Who else has had “Come on Eileen” from Dexys Midnight Runners in their heads since Irene was “born”? Remember that song? I have the video below – it really was a cool song and I desperately wanted to rock coveralls the way they did in the video. Unfortunately, that was around the same time I started wearing makeup and my parents were watching me like a hawk so that I didn’t leave the house looking like a streetwalker – or a reject from Dexys Midnight Runners. Anyway, for some reason, that song’s been in my head, except it’s been “Come on Irene”.
I know Irene has wreaked havoc all along the east coast and the pictures that have been emerging all day are all too familiar for those of us in the southeast. Here’s the problem, though. There are these dangerous things way down here in the south that can make the strongest man run for his mama. Those things are called water moccasins. Do they not have those up there? Apparently, they don’t. I’ve seen more folks conducting interviews with the media as they’re standing in knee or waist deep water. There’s no escaping it, I get that, but usually, when flooding occurs and you see people in the middle of it – you see them moving to get out of it. They’re not seeking it as a backdrop or simply standing in it for a more dramatic interview.
Here’s the real kick in the pants – I actually saw a reporter conducting an interview with a homeowner using a corded mike! Oi…what is wrong with people? Electricity and waist deep water are not our friends when combined. The presence of a cord, of course, means there’s an electrical source at the other end of that cord. I don’t know – maybe it’s just me and maybe I’m out of the loop, but that’s a dance with the devil I can’t see anyone willingly take. It’s interesting though because in the interview, the homeowner is standing in his doorway while the journalist is standing in the water – with his corded microphone. It’s almost as though the interviewee knows something the interviewer doesn’t.
I have to admit, too, that I thought all of the media coverage included entirely too much dramatic brouhaha for my tastes until I saw one of the Fox News hosts say (Martha McCallum, I think), “I’ve been getting tweets from people in Louisiana and Florida telling me that we’re overreacting. Maybe we are, but we’re not used to this up here. We’re really scared”. I think that put it into perspective for me. Maybe that’s why those reporters are walking around with electricity in their hands.
One final note – President Obama just gave his speech from the grounds at the White House. As governors and other politicians are speaking to their constituents dressed in jeans, tee shirts and raincoats, complete with rising waters, mud and upturned trees as their back drop, President Obama emerges dressed impeccably in a crisp white shirt, perfectly creased pants with a vision of perfection – not a single leaf in view – as his backdrop. It looks almost as though the White House had a protective bubble around it during Irene. I don’t know why that bothers me – except that I’m still a little peeved that he takes the time to tell Americans to call their elected officials and demand they “do something” about the dire financial straits this nation is in, while he fades into the background at Martha’s Vineyard to enjoy his umpteenth vacation this year. Wonder if they have water moccasins up there?