>>> Casual Misanthropy
By staff writer JD Rebello
August 31, 2005

If this is the second time you’re reading this column (meaning you’re either obsessed with me or have Alzheimer’s, maybe both!) you may notice that there have been a few changes. First, allow me to explain.

I wrote this column on Monday, when all I knew of Hurricane Katrina was that it had a goofy name and would force New Orleans to be evacuated, which all sounded real funny. A few days later, I’ve come to the realization that thousands of people may have died and the city could destroy itself when all is said and done.

Knowing this, I can’t in any good conscience keep my previous column posted, and so Court and myself have dove in to clean things up. We’ve still kept in the more lighthearted stuff (cracks at the media, etc.), and the overall tone of the column is the same (that we should be able to laugh at anything, even a horrible disaster), but some of the material that was just flat-out mean-spirited and not even funny has been removed for obvious reasons.

I hope my loyal fans (thanks kid who played Minkus on Boy Meets World) understand.

Too soon?

I don’t care. This isn’t like my London quip a few weeks back, or my ongoing jabs at Sri Lanka for getting spelunked by a tsunami. It’s a hurricane. And nothing pulls this great country of ours together like a force of nature.

Random thoughts from relatively dry Boston:

*For starters, what kind of name for a hurricane is Katrina? Katrina is a girl who gets trashed off two Smirnoff Ices and gives head to any hockey player. That’s a Katrina. To paraphrase the great Lewis Black, “What do they call a tornado? Tornado. You get the message.” I’d like them to start giving theatrical names to hurricanes. Like “Hurricane: Episode Seven: Revenge of Katrina,” or “Live from New Orleans! A Freakin’ Hurricane. With Special Guest Black Eyed Peas.” Dude, the Weather Channel ratings would skyrocket. Like you wouldn’t watch.

*My favorite part of a natural disaster like this is when TV news guys try and act all somber like they’re delivering a eulogy. It’s so much fun to watch jock itches like Matt Lauer gunning for an Emmy and fighting back fake tears over this. Even Sportscenter, (SPORTSCENTER!) was pulling this. Watching Dan Patrick say: “The somber news out of New Orleans is a constant reminder of the power of nature and the courage of the human spirit…. Coming up next, Terrell Owens jacks off in a dog’s face! We go live to Sal Paolantonio….”

Listen, I work in journalism. We love this shit. Nothing makes us happier than bad news. I work in a town where one of the newspapers gleefully published a dead 22-year-old girl after a baseball riot to sell a 50-cent paper. It’s an ugly business, and it’s savagely hypocritical to act as though we aren’t having an orgasm as we’re delivering even the most horrible news to the public. Frankly, it sickens me.

(See, I don’t even have my journ degree yet and already I’m on a soapbox. It happens that fast.)

*Could this have happened to a better city than New Orleans? Honestly. I’ve never been to N’awlins, but from what I hear, you’ve got big titties on the street, you can order liquor on the street, everyone speaks jibberish, and John Candy played a Cajun in JFK. Maybe it’s because I went to Catholic school and am naturally God-fearing, but hot damn, if that’s not a 21st-century version of Sodom and Gomorrah, I don’t know what is.

*My favorite away message of the past few days is from my buddy LTB: “If you're looking for a dry pair of underroos, don't go to New Orleans.” Now that’s comedy. Funny away messages. See? You can’t put a price on the value of a funny away message. Consider: I’ve got people on my buddy list who’s away messages range from random Aqua Teen quotes, to their schedule for the next six weeks, to six-paragraph diatribes about their boyfriend/girlfriend that make you sick to your stomach because the thought of them baby-making is enough to make you switch to Judaism. Sometimes you need a flash of creativity.

*I guess the big issue here is where the New Orleans Saints will be playing the upcoming season, or at least that’s what the media keeps telling me. Huh? Thousands are missing (even Fats Domino!) and all we care about is where a crappy football team will be playing. Then again, I’ve got Deuce McCallister on my fantasy team. Hey, where are the Saints going to play?

*Nice of the President to finally show up. I hope he didn’t have to use one of his 4,237 vacation days.

*So, the Islamic extremists have assigned Katrina to their military ranks dubbing the hurricane a private on their terrorist network (Usef Aba FOX). Private Katrina. Hey, that means they have women in their army. What next for the camel jockeys? Boys kissing? Bacon? Not blowing up our airplanes? Anything is possible.

*So I sincerely hope nobody was too offended by my previous column. All I wanted to do was spread a little joy to a country in mourning And to show my sincerity, I will be making a donation to the Red Cross to help bring sandwiches to the Superdome or something. Seriously, I will. Well, I’ll get around to it. Oh, come on. You know I’m good for it!

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