Sunday, 10 September 2017

The Stoic Guys in a Storm

I see a fair number of comments made by young individuals in Florida....over the impending hurricane.  For those under 25....it's like hurricanes have never occurred in their life (I admit....it's been over a dozen years since the last one).  For those over sixty years old....they don't over-react....they've got a chest full of medals having dealt with at least twenty hurricanes in their life, and there's some list up on the kitchen-wall with forty items listed.

If you grew up on a farm as a kid, you tend to know the stoic route and the reactions required.

At the first suggestion of storm activity....the farm reaction is....did such-and-such weather-guy from the local channel say this, or was it that idiot from the national channel?

Then the farm guy will ask....show me the Doppler-radar....as if they have a vast knowledge level of Doppler and can explain this in great detail.  Doppler radars often rank up there with International Harvester tractors, and McCulloch chainsaws.

Then the farm guy will ask if this is wind-related, rain-related, hail-related, hurricane-related, or tornado-related.  He'll let you know that he has a particular action list for each one (maybe forty task lines) and each is treated different.

Then the farm guy will go out and note the fuel-level in the truck.  The dog will take note of this and realize that we've moved from regular daily business....to near-chaos business.  A half-full truck will require a trip to the general store where you converse with eight guys on the latest gossip, their weather interpretation, the upcoming funeral for Brother-Jim, and you will pick up a case or two of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Then the farm guy will find the appropriate jacket for the event.  Most of them have not been washed in twelve years.

Then the farm guy will start to follow events via the weather-radio network and occasionally pull up the Doppler picture off his cellphone.  The dog will follow along because he senses that utter catastrophic events are likely to follow.

Then the farm guy will check his fencing to ensure no problem really exists prior to the storm.  It's wasted time because the cows have already checked all weak fencing points and know the best place to escape the farm.

Then the farm guy will note some Baptist minister stopping by and attempting to pray for him and his farm.  It usually takes sixty seconds to let the minister know that some Catholic Priest already did the prayer and spilled a bit of water on the drive-way.  Things are fine, and he can move on.

Then the farm guy will note the last hour prior to the storm....mostly pulling the lawn furniture in and roping up any loose items.

Then as the storm lays in and power goes....the farm guy will pull out the $2k generator he bought and find that it won't readily start up and he wastes an hour of the storm cranking it up.

As chaos and turbulent winds occur....the farm guy sips through a cup of coffee and lays out the better choice dog biscuits for dog.  A surreal calm comes over the dog....like the calm that comes after leaving the veterinarian office without any shots.  

Then the farm guy goes into repair mode....cleans up on limbs in the yard....cracks up a beer or two, and assesses his situation as ''acceptable".  Actually....it doesn't matter what happens....the end result is always "acceptable".

He'll drive around now and visit other farm guys who generally say the same thing.  Some will offer up a beer.  Some will remark about such-and-such storm from 1982 or 2008.

Then he'll do another fence review....to find a dozen cows standing there some point where a tree is leaning against the fence.  The cows...sensing a chance to escape...pause and wait.  In five minutes, the tree is cleared....the fence tightened up a bit, and the cows have a frustration moment.

By this point, the farm guy will return.  He'll settle back to watch such-and-such weather guy, who will have a full slide of comparison against the spring 1972 storm, versus the April 1958 storm, versus the November storm of 2009.  The farm guy will write down some notes, in order to have some commentary at the general store for tomorrow.

Storms come and go.  If you asked the guy about the last forty storms, he'll rate each and note how things came back to some normal stage.  As much as some journalist or 'snowflake' would get hyped up....the stoic nature kicks in and restores the sense of balance in the real world.

Something to View

I sat and watched the Kid Rock political speech....it's a five-minute piece.  I would strongly recommend watching it.

From my prospective....he delivers probably one of the best short political speeches of the past twenty years.

Yes, there's plenty of cursing and bluntness that would get some people disturbed.  But he didn't exactly invite you to a quiet Sunday church meeting or desire to give you happy good-feeling thoughts.

Odds of winning a Michigan Senate election?  At this point, I'd say it's a 98-percent chance of him winning....possibly even taking four of every ten Democratic voters along the way.  Some folks will likely try to sway the election and talk about drug issues, but Kid Rock might suggest that there are dozens of boozers in the House and Senate already....so what's the big issue?  Some journalists might try to suggest that he's not qualified for the job....but he'll remind the journalists that probably half the Senators in DC are either unqualified or dim-witted....even after twenty years on the job.

The Senate?  They have to be standing there and wondering just where this Kid Rock introduction is going to end up.  He'll insult virtually every single one of them and likely be dumped upon by half of the GOP.  Fine....those are likely the folks on a short ladder and finding themselves out on the next election.

Yes, there's some trend underway, and if you see Kid Rock elected....there's a unwritten script existing at that point.  That's something we haven't seen in a hundred years.  I suspect Jefferson would be grinning from ear to ear if he were viewing this renovation of American politics.

The No-Conflict Journalism

My brother recently brought up the term 'Cuban journalism' when referring to the news media of the US.  In a sense, Castro-run journalism was a one-directional operation and everyone focuses on one single message.

But there is a bit of history tied to Cuba and journalism.

Prior to the 1960s, Cuba had two venues of journalism....print-media and radio.

It's safe to say from the 1920s on....Cuba ran from one puppet-government to another, or a regime period with a dictator.   In 1933, Batista emerged as the 'savior' of the common people...inventing a five-man council to run Cuba for roughly seven years.  From the prospective of the news media....you could say or write anything....as long as it didn't conflict with the government.

At some point around 1940, everyone felt that an election ought to occur, which mean Batista would be officially elected to his position.  From the prospective of the news media....you could say or write anything....as long as it didn't conflict with the government.

For four years, Batista held the presidency, and then retired....oddly enough to Florida.  You would have thought that was end of Batista.  But no.

Around 1952, the US has decided that Cuba has some problem....too many leftists....too many strikes.

So in 1952, Batista comes back to Cuba and runs a coup.  From the prospective of the news media....you could say or write anything....as long as it didn't conflict with the government.

By 1 January 1959....things in Cuba had reached a stage where Batista-style government had failed, and Batista left the country.  Castro-management was the new process.  From the prospective of the news media....you could say or write anything....as long as it didn't conflict with the government.

Since the 1959, things have kinda run along a scripted slant, with few changes.

For over a hundred years, the news media in Cuba has operated with this odd prospective.....you can say or write anything.....as long as it doesn't conflict with the government.

So you as a journalist.....write about some failed relationship, a problem with your stove, or the best place where you can have a beer.  After a while, you get used to the limits of discussion and it's a normal thing to avoid criticism of the government.

Oddly....in America, we have the opposite problem.  We sit and listen to hyped up political commentary and various agendas....on a daily basis....and get about 4000-percent of news which will conflict with the current government, or past governments (Obama, Bush, Carter, Clinton, etc).  In fact, some of us might even wish that we had the Cuba form of journalism....for at least three days out of the week.