Dangerspouse Rides Again

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Garage - Track

Oct. 24, 2003 - 8:22 p.m.

Languished in bed til 4:30 this morning!!!

So far, that's the highlight.

Wait, no, there's this:

About an hour ago I flipped on the TV because I read somewhere that the final voyage of the SST was going to be covered. Well, the takeoff, anyway. And sure enough, it was! MSNBC, FOX News Channel, CNN, and a few locals were all carrying the feed, with voiceovers provided by the talking heads back at each studio.

Which to watch...which to watch....

In situations like this I always go with Fox, since I'm drawn to humor. I wasn't disappointed.

Male Anchor: I understand it doesn't get up to full speed over land. Something about the noise when it breaks the sound barrier.

Female Anchor with Nice Hair: It's sure is loud now, though!

Male Guest Expert: It certainly IS loud, isn't it? But yes, right now it has to stay slow, since it's over a populated area. But once it's out over the ocean it will get to its full speed of 30 times the speed of light! Then when it gets back over land it has to go down to sub-supersonic speeds. (bold and italics provided to highlight idiocy)

Let's see, at the speed of light you could go around the globe in about an eighth of a second. At thiry times that...well, you'd probably arrive to find that everyone you ever knew has been dead for 50 centuries or so. I can't believe that never caught on with the public! Although I think "sub-supersonic" might. It's so much catchier than the correct "sub-sonic".

Moments later:

Female Hair: What's going to happen to the planes now that they're retired?

Expert (obviously stunned by this unexpected question): Um...well...(he literally stammered through all this)...I think...they'll probably...maybe demolish them?...or put them in storage...strip them of their parts....I....

(he dragged this out for a good 30 seconds)

Male Anchor (trying to save him): Well, parts is parts! (*hearty laugh at his own wit*) Let's check the markets now with....

And the segment was over.

God, I love this business. I had the great misfortune of producing a daily segment for NBC's local "Today In New York" show for a few years. Don't be impressed - it was foisted on me without my consent. I had to run out between radio reports to set up audio, run a graphics program, set up camera shots and brief talent several times an hour whenever the NY studio would toss it to our studio for the segment. You know how your local news will say "We now go over to the Weather Center and say 'Good Morning' to Joe Cumulus with the forecast. Good Morning Joe!" and the screen changes to show a toothy guy sitting in front of a radar graphic? That's what I produced, although it wasn't weather.

Here's what I learned: Your local news anchor is an idiot.

I'm sure you've heard this before, maybe even from your own lips, so I'll just say...he's an idiot. An idiot who can read copy handed to him. An idiot who's idea of "reporting" is reading verbatim the press releases sent by vested interest groups or government offices. An idiot who thinks a story is "In-Depth" if it runs one sentence longer than the standard two sentence billboard. An idiot who gets paid a LOT more than I do because he has nice hair...and nothing underneath it.

Interesting Historical Sidenote

As part of that job I would occasionally have to travel to Rockefeller Center in Manhattan for meetings at NBC. I became friends with one of the audio engineers there. One day, after another pointless talking-to by the execs, he told me to follow him. We went to an upper floor stairwell. Running up that stairwell, painted bright red, was the usual water pipe for the fire system. It was huge, like a city water main almost. But that's not what he wanted me to see. He pointed up.

There, about 9 feet off the landing, embossed into the casting of this iron pipe, was a huge Swastika! Like, 2 feet across. With several lines of German text underneath.

What was that doing here? I mean, it would be startling enough to find that symbol in any public space. But here in this bulwark of American Propoganda Production it seemed positively surreal.

Well, Phil told me that back when the building was being constructed, the Nazis had just come to power and were still allies with the US. A German company had won the bid to install the water system, and...the rest is history I suppose. I tell ya, they really did good work. That sucker looks built to last through innumerable Reichs. Amazing what slave laborers can accomplish if they just put their minds to it. But I'm suprised no one in, say, the '40's took a grinder to it and erased all traces.

I wonder if that's mentioned in the studio tours they give? "Here's where Katy Couric got her colonoscopy...mind the stain...and here's the NBC Swastika...you vill NOT touch it...and over here is the collogen injection station."

Oh my god, is it really almost 10am? I've got to get back to bed! Ah, vacation.............


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