This morning I awoke particularly early.
I usually have the radio turned on while making breakfast and packaging my lunch, mainly to hear the weather forecast (rain in Ithaca is seemingly never just a few drops), but also just to have some background noise (other than the dehumidifier 😉 )
The only channel I have found (so far) without more commercials than actual programs is NPR – National Public Radio. Mostly they go on and on about the upcoming elections, but the string of hurricanes washing in over America has recently become another favored subject.
Normally I don’t pay much attention to it – far to many of their stories are personalized or happy-things “so-and-so did this-and-this and is now due to hard work privileged in that-and-that way, owing it all to said candidate/priest/personal abilities/whatever. Very American.
Today it was different though. Or probably it was just the same, only its impact on me changed.
A journalist in New Orleans was explaining about preparations for the Hurricane Ivan who is approaching the Gulf coast. I found my attention riveted on this mans calm comfy-chair voice explaining how a million people have been ordered to evacuate New Orleans, and how the interstate highways out of the city have all been opened full throttle one way. A remarkably powerful image (in my mind at least), this picture of both sides of the interstate moving the same way. In no way am I able to imagine this in the context of Denmark.
He went on, explaining how usually with a storm coming he would take to a rooftop in the French Quarter and enjoy the spectacle with a rum and coke in hand. But this time even the shops usually selling chips and liquor for hurricane parties were closed and he had packed up his family, sent them away, and was himself planning on staying to watch over their house which had one side open to the elements due to restoration in progress. His final words were of uncertainty – of not knowing if tomorrow he would be under 15 feet of water or swept away, house, scaffolding and all, by the 145 miles per hour winds Ivan brings.
I guess I never really thought of weather as truly dangerous or threatening before – just something to be occasionally prudent about.
I never understood why journalists use the personal angle either, usually that just annoys me with the lack of factual content – what interest is it to the world at large that this man is facing the destruction of everything he owns? And that he intends to stay to fight it, regardless of the insignificance of his possible actions compared to the havoc Ivan may wreck.
Makes you appreciate why people used to honor and worship the weather gods – seems like it might be beneficial for some Americans to take that up again. They certainly seem to have incurred their wrath.
It feels rather annoying to be touched by a random story this way. Invasion of my emotional state. Maybe I should take a vow never to listen to anything but the stock market reports form now on…
Possibly I am just getting soft and sentimental in my old age ;-