Opinion

Disgrace the Nation

In the spirit of Hurricane Henri and the fall of Kabul, in this column we will blow hard and piss all over everything, and move ahead with no idea what we’re doing and without any attempts at apology.

The very visual coverage of the horrific botched withdrawal of American troops and civilians − along with our courageous native allies − from the international graveyard that is Afghanistan (hands up, Great Britain and Russia) has been numbing to anyone following this debacle. Thanks to gutless politicking and clueless and misguided decision-making, as P&J go to press we are just trying to digest the ISIS-directed deadly suicide bombings in Kabul and await more of the same.

(And when it comes to humanitarian aid, P&J have taken to heart the comment from a now-forgotten source that instead of politicizing humanitarian aid, we should try humanizing politics. Got that, President Biden and everyone in Congress?)

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Your superior correspondents refer back to the CBS dramedy series, “The United States of Al,” which subtly and presciently took on the plight of America’s in-country allies, who now face torture and death for assisting our country in one of our most embarrassing and humiliating forays into foreign nation-building. We would also like to thank the good folks at the Pentagon, who kept up their grand tradition of lying to the public and the pols as to how many brave U.S. military lives were lost in a rigged game, and how we were always inches away from success.

In “The United States of Al,” the storyline is focused on an interpreter (Al) who worked as a civilian with a US Marine’s unit in Afghanistan, but then came to the States to live in a comrade-in-arms’ house. Some of the nuanced jokes made by Al would, for example, discuss how long it took him to get papers to come to the US in recognition of his long, frontline support of our troops, putting his ass on the line alongside our Marines. We are hearing about those now-unfunny circumstances in abundance these days, and trust us, nobody’s laughing.

While this “disgrace the nation” right in our cringing faces continues, apologies seem like very weak tea to P&J, and especially to those Afghan families’ faces who we have seen on video wide-eyed and crying in fear of their possible fates, while all they see is our backs. Shame on us as a whole.

Pornography Section

Call it “weather porn” or “fear porn,” but the arrival of Hurricane (cum Tropical Storm) Henri on August 22 gave Little Rhody’s TV stations the chance to fan both their feathers and the fire among the citizenry.

Local weather forecasters never seem happier than when they are addressing potential natural disasters. As of the Friday prior to Henri’s Sunday grand entrance, grinning meteorologists were sending the tacit message that everyone should be doing the bread-and-milk samba ASAP, and don’t forget to get gas and more toilet paper.

This unspoken appeal to our worse instincts in advance of an unpredictable weather crisis is a dog whistle ramping up of fear of the worst, hiding under the guise of “be prepared.” Well, if you are typical New Englanders — especially residents of the Ocean State — and don’t know what to do without being guided by some talking hairdo on TV, it’s time to head to Omaha.

And as often happens, Henri managed to miss most of Rhode Island. Jamestown perhaps took the worst hit, with total power outage for all residents and six big-time sailboats snapping their moorings and washing up on the shore looking like an oversized surfers’ beach party. Residents also emptied all the gas from the town’s only gas station and all the cash in the in-town ATMs. Yet another Comet Kohoutek scenario overblown by the media to the nth degree. 

In the future, hopefully someone at TV stations will decide to take the route besides that of a shock-and-horror, “Oh my god, it’s pornography, it will destroy us all!” response to nasty weather events, which will be getting more intense as climate change sinks its talons into our lives, and come on with more of a reasoned, “Hey, this could possibly be a pisser of a storm, but you’ve got it covered, right?”

And from P&J’s experience, if you want reliable info, just find someone who has the good sense to track the weather on their cellphone and make reasonable and informed decisions, instead of running around like well-dressed, made-up Chicken Littles, squawking about a possible apocalypse.

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