Freak snowstorm closes Paris subway system
That might have been a little harsh. I really came away wondering, "OK, I've had it with the unwashed red state masses. Just where do I go to get educated properly? CNN? CBS? The New York Times? The Daily Kos?"
I'm afraid I'd have to overcome some major distrust issues, like being asked back to a marriage with a habitual philanderer. Which brings me back to what I thought was a weird headline from my local paper in 1982 or so: Freak snowstorm closes Paris subway system
In 1980 our country suffered a horrible epidemic the likes of which had never been seen in any civilized culture. This epidemic vanished in the 1990's, only to make a resurgence over the last five years. This was the epidemic of the homeless: millions of perfectly normal people who, because of the viciousness of the Ronald Reagan Tax Cuts Only For The Rich, were tossed out of their comfortable middle-class homes and were forced to sleep over grates and live by looking for half-empty dog food containers in the trash of those few people (mostly Republicans) who were able to hang on to their own homes.
I was a registered Democrat and a loyal ABC Nightly News viewer back then. It bothered me a little that the few homeless people I ever personally saw were schizophrenic drunkards, but ABC and all the other Major News Outlets surely knew what they were talking about. And they made sure that I understood that mass homelessness had never occurred in any other culture or country. It was strictly a modern American phenomenon directly related to Ronald Reagan's Tax Cuts Only For The Rich.
So the headline I saw one day, on A8 of the local paper was very perplexing. A subway is underground, so how on earth would a snowstorm close it down? I read on. When the snowstorm hit Paris, everyone was caught by surprise. All the homeless of Paris, some 50,000 strong, fled the streets to the relative comfort of the Parisian subway system.
It was not the snowstorm that closed the subway system after all, but all the French homeless that jammed up the underground so that paying customers could not get access to the trains.
50,000 homeless in the most urbane capitol of the most enlightened nation on earth, one not only untouched by Ronald Reagan's Tax Cuts Only For The Rich but in a system that prides itself on its compassionate socialism? I felt as if I had wandered into my bedroom to find my spouse in the arms of a significant other.
Many women, when victimized by a philandering husband, obtain a divorce and remarry yet another philanderer. In 1982 (or thereabouts) I swore that I would never watch ABC Nightly News again. Instead I relied on PBS/NPR to provide me all the information about the world I would ever want to know. This changed in 1991, when NPR campaigned actively on behalf of Bill Clinton. I still like NPR, but when I listen my mind's eye shows someone continually giving me the "wink wink, nudge nudge". I don't trust them, or ABC, or CBS, or the New York Times. They have to earn back my trust if they want me to take them as anything other than a mouthpiece for the Democratic Party.
They haven't been trying to win my trust back very hard. Consider these two fairly recent headlines, seen in the A4 or A6 pages of the local newspaper:
Polar icecaps on Mars receding.
The "Great Red Spot" on Jupiter slowly vanishing
Both of these changes are occurring because of global warming issues on these planets, yet they have no SUV's, defoliated Amazon rainforests, ignored Kyoto treaties, or drilling in the Alaskan wilderness.