Tuesday, January 18, 2005

BOHICA--Inauguration Style

Oh, my. Somewhere, across town, I can feel DCSOB's blood starting to boil, because he HATES motherfuckers like The Gas Man, who's shown up for inauguration early with a truck filled with flammables and boy is he pissed at something or somebody. Apparently though, this is not terrorism. So if you are feeling terrorized, the joke's on you. One way you will be able to tell, by the way, if The Gas Man is a terrorist, is to pay attention to what happens after this blows over. If, for example, the police sweep in and arrest him, then he is NOT a terrorist. If instead, the police allow him to escape, unscathed, after spending an assload of money in the process, then the guy WAS a terrorist. That's how America works.

Anyway, this is probably reminding people of that time in March 2003 that dude rode his tractor into a pond because his tobacco farm was bankrupt due to whatever the hell the Department of Agriculture does to fuck over farmers. At that time I wrote:

Today I got an email from a concerned David Diamond. It read, in part: "I feel really safe. Yesterday ... just a few blocks away, a man drove a military-style Jeep with a tractor in tow into a pond on the National Mall, and claimed to be armed with ammonium nitrate, the same explosive fertilizer used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Fortunately, local officials immediately demonstrated the expertise they have gained since 9/11. "Project Gridlock" closed the 14th and Memorial Bridge and routed all Virginia bound traffic through Georgetown, ensuring that citizens were trapped in their vehicles, and therefore out of danger. Local news was also quick to respond to the story, sending in every traffic helicopter in the mid-Atlantic region. Sitting at my desk in downtown DC I felt like Martin Sheen in the opening sequence from apocalypse Now."

David, I hear you. I understand the situation has got you tense, but I believe that if you look at this rationally, you'll see that this event is actually a very good sign.

Think about it, in September of 2001, someone blew up the Pentagon. A whole ton of people died as a result. Our preparedness was terrible. The response was weak. The media ran around jumping away from their own shadow, the Vice-President went into hiding, and the DC Fire Department showed up to apparently steal equipment from the Arlington Fire Department. Everyone wandered around in a paranoid daze for months on end, and to top it all off, the world didn't largely care about what happened to us, because New York City laid claim to an even greater tragedy.

Last year, two crazy weirdos ran around the DC Metropolitan area taking sniper shots at everyone they felt like. But, in that case, far less people died as a result. Our preparedness was a little better. The response from police was a lot more professional and encouraging, and though the police and the press allowed the whole "white-van" theory and tragically overlooked all the Bon Jovi connections, they behaved in a far more dignified and responsible manner. People were scared, to be sure, but more in control, and the evildoers were caught. And while New York City was able to let people know that there was a similar sniper case in the five boroughs once upon a time, the world, in this case, focused their attention pretty squarely on us for a change.

Now, this year, this lone crank has driven his tractor into a pond. It doesn't look like anyone is going to die. Our preparedness and our response is looking like it's something in the vicinity of crazy overkill. No one is jumping to any conclusions among the media and law enforcement communities. Very few people are going to end up psychologically scarred by this, and this is one time that NYC is not going to be able to steal any attention from us. Only a pond appears to be at risk, which means the casualties will be whatever low-end aquatic life exists therein. For all we know, this guy might even manage to blow up one of those rogue snakeheads
that have bedeviled us so. So: upside!

There are important trends to track. Seriousness of threat? Trending downward. Amount and rapidity of response? Ever increasing. Number of people dying? Steadily decreasing. New York's opportunity to steal our thunder? Vastly diminished.

So, David, you see that this event, when examined as a part of the big picture, is indicative of a continually improving situation. Fewer people are dying, a retarded amount of countermeasures are being deployed, everyone seems to be adjusting to life with a crazy man in a tractor in a pond on the National Mall bitching about farm subsidies pretty well, and I'd say the outlook of Washington, DC getting a Paul McCartney charity concert has never been brighter.

The only thing that I can see that could possibly derail these hopeful trends is if, say, our government recklessly earned the enmity of international terrorists by foolishly launching an ill-advised pre-emptive war against a Middle Eastern nation after waging a diplomatic campaign filled with deception and contempt for the international community and the American people. And that's not going to happen for another few hours.

So, before you fashion yourself a shelter under your desk in which to curl up in a fetal position, take a minute to relax. And then tuck yourself up under your desk in a fetal position.
I would think that advice is as good today as it was then, except no one's going to wait this guy out for X number of days as the Inauguration looms. So get ready for the issue to be forced, DC.

We can't wait for tomorrow's lunatic.

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