Monday, May 3

There Are 8 Million Stories In The Naked City. F*ck The Rest Of Them.

I am more dismayed at the continuing degeneration of criminal initiative in my city. In the Times Square of my youth a Nissan parked with the keys in the ignition would've been gone in sixty seconds whether smoking or not.

R. Porrofatto, at Roy's.

MAYBE it's just me, but I could swear that Times Square White Male Loner Amateur Concoction of Propane Tanks, M-80s, and Miracle-Gro™ Car Bomb of Mass Destruction got more dangerous the longer it had been defused. By Sunday, of course, the ear-splitting non-explosion was possibly the work of the Pakistani Taliban, an organization previously known as an adjective and a noun; earlier, NYC Police Commissioner Ray Kelly had told a not-quite-anxious-enough city that the arrangement could have caused "a significant fireball". Sheesh, Officer, it was a Nissan SUV beater. Could'a caused a significant fireball with a loose fuel line and a discarded cigarette. Could'a caused double-digit fatalities just being a vehicle.

I live in Indianapolis, 700 miles and half a world away, and just within the past week a) the Targeted Polyhedron Weather Siren program was shelved, due to a software glitch; we're returning for the nonce to the old "set 'em off whenever the barometer falls" program, which was scheduled to be replaced because everybody ignores constant warnings that don't pan out; and b) it was announced that the 9/11-based hydraulic vehicle barrier around the Statehouse hasn't been working for over a year, because it got rained on. You'll forgive a certain jaundiced view of the whole Emergency Response Game if you detect one coming from this direction. Funny thing about Expertise: you always have much more of it before it's tested.

As far as I'm concern the "News" can fluff the Terra angle every time the cops find a car with a gas can and a bag of potting soil in the back; it makes it less likely the public will listen to professional pants-pissing of the politically-motivated variety. What I don't quite get, or maybe I do, is how this little Factlet of Life gets missed. Especially as this comes from the same "News" readers who've reported the difficulty the weather service has trying to balance awareness and Klaxon Fatigue. Or who might be in the best position to recall that Liberal Touchy-Feely Trying To Understand The Terrorists After 9/11 was Objectively Pro-Fifth Columnist.

Why do we still give Terrists (and Army Germ Bomb doctors, and other White Male psychopaths) the publicity they crave? It's curious that this time, just like the Underpants Bomber Disaster and the Smartass Middle-Eastern Diplomat Rogue Bathroom Smoker Disaster, the initial reports were almost businesslike. And the initial reticence lasts about sixty minutes, after which the hunt for some connection to Islam is in full bray, and never mind that anyone who paid attention already knows the threat was a) amateurish, or b) non-existent. The only thing that's served by reporting on how significant ("very") the fireball could have been, had there been a fireball, is the presumption of improved ratings for newscasts and public servants. It's as though every Terra Event now has a criminal trial phase, where the Lousy Islamic Perps get off once again on technicalities like not being involved, or the whole thing having been blown out of all proportion, followed by the civil suit, where the rules of evidence are relaxed and we can bask in convicting 'em anyway. And give the nation's hard-pressed Counterterrorism Experts a little shot in the arm into the bargain, by allowing them to ask "C'mon, Why Don't We Have More Car Bombings?" ("Terror in the Trunk". Nice touch.)


StringonaStick said...

Peeing your pants in fear everytime the wingers say "scary Mooslem comin' ta getcha!"; it's your patriotic duty!

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

how the hell did he find a parking place near Times Square?

Bill In OH said...

"Funny thing about Expertise: you always have much more of it before it's tested."

A thing of rare beauty. Riley, if you don't mind. I'd really like to make this my sig. It'll be fully credited, I promise.

Christopher said...

"Others, who said they had gotten used to the fact that no terrorist strike had succeeded in the city since the Sept. 11 attacks, were now suddenly faced with a reminder of how suddenly and randomly it could happen."

Their faith in the status quo has been shaken to the core by the status quo's ability to continue unabated.

Makes sense to me.

I also love the "why haven't there been more carbombs" aspect from an article that acknowledges that there have been more then enough scary car bombings in this country.

culuriel said...

Dear Zombie Rotten,
He may not be much of a terrorist, but wow can he find a parking space. And for an SUV, no less! The city should be checking valet and parking garage attendants.

Grace Nearing said...

Don't think the SUV was parked legally. That's why having the hazard lights flashing was a nice touch: it implied just a quick stop-and-dash delivery.

I'm most impressed/horrified by the mound of garbage bags in front of the SUV. Yeah, I know, it's NYC. But garbage mounds on a Saturday night in the theatre district? What must the tourists think?

BTW, has anyone seen a picture of Miggs, the police horse, yet? He's about the only NYC employee I haven't seen interviewed on the local news.