Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Here in LA we don’t worry about hurricanes. All we have to contend with are those pesky major earthquakes, brush fires, mudslides, and tour buses. Since there is no drainage in Los Angeles to speak of, whenever we get five drops of rain the local stations shift into STORM WATCH mode. Programming is interrupted by updates on how many sandbags have now been filled to bolster Barbra Streisand’s fucking house.
I have experienced a few of our tremblers including the big one in ’94. I really feel for those people who fled LA for the east coast as a result. Face it. There's nowhere really safe. Even in Oz a house could fall on you.
The thing about earthquakes as opposed to hurricanes is that there’s no way to prepare for them. Thank God so many people were able to evacuate ahead of Sandy. Or at least buy flashlights.
Has Fox News officially blamed the hurricane on Obama yet?
The president spoke yesterday reassuring citizens that the government will do everything it can to help people get through this and get them back on their feet when it's over, and some idiot reporter asked him how this affected the election. I thought the president showed great restraint not saying, "Are you fucking kidding me?"
I spent most of yesterday watching WCBS 2's coverage on line and they did a terrific job.
On the other hand, KCBS 2 in Los Angeles at 11 pm showed five minutes of highlights, then how cancelled flights were inconveniencing travelers at LAX (haven't we seen that story a billion times already?), and finally a five minute story on how some local seafood market was having trouble getting fresh clams from the east coast. Billions of dollars in damage and this skeesix might have to buy his mussels elsewhere. Oh, the humanity.
And the media is only part of the coverage these days. Thanks to Facebook I’ve seen harrowing photos of the storm and its devastation sprinkled in with all the photos of peoples’ dogs and tennis shoes spam.
But that’s the point of my post today – if you are going through this storm, document it. And not just with photos, write down your observations. A hurricane is certainly serious business, but if you have a sense of humor, now is when it can really come in handy. There’s always absurdity to be found.
Back to the 1994 quake. There was a business affairs exec at Paramount who was battling insomnia. His doctor prescribed a pretty strong sleeping pill. As a result he slept through the entire earthquake. He woke up in the morning and saw all his dresser drawers were askew and clothes were strewn everywhere. So he called the police and reported a burglary.
Or a writer colleague who at the time had a development deal with Disney to create new shows. His house was near the epicenter and his grand piano slid right through a large plate glass window and crashed in a heap onto his front lawn. Ten minutes later a Disney exec called and wanted to hear his latest pilot ideas.
I’m sure there are stories – or will be stories like that in this case, and they will help get you through. People do heroic, selfless, extraordinary things during times of crisis. And they also do goofy things. Jot them down. Send them if you’d like. I’m not Facebook but I am capable of sharing and liking.
And whatever your emotions, whatever you are going through, however you are managing to cope with this disaster, I think you’ll feel a lot better having expressed them. It sure helped me through that cyclone. Well, that and twelve Dramamines and three bourbons.
Again, my very best to all of you undergoing this ordeal. May you, your friends, loved ones, and homes come through this safe and sound. May the clean-up and recovery go better than expected. And if you happen to option your story for a million-five, hey, that’s okay too.
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM