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Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Of power and paranoia

God damn, but am I lucky. Even though I live in a Maryland neighborhood that has experienced many power outages in the past, the AC and the lights have chugged along throughout this week. Meanwhile, many thousands of people in this state -- some within walking distance -- remain without power.

Conditions are miserable. The worst times are the evenings: That's when the atmosphere turns to soup. The only people who can "breathe" air like this are Aquaman and Prince Namor.

They say that electrical repairmen from as far away as Canada have come to this state, working tirelessly to restore power. Many of them are pulling 16 hour days, in the worst summer weather anyone can recall.

Those repair guys are heroes. Heroes in hell. A wet, hot hell.

Odd, isn't it...? Americans are trained to hate the Evil Gummint. Yet all the jobs that produce heroes -- firemen, soldiers, teachers, rescue workers, infrastructure repairmen, cops -- are government gigs. Yes, people who toil in retail and fast food often work very hard, and I will be the first to admit that there is true heroism in the quotidian struggle of the average underpaid employee. Yet one must also admit that -- fairly or unfairly -- nobody has ever described a McDonalds' cashier as a hero, at least not while functioning as a cashier. Governments have a near-monopoly on the heroic. Although some have used that adjective to describe investigative journalists, it's hard to think of any other examples from the corporate world.

Our paranoids have failed us. One sector of our society has not risen to the challenge of this crisis: America's conspiracy theorists.

I've been exploring the right side of the blogosphere and have yet to encounter a single reactionary paranoid who argues that Obama engineered the power outages in order to convince the populace that global warming is real. To me, that theory is a natural, a gimme. Yet no-one has endorsed it -- at least, not to my knowledge.

We gave our fearmongers one simple job to do, and they are not doing it. Inexcusable!

Perhaps my readers can help me out here. To restore my faith in the essential wackiness of modern American discourse, I need just one or two examples of power-outage-based conspiracy theorizing. Can anyone out there link to someone who thinks that it's all a plot..?
Ask and ye shall receive:

Not precisely the type of CT you were seeking but plenty of material for the makings of more than one.

I kept waiting for something to emerge about the fact that MD was hit by another derecho in 1980 on the same day, June 29.

Meanwhile, yes, evenings are the worst...oppressive and still, no breath of air. And I can't stop thinking about how dependent we are on electricity for the light we need, the food we store and prepare, and our health. Creature comforts or necessities?
Slightly off topic but has to do with power generation and distribution. I can't find any reference to it but as I remember, the citizens decided that being in the power business wasn't a proper role for their state government. They put a referendum on the ballot, it passed and the state sold off its generation and transmission facilities to a private company. It was Pennsylvania Power and Light, I think. The result was their electricity bill tripled. I sure hope it was a Red State.
Americans are trained to hate the Evil Gummint. Yet all the jobs that produce heroes -- firemen, soldiers, teachers, rescue workers, infrastructure repairmen, cops -- are government gigs.

In general, yes - but your utility company, BG&E, is a subsidiary of Excelon (formerly headed by one Tom Ayers, father of Bill and benefactor of the current POTUS).
I feel your pain, Joe. The heat has been insufferable. Down here where I am--a Yankee in the Bible Belt--it was between 103-106 degrees for three days then it cooled down to 98. Whoopee!

Climate change? Dare I say, Global Warming.

Ya think?

As for conspiracies? It's still early. They'll come creeping and crawling out of the woodwork. Meanwhile the southwest is burning. Going to be a heck of a summer!

Stay cool.

Bravo for the heroes in the trades at times like this. Nice post and lol on the conspiracy opportunity!

--NW Luna
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