Al Jazeera news has suddenly appeared on my Direct TV menu. I certainly didn't subscribe to it. Direct TV does that ever so often. Channels you are accustomed to watch like FX suddenly disappear, and in their place you get The Underwater Filipino Basket Weaving Channel. Then a few weeks later FX comes back and the UFBWC disappears. I hope it's that way with Al Jazeera.
It's a very popular channel with the burgeoning "persons of color" population in America. I can see why. One of the "news" segments I watched was a white feminist ranting about the suppression of black feminists in this totalitarian society. Another was how the U.S. is responsible for the killing of civilians in Syria because we aren't "doing anything." The 1982 intervention in Lebanon is a prime example of how "doing something" in these Arab states ends up. You go in with some people throwing flowers and others throwing grenades. Before long, the flowers are gone and everybody hates you. I was not impressed with their sad tale on the news segment, even though it was replete with lots of little kids bodies, scenes being milked for every drop of pathos. Evil Americans, how could you let this happen? As far as I am concerned, the Arabs can slaughter each other wholesale and bad cess to them all.
Then they moved on to a segment on Hispanics telling how they feel discriminated against all the time here. One of the prim young ladies, dressed to the nines in expensive clothing, told how she had gone to "The South" and someone had actually asked her why there were so many "Mexicans" there! Shocking! Despicable! Appropriate sighs and nodding of the heads from her companions, all of whom seem to have stepped out of the Belks catalog. If that's discrimination then I'll have a slice, please.
Turned if off after awhile. The novelty paled on me and I hope it joins the Underwater Filipino Basket Weaving Channel in the dust bin of history. Probably won't, though , since it gives an ever wider segment of our population validation.
Not long ago I took a tour of a medical facility. One of those where they drag around a captive audience to explain why their facility is definitely the one you need to patronize, and the only one truly qualified to cure your ills. One of my fellow conscripts was a guy about my age, from somewhere up North. He talked non-stop, as fast as he possibly could. I wondered if he was on some kind of drug at first, but I think it was just his personality.
He told me all about working in the Katrina aftermath operations FEMA was involved in. Mainly he was interested in telling me how nice it was that he had a trailer with air to live in while most of the people they were supposed to be helping were in tents. I asked him if he got a merit badge for Katrina, but he missed the intended irony and just rocked on about how much money he made, and how great the overtime was, and how they milked it for all it was worth.
He didn't like the people of New Orleans. The guy had apparently worked in a lot of different FEMA operations and he said he had never seen such a bunch for just sitting around on their asses waiting for someone to take care of them. He said it was like they were just a bunch of Zombies, no initiative, no capability for thought. Maybe that's how they were all the time, or maybe they were just beat down to that point by the disaster. I have no idea.
Strangely, this is the second FEMA person I have come into contact with in the last couple of months, and they both said the same thing about the job. You can make a lot of money, the pay is good and the overtime is excellent. Nobody said anything about the wonderful feeling of helping others that I have seen FEMA try to project, but at least they were honest. Probably you get tired of "victims" really quickly when you see too many of them.
Whatever the case, if we have a disaster here I am not relying on FEMA to ride to the rescue. They can go make their overtime helping somebody else.