Thursday, April 30, 2009

World Panics Over New Media-Borne Virus


"Now, they're blaming me. I'm the new escape goat, I mean escape pig. Those lucky birds. Why don't we ever have a Kermit Flu?"

When I first heard about Pigmageddon -- the latest phenomenon set to wipe us all out, yet again -- I was ironically just leaving a relatively empty screening of the new movie “Earth”, featuring dying polar bears, elephants lost in the ever-growing deserts, and great white sharks which, if you believe what you read at peak slow-news times, were only taking a brief respite from ravaging tourist beaches to earn their actor’s union card. Tough luck, DisneyNature -- no one cares about “climate change” right now.

Our attention deficient culture has some new disaster porn, and it’s getting better TV ratings because, unlike the global warming phenomenon previously known as “seasons”, a virus actually kills people.

This disaster even has its own international scoreboard. Every day, you can compare your national immunity with other countries’. You can’t do that with the average flu! This one’s special, because it hasn’t killed enough people yet to lose count.

The disease is striking hard in major world centers. By this, I mean anywhere a government press conference is taking place on the issue. And where there’s government involvement, there’s political sensitivity.

Israel is calling it the “Mexican flu”, because this virus apparently came from Mexico, where nearly all the deaths have occurred. Well, that’s just not nice! Obama’s administration wants to call it the “H1N1 virus”, and others have suggested “North American virus”.

The European Commission is calling it “novel flu”, which sounds like something you pick up during a visit to Barnes and Noble.

But branding is everything, and no one really wants to die from a virus with a loser name. How about just so-subtly calling it “pig flu”, in Spanish? La Gripe De Puerco!

If the Mexicans don’t like it, or the Spanish feel it could be mis-attributed to them, let them take it up with the United Nations, or the International Criminal Court, or whatever useless bureaucratic entity has some free space on its schedule before we all get wiped out.


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