Thursday, April 30, 2009

Move Over Baseball - Fear is the New Pastime

I’m working on my THINK GREEN THURSDAY post but this is too priceless not to share.

David Letterman had this wonderful bit of the Lieutenant Governor of Iowa during her swine flu press conference.

For some reason embedding just doesn’t like me so go HERE to see the clip.

I saw my first mask wearing geniuses today. A gaggle of clucking loons exiting their Hummer (which is far more likely to kill them - and the planet) in the strip mall parking lot.

Little boy passing says to his Mom – “Are those ladies going to paint something?”

My candidate for Mom of the Year replies – “No, they’re just idiots.”

You may notice that I’m posting at 2 AM. I just finished duct taping all the windows and burying all the bacon and boiling my hands so I’m a little wound up.

Good Lord America! Calm the “F” down!!

I used to think context was America’s lost art. But then I read THIS at Bailey’s Buddy.

Perspective America, perspective. Gain some.

You want to live longer? Turn off the freaking news and go outside and stand in the sun.

I’ll be back later today with my THINK GREEN THURSDAY post. Check out the site. Get in on the ground floor.

Unless of course someone within 3 miles of me coughs – Or – a plane flies near a building – Or – a meteor passes millions of miles above – Or – a gay couple marries and Jesus’ tears drown me – Or – my Muslim neighbors of 6 years suddenly Jihad my ass – Or – the recording breaking April temperatures cause me to combust – Or …


A. said...

Remember those people who wrapped their *entire* homes in plastic sheeting and duct tape and then suffocated themselves?

the walking man said...

My father, whom I didn't get along with very well, had a saying that America should hear everyday when we arise..."RETHEFUCKLAX!"

Fran said...

It is ridiculous. Fear based idiocy.

BTW, I was just reading this earlier but I had read it before... The etymology of the word idiot in its original Greek and in the context of the City-State was one who had no sense of the whole. Someone who acted only out of self-need and not in sync with the community.

One might say that masks and hand-washing are for the good of the many, but I dislike that fear of "save me, screw others" is often at the heart of it.

This is based on my hearing one too many comments about Mexicans that are now justified by the fact that they are now "flu bearing illegals."

This pisses me off.

bobbie said...

Loved your comment to the Bailey's Buddy bit. (Also loved the Bailey's Buddy bit)

Also love your solution to a longer life. May I quote you?

Sometimes I think people just like to scare themselves. It's like going to a horror movie, only on a broader scale.

One more bit of proof to me that there is almost no such thing as a TV "news" person any more. Just promoters of some kind of weird entertainment.

ETK said...

OMG, this is the best response ever:“No, they’re just idiots.”

Glad Mia is doing well!

Schmoop said...

I responding to your post from inside a sterile, self-encapsulated and contained biosphere. Cheers Di!!

Dianne said...

allison - I do recall that story and others like it - during the immediate days after 9/11 some "friends" nearly killed themselves and others doing a run on a store that was gleefully selling haz mat suits and gas masks.

walking man - I want to embroider that on pillows!!

fran - I stayed away from talking about Mexicans in this post because it would have become ballistic. I have a group of Mexican friends from a place I used to work and another from a local business and the crap they're getting is horrid. Most of them are citizens, none of them have been to Mexico in years - unlike overly entitled American teens from private schools - and it's just one more thing they need to deal with.

bobbie - you may quote me any time ;) and I even kept the language PG this time!! lol
Jay at Bailey's Buddy is a great guy who always posts something smart and calming

ETK - !!!!! Hi sweetness!! Mia sends kisses
I loved that Mom, she then rolled her eyes at the bitches and she and her son skipped off.
I was just e-mailing TT talking about how much I miss youse guys

matt-man - I always had a thing for the Bubble Boy. If I promise to scrub real good can I enter your biosphere and we'll have clean sex!!?

Ivanhoe said...

Don't forget to wear your mask, Di :o) I think it's the media who blow up stuff out of proportions.

Hubby is in TX all week so I hope he won't bring a piggy or two with him ;o)

Deborah Godin said...

You are the absolute best!! I loved this post! The only drawback is that clicking on the link got me a mealy-mouthed message: "This video is not available in your country" That always ticks me off. It's Canada for expletive's sake! We're ankle-cuffed together like two chain-gang escapees!

Daryl said...

Gawd, the guy from the CDC said the masks wont do any good .. to cough into your sleeve or arm NOT your hands .. why? Because then you touch something and spread germs this applies even to regular coughing issues .. does anyone really think their coughs/spittle are clean/germ free? And if you do carry wipes or Purell use it if you insist in coughing into your hands, please

This whole country is a bunch of nervous nellies pushed the limit by those asshats on Fox "News"

Dianne said...

ivanhoe - I have always worn a mask - made of make-up!! hehehehe

deborah - check out the late show's web site at, they usually put the clips up there too
and thanks!! I love when I entertain :)

daryl - the damn masks are for sawdust! not germs. these people are so clueless and as Fran said, they just want to react for themselves.
last night after posting I was roaming around the TV and came across a news report that said "1000 reported swine flu cases" - turns out they were reported but most of them were not confirmed
the "news person" then said "we can only assume the number of cases will EXPLODE in the coming days"
she looked downright hopeful

Raven said...

I've been keeping CNN on way too much of the time and it's just so absurd. I was going to write about this but you have done it to perfection. They were swine flu-ing away when I foolishly put the TV on this morning (when did I start putting TV on in the morning? Mostly because I like listening to Obama speak coherently and not down-talk the American population. Unfortunately that means listening to all the crap in between. But back to what I was starting to say.

They have this way of saying "we don't want to frighten anyone..." which reminds me of my brother who used to begin his calls with, "I don't want you to worry, but..." Whenever anyone says that, you can believe that the opposite is true.

And of course there are right wing (and other) morons who want to close the border and Rush Limbaugh who says Obama caused the flu. What a world.

Brilliant post as always. Sorry to have gone on at such length.

Dianne said...

raven - please go on all you want, you always add something to the mix
the use of the flu as one more anti-Mexico ploy is disgusting. I just came from getting into a stupid comment arguement with someone who thought it was funny to say (and I paraphrase) that "a black man would become President when pigs fly and now we have swine flu to mark his 100 days"
and of course when I called him out he pulled the usual crap about how he's always called a racist when he talks about Obama.
really? wonder why? I have as good a sense of sarcasm as any BUT this piece of trash has a record of racist talk since the campaign. today I had enough of him.

Jay said...

I couldn't find a surgical mask to wear so I'm just going with the full bio-hazard suit. ;-)

Dianne said...

jay - please send a photo! I bet you look like a really sexy super hero dude!

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

And the closings continue. But what i am amazed at is that only schools have closed. You telling me that no one in an office has the symptoms and they are not disinfecting the building?

I am not sure I want to go to the music festival this weekend and be smothered in crowds...does that make me an idiot too?

Dianne said...

bond - they did close a few offices in Manhattan. In one it turned out to not be swine flu. The thing that is getting lost in all this is that it's treatable. It's not the plague.

I'd never refer to you as an idiot Vin, you know that. I can't see you walking around a mall wearing a useless mask and mumbling about Mexicans.

I hate to be smothered in crowds period. According to the CDC the virus is transmittable when someone sneezes and coughs right on you or, of course touches things that you then touch - which is a danger every single day. Ever use a public rest room? Hell! Ever use your own restroom!?

I would imagine that you'll do what makes sense for you and Nancy. Out of coherent thought, not crazy town fears.

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

Dianne, I'm sad that this swine flu had to happen now, because honestly, I would have WELCOMED the opportunity for our country to allow more people from Mexico to immigrate LEGALLY. I think this will set things back considerably.

Thank you for pointing out that HELLO, many people of Mexican descent are citizens. I think it's fair, however, to be concerned about health and economic issues (not to mention national security) when you have such a porous border. And *most* (not all!) are not the high wage earners, so when they show up at the ER, someone else has to pay for it.

These are practical considerations to make. Not heartless... but practical. I think Obama actually has (when this dies down) a GREAT CHANCE to forge real ties with Cuba and Mexico that frankly Republicans were too closed-minded to do.

Not all Mexicans are criminals. Neither are they all "hard-working people." Sigh. Both stereotypes are honestly a bit backwards... you know? Kind of like Asian people are really good at math and black people dance well. Yet I'm always seeing this "hard-working Mexican" stereotype in the discussion, as if that stinkin' well proves that they should get dibs on citizenship and immigration rights before someone from Kenya or the United Kingdom.

Ok, hopefully you know what I mean.

PS. I'm not seeing evidence that a mask will prevent swine flu!

PPS I'm not seeing evidence that even if it did, that I could keep the masks in question on my infants!

PPPS Your Muslim neighbours are most likely moderates who have MORE TO FEAR from the fundamentalists than **I** do. You know there are some countries that make it illegal to preach the gospel, pass out Bibles or convert people. I mean, I'm not afraid you're going to start doing any of these things anytime soon (LOL!) but hey...

meno said...

I have been reduced to turning off the radio. Honestly people, way to foment panic.


cluck cluck

Hilary said...

The media is always our worst enemy - no matter the threat. I hope you bought that Mom a drink. She's fantastic. I couldn't see the video which is "not available in your country."

Reb said...

Funny, I didn't think the internet had a country - but, I can't seem to view the video either (btw love how Deborah phrased it).

On a different blog about the swine flu, my sister posed the question is mediademic a word? I think that is what we have here.

Lisa said...

Great post, Di, and what a funny clip from Letterman. Cough into your sleeve lady! Sheesh!

Loved the mom's comment to her son. LOL! Good for her!

In the doctor's office yesterday they made a girl wear a mask as she was sitting in the waiting room (she must have had a fever, poor thing). Daughter is ill but hasn't began oinking yet so I don't think she has swine flu.

The media is certainly loving this latest "scare." Gives them more viewers. And while they certainly contribute more than their fair share to the panic, news organizations also need people who seem to have no filters to play it all out. And the U.S. has no shortage of those. Sigh. . .

Lisa said...

P.S. By the way, even the Plague is treatable, as we can attest to, having had a cat who contracted it some years ago. :)

Dianne said...

mrs c - nope! no plans to ban the Bible any time soon - it's a beautiful work of literature ;)

meno - good for you! the problem is too many people don't have access to the internet - No wait, too many people are too stupid to use the internet properly so they will only get their news and therfore their beliefs from the news. that's at the heart of so many of this country's problems.

hilary - go to the Bailey's Buddy site I linked above - he managed to embed it!!
Hugs to Benny! if there is ever a "canine flu" I will hide him here - oh wait, you live in a country that doesn't lose its mind every 3 seconds - I'll come to you!

reb - your sister is a genius! I want to steal that from her :)

lisa - I hope your (not so) little one feels better soon. the use of the mask at the Drs office makes sense at least
"people with no filters" - ain't that the truth!!
BTW - I was thinking of you the other night - I hated what Craig did with making fun of Susan Boyle!! hated it. I even e-mailed him telling him he was a "fucking insensitive bastard" without "the balls to reign in your writers" because I "choose to believe you didn't come up with that crap" and then I went on to tell him that if he is going to do such a repulsive skit then he and Meadows should "be professional enough to actually rehearse and get it right, glad you cracked each other up - I think you were the only 2 laughing"
so there!! I told him!! LOLOLOLOLOL

Sparkling Red said...

Yeah, it's all pretty silly. This Swine flu is no worse than any regular flu that makes the rounds every winter.

Statistically you're far more likely to die from getting into a car accident than from any flu, but I don't see people throwing their car keys in the trash.

Sleepypete said...

Lots of crazy people out there getting really paranoid ...

Doesn't help when the "people in charge" come out with things like what the Register found :

Doh ! (typo has since been corrected)

PS I'm wondering what would happen if I slotted in the occasional "oink" with my powersneezes. Might be fun to see how quickly the room clears.

Lisa said...

Thanks, Di. So far, no improvement. The poor thing is miserable. Hopefully she'll be better by tomorrow. And I was going to have my days to myself, too, for a while. Oh, well. That's life.

I'm a few shows behind so I haven't seen that one yet--sounds like something I can fast forward through. Watch, that will be the email he reads on the air. LOL!

Anonymous said...

WELL DONE and Dianne pardon me but Fuck the media. They are so trying to make this something it is not.

On my way home from work my radio always has talk radio and of course the topic was swine flu. The guest was saying how we are in for a pandemic (SP). I was so annoyed and thought What the fuck (again pardon me) but I am so irritated by all of this.

You are wonderful :)

gabrielle said...

Great post, Diane!!!

The last time we tried to head off a swine flu “pandemic” was in 1976. The vaccine wound up killing more people than the disease did. It turned out that the vaccine caused an immune reaction resulting in Guillain-Barre syndrome, a nervous system disorder causing ascending paralysis. Yeah that includes breathing!!!

I understand you’re not on the best terms with Craig these days. But he did have a hilarious observation about the new panic, “and how they just love to scare the crap out of you.” He noted as you did that cars kill more people than the swine flu ever could. So does that mean we should put the car companies out of business? Whoops…

Fear mongering, a well tested technique. Effectively distracts from annoyances such as loss of job, foreclosure, no health insurance, endangered planet. Maybe they can slip another war in while we’re out shopping for biohazard suits. Do they come in plus sizes?!!!

And please. Don’t call it swine flu. With all due respect, it has a scientific moniker, H1N1 Which is so much more reassuring, don’t you think?

Anonymous said...

One of my aunts is wearing a mask and surgical gloves if she has to step outside her door.

Did I mention she's a hypochondriac?

Jeff B said...

Hello America. . . Here's your sign.

It's a sad state of affairs when the president has to start off a press conference with, "Wash your hands, cover your coughs, and stay home if your sick."

Sure glad the media hasn't used this to bolster ratings or anything. . .

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

Today, they opened all the electronic doors throughout the building here so you would not need to touch a doorknob!

Thorne said...

LOL! Di, you have to go here: and check out the photo on the left sidebar! Hahaha!

Nessa said...

I have a cold. You would not believe how many people asked me if I went to the doctor to see if I have Swine Flu.

Nellie said...

Hi Dianne,
As usual, you hit the nail EXACTLY on the head... calm the "F" down you idiots and go soak up some sunrays!

Love your post! Have a great day.


Linda Reeder said...

Well, I have been mostly ignoring the flu topic, because I thought I was alone in thinking there was mass over reaction. I guess not! I seem to have lots of company. A school was closed here yesterday because on e student "might" have the swine flu. Now today, more are closing.Swell.

Linda Murphy said...

Two schools in my school district are now closed until next Friday because one student at each school tested positive and is now recovered.


Dianne said...

sparkling - exactly!! I wish we ruled the media ;)

lisa - I bet she's getting lots of TLC from Mom :)
When you do see the show I'd like to know what you think

thom - you're pretty cool yourself. Just this morning there was a new report and they were playing horror movie style music. Absurd!

gabrielle - The Fergasm pisses me off when he does something I feel is beneath him. His price to pay for my love ;)
fear mongering really needs to stop being the American way
H1N1 just doesn't sound sexy does it? ;)

barb - the gloves kind of make some sense and older folks get nervous about getting sick, I have an aunt like that too

jeff - I know! He has so much to overcome every single day just to communicate with real people.

bond - well that will make it so much easier for terrorists to get in the building!! ;)

thorne - that is a priceless photo and caption!!

nessa - same thing here, my allergies are killing me so I'm sniffling a lot and the looks and questions! I think I'm gonna wear a pig nose ;)

barb - thanks!! I'd like to hit something else on the head ;)

linda - you're not alone!

snoop - they closed my niece's school and the city called them and told them they didn't even have a confirmed case!

Lu' said...

Dianne I like reading your words :)

Dianne said...

Lu' - thanks! I try to get to the heart of the matter ;)

Lisa said...

your title says it all...

CG said...

LOL at that mother's reply. I think our media are trying to scare us all to death!

Travis Cody said...

Well, one can look at it this way.

The media blows up the impact of the virus threat, creates wacky panic, and then takes credit for "warning the populace to take precautions" when the number of fatal cases is less than they told us it would be.

Sound about right?