Sometimes, I swear, posts just fall into my lap. Take today for instance, as I’m at the gym and all of a sudden CNN cuts in with “Breaking News!” Apparently someone flew a plane into a building in New York
. No further details were given, but that did not stop the people on TV from stopping whatever they were reporting and discussing the possible ramifications of this event. Nor did it stop the crowd now glued to the TV. “I told you something was gonna happen soon!” one person said. “Oh, God, not again,” moaned another. The Nasdaq did an immediate nosedive, people began hoarding supplies and George Bush was mulling over what new country to use this as an excuse to invade. It’s Muslim Terrorists! It’s the North Koreans! It’s Al Qaeda! It’s…..a relief pitcher?
Yes, folks, you can all put your money back in the stock market and come out of your bomb shelters now. Apparently this new apocalyptic event was nothing more than a New York Yankee going home for the off-season who lost control of his plane. I swear to fucking God, has it gotten so bad in this country that every time some poor guy who just got his pilot’s license manages to run himself into a standing structure we all think the world is going to end? See, this is exactly what I’m talking about when I say that we all really overreacted to 9/11. Had we all just gone “Wow, that sucks, what’s on TV tonight?” perhaps it would not cause the stock market to plunge whenever a plane crashes. Usually it’s not terrorists. Usually it’s a guy who doesn’t know how to fly.
But what’s worse than the ridiculous panic and paranoia that so many in this country exhibit about terrorism is the fact that the media gives so much attention to anything having to do with New York. You think if Cory Lidle played for the Astros and flew his plane into some high-rise in Houston it would garner all-night news coverage? Fuck no, it wouldn’t. It would be a story, and certainly a big deal on ESPN and on the local news in Houston. But I doubt CNN would have continuing coverage of the “Disaster in Texas.” I cerainly don't recall that for the Cleveland Indians boating disaster of 1993 which killed not 1 but 2 Major League pitchers. Since it’s New York, the media assumes it is a national story. Here’s a little piece of information those of you who have never lived outside the northeast may not be privy to: The rest of the country does not give a rats ass what’s going on in your city, no matter what Katie Couric says.
It’s snowing in New York? Wow, in other news it’s raining in Seattle. Your Bus Drivers are on strike? And this affects your average San Diegan how exactly? They might fire the manager of your baseball team? Wow, I don’t know if you realized but the team that kicked your ass is still playing and is a hell of a lot more interesting than what George Steinbrenner and Joe Torre talked about on the phone. So stop talking about New York for crying out loud. The rest of us don’t care.
Quick, who is the mayor of Los Angeles? I have no idea either. And it’s the second biggest fucking city in America. How about DC, our nation’s capitol? Or Miami? Exactly. Now who were the last four mayors of New York? Bloomberg, Giuliani Dinkins and Koch. Maybe I’m missing one, but it is a sad, sad fact that I can name them and not the last four mayors of any of the four cities I have lived in over my life. And you know why? Because New York is shoved down my throat at every given opportunity. All of America knew about Rudy cheating on his wife even before he was Mr. 9/11. And the guy is totally irrelevant to the other 95% of the country. I grew up a Seattle Mariners fan and right now I can’t name four guys in their starting lineup. But I can go four deep on the bench if you ask me about the Yankees. The list goes on and on, but like it or not, I know way more about New York than I should about any city in which I have spent a total of MAYBE four weeks in my entire life.
My point today is this: Let’s stop giving so much damn attention to everything that happens in New York, and lets stop freaking out every time we think there is even the slightest hint of a terrorist attack. If it happens, it happens, but the way the terrorists win is when we start acting light a bunch of scared little babies every time something weird goes on. I’m winning the war on terror by not really giving them much attention, and joking about their attempts to rattle this country. That’s how you beat bullies, you know: By ignoring their actions and making them feel like an incompetent joke. I suggest America try the same. You can all guess what T shirt I’ll be wearing tomorrow. If for no other reason than to let everyone know that I really couldn’t give two shits what happens in New York, and that they need to stop letting the terrorists win by taking everything so goddamned seriously.