As we all prepare for Hurricane Irene to make her way up the coast, and wait to see what she may have in store for us in New York City, before Pat Robertson starts spewing hate-rhetoric about how any damage we incur is our fault as sinners living in a modern day Sodom*, let us meditate for a moment on the strangeness of our present circumstance.
If Irene were to hit NYC directly and cause the kind of flooding we are currently preparing for, this would be perhaps the first time since 1821** this city has taken a direct hit from that kind of storm. In that storm the Hudson and East rivers converged over lower Manhattan, flooding the City all the way up to Canal St. Can you even imagine?
Meanwhile, what makes this brush with one of the most awesome examples of the literal force of nature so strange is precisely that it is natural. We have become so good at controlling our environment and bending it to our purpose, it can be tempting to forget how small we actually are in the face of much larger forces. Perhaps this an opportunity to re-gain some of that perspective. Perhaps this is just a tremendous pain in our collective ass.
Either way, I hope everyone makes it through this inconvenient show of nature’s awesome power safe and undamaged, and I hope to see you all at work on Monday^.
Good Luck Everyone!
* Which would be ridiculous, right? The portions of this city Mr. Robertson is familiar with have more to do with the It’s a Small World ride at Disneyland than the biblical hamlet of Sodom.
Oh, and by the way, fuck Pat Robertson’s crooked ass. Although apparently he can deflect hurricanes through prayer. I have to admit, that is one super power that would come in handy right about now.
**This tends to lead to the ‘100 year storm’ comparison which I find ill-suited to our current situation. As our climate continues to change here on Earth, we are going to have to become accustomed to some new types of weather in certain areas. Here in New York, tornadoes, like the one we experienced last summer, and hurricanes like the one we may very well experience in the next 24 hours, are likely not to be fluke occurrences. Instead this is very possibly going to become an increasingly common experience.
^ Although, if this storm does reduce the city to a post-apocalyptic hell scape in which human flesh meat is the only form of currency, I sincerely hope we can all find a way to be reasonable with each other despite the lack of law or modern convenience. I personally picture the city after the storm being much like the movie Waterworld, starring and produced by Kevin Costner.
Some Post Apocalyptic Entertainment: