The Hurricane Algorithm, by Joe Bob Briggs

This should go viral. A funny take on the media and natural disasters. From Job Bob Briggs at takmag.com:

News executives love disasters. They get to act like Chuck Norris and Assemble the Squad.

“Maginnis, you cover first responders.”

“Wilson, get over to NOAA and stay on those maps.”

“Kelly, official press briefings. Work with Yurozawski to keep tabs on every emergency room within a 300-mile radius.”

“Bergram, you’re Cop Shop, but we’ll keep the aperiodic radio tracking the locals.”

“Ramstein, find that German guy who gets a hard-on for global warming.”

By the time a managing editor or a news director gets finished “covering this mother like blubber on a seal,” you’ve got thirty people who feel like they’re crammed into a D-day troop carrier, waiting for somebody to throw open the landing door and engage the Nazis. They have lust in their eyes. They’re hopped up like nekkid trance drummers at Burning Man.

You know those reporters clinging to lampposts in 120-mile-per-hour winds on the pier at Sanibel Island?

Same thing. They’re pumped. They’re wild. They’re getting all orgasmic from the needle burns on their cheeks as the gooey red juice of the hurricane danger zones envelop them in delirious wet convulsions.

I know. I was one of those guys.

I worked at a newspaper in Dallas where we had tornadoes all the time. We would have these Assemble the Squad meetings where the managing editor would hand out umpteen jillion jobs, including “Gladys, we need a Top Ten Texas Tornadoes of All Time sidebar.”

And I would stand there like the last guy to get picked in peewee football, wondering if they were gonna use me at all, and the high sheriff would finally look at me and say, “And Briggs, you do color.”

“Color” was this word for feature writing that meant “Find something to write about, preferably something with a lunatic or a bereaved person in it.”

I would always protest. Every decent story had already been assigned. I’d already done the story on the bearded backwoodsman sitting in a bass boat while a hurricane approaches, saying, “All I need is my gun and my dog, and if God decides it’s my time, then it’s my time.” There was nothing left to write about.

And so they would tell me to chase the storm.

To continue reading: The Hurricane Algorithm

 

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