Here there be monsters (socratic) wrote,
Here there be monsters
socratic

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The Emergency dumbcast system

The Emergency Broadcast system is officially useless. All it ever does is get tested. It exists merely to make sure that every few weeks you'll miss critical dialogue in the episode of Joey that you're watching. Dialogue whose absence will make the show seem like an unfunny mess of unwatchable crap.

I remember being in New York during 9/11. I had my TV on. Everyone had their TV on. We were also checking the internet obsessively, hoping for any shred of information about what was going on. Should we leave? Were there more attacks on the way? How far was the toxic cloud going to travel? None of this information was available, but more importantly absolutely no information was available on the Emergency Broadcast system. If "Holy Shit someone just blew up the World Trade Center" isn't an emergency then what exactly qualifies? Hurricane Katrina? New Orleans residents knew it was coming days before it arrived. What was the emergency broadcast system going to do? Say "Hey guys, there's like a hurricane going on. If you're still in New Orleans and can see this sucks to be you. You could go to the feces strewn foodless Superdome if you want. More fun than a Saints game."

In this day of 25 hour news and centralized cable networks that can break into any program with news if necessary the Emergency Broadcast System is a dinosaur that has long outlived its usefulness. If you need information about where to go or what to do in an emergency there are about a billion better sources of information, and any emergency that you don't already know about probably has no easy answers. Other than "PANIC!!!" there's not much TV can tell you to do if the Martians invade or William Hung gets another record deal.

Every time they break into Joey to test this outdated piece of crap a little bit of America dies. It's time to retire the system completely. If necessary they can flash a stripe of color across the screen to let us know the threat and level. Red for fire, Blue for Flood, Turquoise for Gay Pride Parade. Whatever.
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