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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Loved Ones

On their Sundance Channel show the night after GW Bush's speech last week, Franken-Lanpher started out as if they would give their take on the speech in detail, but almost at once they focused on one point, and, going by the inordinate amount of time they spent on that through the rest of the hour, they must not have thought that anything else that Bush said rated discussion.

Bush gave out a phone number that the evacuees could call if they needed help. Franken wasn't pleased. He said that unlike other numbers that Government relief agencies had given in the past, this one consisted of random numbers and would be too hard to remember. He and Lanpher then explored two numbers that they thought would be better: 1-800-KATRINA and 1-877-KATRINA. (Later they discovered that Bush's seemingly random numbers actually spelled out "LOVED 1'S" or some such. Bush had failed to say that.)

The 800 number turned out to be already in use by the Texas governor for the flood relief, and that was fine. But the second, the 877 number -- wouldn't you know it! -- belonged to a phone sex operation.

Al Franken dialed that number, and predictably got a woman with a silken, seductive voice -- Katrina herself -- and she asked him what would be his pleasure. In the strangely bumbling manner that overtakes him at times when his mind is racing in too many directions at once, Franken told her who he was and what he was doing. He managed to ask if it would be possible for her to sell or give that number to the relief authorities. She answered that she couldn't, because the number actually belonged to someone else, which was plausible.

In the meantime, though at first she had seem sympathetic to what he wanted, soon enough "Katrina's" tone hardened to the point where she showed no sympathy whatever for the evacuees. She said that actually she lives in Louisiana, and though Franken wouldn't know what was going on there, she did, and the fact was that the evacuees were actually better off than the other people there. She accused them of using the emergency funds they were given to buy designer stuff.

It should come as no surprise if this resentment reflects the attitude of many in that clime, given the difference in persuasions between the evacuees and the others surrounding them. Any adverse reports on the conduct of the evacuees are used to fuel the scorn. We have already seen that with the looting.

Meanwhile so much for the hostesses with their all-accommodating embraces at the other ends of phone lines!

On their next show Franken and Lanpher reported that word of their investigation got back to the owner of that 877 number, and he offered to donate it to the relief effort.

It was very heartening to see them get such a response. The world would be a much better place if that happened more often with the causes that they espouse. It's weird, perverse, and indicative of the continuing tragedies of our times how often the exact opposite is true of the proposals and policies of the regime now headquartered in the Oval Office.


Blogger skincareteacher.com said...

You have no idea how difficult it is to have a number that spells out the name of a major hurricane. Back during the hurricane days, I offered my number for FEMA's use, but at that time they said they had enough numbers in place. I was kinda wishing they'd use it because for me, all it did was ring off the hook.
Fast forward to today, a couple of years after the hurricane and lo and behold my phone rings off the hook once again. State Farm decided they made some errors and want to re-review some claims. Participants are asked to call, guess what?! A TOLL-FREE KATRINA number! OH JOY!!!
I leave the correct number to call on my voicemail message, but some leave messages anyway, thinking I'm State Farm. Glancing at my phone bill I see multiple calls from the same number. How frustrating. Some leave messages that ramble on and on about nothing and most of it is intelligible. When I answer the phone and politely state that I am not State Farm, some even proceed to tell ME about their insurance claims. Thanks, State Farm! At least Nationwide is on my side...

7:28 PM  

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