Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Drowned by Hyperbole

Having failed to create mass public panics with their lurid reporting of terror attacks, bird flu and snow, the good old British media are now talking up a new threat to our existence: water. Yes folks, whilst Britannia may well have ruled the waves, those same waves are now threatening to destroy Britain. Or, to put it another way, the very water which gives us life is now hell-bent on taking our lives. Is it just me, or is the reporting of the current flooding problems being experienced in some parts of the UK just slightly over the top? The other day I heard the panic-stricken tones of a radio reporter telling us that in Tewkesbury, some 'survivors' were still clinging to their homes and possessions. Excuse me, but doesn't the term 'survivors' imply that there has been a significant number of fatalities? How many were there in reality? Um, none. Actually. If it isn't that kind of hyperbole, then we're being subjected to alarmist reports by men in suits and wellington boots stood on towpaths telling us that the river only needs to rise another two inches and yet another town will be flooded. Of course, once it is flooded, then there will be mass looting. By gangs of looters in boats, presumably. Breaking into people's water-filled houses and stealing their water-sodden possessions.

For me, the whole thing reached a nadir when I saw an ITV news broadcast anchored from flooded Tewkesbury by a man standing in water up to his knees. For God's sake! Why not just go the whole hog and sit him behind a desk in a flooded street and have him say "And now for something completely different" at the end of each item? I fail to understand this current penchant for having news programmes presented direct from war zones and disaster areas. Does it actually make the news any more direct, or better reported? Of course not. It is just another patronising attempt to make it seem 'real' and that the media are really 'in touch' with us 'ordinary' people. Frankly, I'm getting pretty sick of all this repetitious reporting of the situation. So we've experienced some bad flooding, it's happened before, it'll happen again. Report some news for God's sake. I'm tired of being told that "five thousand people are without running water", (actually, they do have running water. It's running down their walls and across their floors). OK, I know that it's easy for me to be complacent - I live in a house which is part of a raised terrace, flooding isn't an issue for me - but really, those areas which are affected will probably get back to normal much quicker if all those bloody reporters and film crews pissed off back to London and left them alone.

But what do I know? Apparently it is a national disaster and the government has to do something. Clearly, the country's under threat, so there's only one thing to do - declare a war on water and send in the military. I can just picture hordes of soldiers being forced to retreat by a deluge of angry water, futilely firing their weapons at it. Of course, this once again raises the question originally posed by Garth Marenghi: can water die? What will it take to stop the creeping liquid menace? Air strikes? Depth charges? Maybe even the nuclear option? But what's behind it all? Why has our once friendly water suddenly turned on us? Is it Mother Earth rebelling at human pollution and global warming? Or maybe it's down to those bloody immigrants, eh? It stands to reason, with millions of them swamping the country, it's bound to sink - it just can't take their weight. Maybe that's what David Cameron will tell us, (from the relative safety of Africa). Or maybe, just maybe, it's all a conspiracy by Gordon Brown, to boost him in the polls by showing how well he can handle a crisis. Whatever it is, it surely can't just be a natural process, now can it? That just wouldn't be dramatic enough for the media.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home