Look, even the most horrific car accident kills, at most, a handful of people. In comparison, even just one of the kind of disasters you mention would kill millions. Imagine if several or all of these acts of God happened back to back in rapid succession!! Do you really want to deprive people of the opportunity to prepare their families for these eventualities? I think this show should be required viewing for everyone, everywhere, so we can get to work on a global disaster management plan. I bet most localities have never even considered the possibility of the moon losing orbit and crashing into their town! People in Missouri no doubt have allocated very little money to tsunami preparations. I grew up in Florida and I know for a fact that they haven’t spent a dime planning for a giant volcano to suddenly and without warning erupt in the middle of the state. I plan to do a little research so I know what drugs to stockpile in case leprosy spontaneously erupts in every country on earth simultaneously. The Discovery Channel is not the “irresponsible” one here!

P.S. Who on Earth would watch a show about highway safety?


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