Archive for the ‘Storm’ Category

Service of If I Was In Their Shoes

Monday, October 3rd, 2022


Image by David Mark from Pixabay

After all the fires, floods and hurricanes in the news it’s hard not to think “what would I do?” if faced with an evacuation order.

I still can’t wipe from my memory the victim of hurricane Sandy–its 10th anniversary upcoming–who ignored such an order because he had lived in his 9 foot high bungalow adjoining a Staten Island, N.Y. beach since he was little and no storm had harmed him. He drowned because the unprecedented surge filled the bungalow with water to the ceiling.

When asked to evacuate some people don’t have the energy or physical ability or place to go or the money to move or they have pets that won’t be allowed in an evacuation center. In Florida 2,300 have been rescued so far with more to save.

And what about the others who won’t budge and have no excuse? They are the ones first responders rescue at risk of their own lives. Tragically some become victims of nature’s ferocity.

It’s easy for me to guess from the protection of the four walls of my apartment what I’d do but I think I’d clear out when ordered from a house so I could take a few precious belongings with me. Those wading through waist-deep water to escape homes flooded by Ian’s wrath are all empty handed.

Remember the scene in “Mr. and Mrs. Bridge” where the couple continues to eat dinner alone, upstairs, at their Kansas City country club during a tornado? I’d be in the basement with the rest of the members who were there that night along with waitstaff.

Would you evacuate when asked or stick out/hunker down in a fire, flood, tornado or hurricane? When Sandy hit people in the building in which I now live–and all those south of 40th Street–they were without electricity for more than a week. It’s something for me to think about.


Image by Didier from Pixabay

Service of a Name II

Monday, July 6th, 2020

I’ve written a few times about names on this blog but not about names chosen to identify a storm and more recently, to describe a style of person. I wrote the first “Service of  Name” in 2012 about Rupert Murdoch’s proposing a name change for The Wall Street Journal. He didn’t.

We’ve been naming storms for people since the 1950s. Hurricane Jeanne caused floods and mudslides killing more than 3,000 in Haiti in September, 2004. Memorable storms such as Katrina, Sandy, Rita, Wilma and Ivan in the 2000’s alone wreaked havoc.

I have never been called out or teased because I share a name with a deadly natural event and I doubt if the Katrinas, Wilmas, Ivans or Sandys have either.

Yet Karen is a different story.

Of late I keep hearing and reading “Karen” used in derogatory ways. According to Wikipedia “Karen is a pejorative term used in the US and other English-speaking countries for a woman perceived to be entitled or demanding beyond the scope of what is considered appropriate or necessary. A common stereotype is that of a racist white woman who uses her privilege to demand her own way at the expense of others. Depictions also include demanding to ‘speak to the manager’, being an anti-vaxxer, or having a particular bob cut hairstyle. As of 2020, the term was increasingly being used as a general-purpose term of disapproval for middle-aged white women.” [An anti-vaxxer refers to people who won’t take or give vaccines to their children.]

Wikipedia continued: “The term may have originated as a meme on Black Twitter used to describe white women who tattle on Black kids’ lemonade stands”. It has also been described as originating with black women but having been co-opted by white men.”

The coverage attributes the origins to characters from movies Goodfellas and Mean Girls, a sketch by Dane Cook–“The Friend Nobody Likes”–and “a 2016 Internet meme regarding a woman in an advert for the Nintendo Switch console who exhibits antisocial behavior and is given the nickname ‘antisocial Karen.'”

I dislike people who act in insufferable ways. I question trashing a name because a person with that name or powerful destructive storm acted inappropriately or killed, respectively.

Do you think storms should be named after inanimate objects or birds or animals rather than people? If your name matched that of a deadly storm did you hear about it? What about taking a name from a demanding, irritating, nasty person and turning it into a generic one: Is it appropriate? Will the Karen storm blow over after we identify other malicious behavior perpetrated by Frieda or Gerry or Philomena or Frank?

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