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Highways in the Nooz

By Patty with following commentary from friends
This began as something Patty put out on her informal Internet list. She may have been under the influence of May lilacs, which have an strange (and apparently slightly hallucinogenic) effect on her brain. I'm pretty sure neither she nor her two commentators expected it to end up here in the archive. But that's just what happens when you get to yakking on the 'net. Never know where your stuff's gonna end up. Oh well, we need some lighthearted news to offset the plague of Bad Stuff we've been hearing lately.

Every morning, for some reason or another, our local station of National Propaganda Radio (or Public Radio International, as they also proclaim themselves to be, as if people in Boliva, Iraq, Ickistanistanistan, Outer Mongolia, Alabama, and even the Republic of Texas send them checks every time they do a fund drive) deems fit to tell me that "the highways are working well this morning." I find that to be a strange statement--as in what else would a highway be doing? Exploding? Running away? Melting? Heading off to parts unknown? Floating 18 feet in the air? I think that what the reporter means is that traffic seems to be fine on the highways--no big accidents, no 87 million car pile ups, but how can I be sure when what he means? Why this imprecision, this annoying use of words that constantly plague me, because every morning when I hear them, I have to wonder what the highways would be up to, if they weren't "working well."

This is, I admit, a rather banal example of one very bad habit of the mainstream media, print, TV, and radio. Whatever happened to sharp, consise, exceptional journalism? Back in the days before journalism became a "profession" news people could write--with power, with clarity, with a sense of the vivid and a strong use of verbs. Before "journalists" started going to college, news folks could even spell. Nowadays even the New York Times is sloppily edited, badly proofed, and typos slip in quite often. Not to mention that they're lying sacks of shit. Journal of record indeed. And the imprecise, vague words currently in vogue only serves what seems to be a main objective of the elitist mainstream media: the dumbing down of the America population in general. Thus, all the doublespeak, the inept word usage, all the bad writing, bad reporting, all the opinionated horsemalarky hidden in the "nooz."

I kid you not, however. Every morning I hear that the "highways are doing fine." I'm usually quite relieved to hear this, since I would be most consternated should they not be behaving well at any particular time.

Actually, the above statement is not at all true. I'd love to hear that highways decided to tear off into the parallel universe or something, as various socks of mine do. Now THAT would be nooz.

And then...

Mike Kemp wrote:

Washington--- The cause for an incredible, widespread, multi-state gridlock was finally discovered this morning when a traffic helicopter investigating the monumental conglomeration of automobiles found that the beltway was missing. Airborne reporter Perky Boops commented "It was just gone. It wasn't there anymore. There wasn't even any gravel left. No overpasses, no signs, NOTHING. The highways leading to the beltway were there, but when they got there, they just ended."

A special committee of congress has convened to determine the facts of the case, President Slick Willy has issued a plethora of executive orders declaring that traffic will continue unabated, and a Commission headed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has declared that a lone gunman shot the highway twenty five times with a single-shot .22 and spirited the highway's carcass away to an unknown location.

A conductor on a passing Amtrak train witnessed the event, and survived at trackside for several hours, but died in the helicopter which was evacuating him to Bethesda Naval Hospital, bleeding to death from a three inch surgical incision which severed his femoral artery. Reports that the engineer of the train had a .45 inch hole in his head were ridiculed by authorities.

And Jerry Simmons responded:

Where are you getting your news from ????? I heard it was space aliens. 1600 witnesses from all around the belt way saw several disk shaped objects with a diamiter of two football fields circling around and around the belt way. A beam of light pulsating from blue to green to yellow was emitting from under niethe each of the disk focusing on the beltway. Then all of a sudden it just vanished and the disk zipped off, straight up at an astonishing rate of speed and were out of sight in about two seconds.

One of the witnesses reported that an eighteen wheeler that had been on the beltway and vanished with it, suddenly reappeared about ten feet above the ground and crashed. It was instantly surrounded by a bunch of black vehicles of various shape and size. After about two hours the vehicles drove off and there was not a trace of the trucks wreakage anywhere.

I didn't catch all of this news on the radio as my son was exercising his right to freedom of movement about the vehicle so I quickly headed home and turned on CNN. Strange how I haven't heard another word about it until now.

Patricia Neill and those other guys, 1998

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21 May, 1998