Frankenstorm Sandy: Winds of Ignorance reach record high speeds

The return of Irene’s neglected little sister has sparked mass, undiluted gullibility to spatter over social media like, well.. urine in a hurricane. Coupled with the sincere hashtag of #PrayForNYC, hurriedly photoshopped and archived pictures reminiscent of “The Day After Tomorrow” are being uploaded onto Facebook and Twitter in a struggle to post the most striking and moving image. Not to downplay the storm itself – which came to a close mid-way through this week – leaving a steep death toll of over 100 and $60 billion in damages and reparations in its wake. Whilst certainly disastrous, Sandy’s infamy has been inflated so much by the viral spread of these fake pictures that it has become a major contender for the Earth’s major super-villain spot, currently indisputably held by Jimmy Savile.

A truly awe-inspiring, powerful showcase of Adobe Photoshop, combining a photo of the New York harbor with a 2004 shot taken by Mike Hollingshead.

#PrayForNYC #StatueOfLibertyRIP

Well that’s much less exciting.









The thought was there, and with the influx of these pictures it did – in a slightly misinformative manner – manage to get a staggering amount of people interested in Sandy around the world. However, as people strove to post the most striking and shocking picture in relation to the hurricane, they were simply just trying too hard. The real images – especially the ones taken in the aftermath – are the most incredible.


Joseph Leader, Metropolitan Transportation Authority Vice President and Chief Maintenance Officer, takes a look at the worst natural disaster to strike the transit system in its 108 year history.

A ying-yang effect of burnt houses and unburned at Breezy Point, Queens after it was devastated by Sandy on Oct 31st. (© Reuters/Adrees Latif)










(Right-click > View Image for enlarged original picture.)

The real trauma that residents in New York, New Jersey and most notably the Caribbean nations of Jamaica, Cuba and the still-recovering Haiti is destroyed homes, loss of life, complete lack of power for over 8 million homes, high flooding in all areas affected, and the reparations to be made after the third most economically damaging storm in history – not sharks swimming around the streets and the Statue of Liberty being subject to fake atomic looking clouds.

If you are one of the people who passed on one of these fake images – do not seek repentance. We’ve all done it. Photoshop is a crafty minx, and with a true master behind the reins, anything can be believable. Unless I photoshopped a picture of the hurricane on the offset of Edinburgh castle of course, in which case you would all scoff and provide it with the caption of “A lovely summer’s eve.”

If Scotland was America…

So, Hurricane Sandy. A Superstorm; the “Frankenstorm”.  Without doubt a force of nature to be reckoned with. America is used to such things: Katrina, Mount St.Helen’s, San Fransisco – they, as a Nation, know the drill.

Scotland however, not so much. The way we dealt with the last two winters stand testament to that. Granted, the Scottish people don’t piss their pants at the first sight of snow in the same way that our Southern cousins do but we are still partial to a wee moan about how cold it is or how the bloody gritter hasn’t been yet.

There is one trait however that I believe that we, as a nation, hold high over everyone else on the planet and that is our glorious ability to make light of literally any situation that is slapped in front of us, regardless of how dire the condition could be. Scotland is full of funny people. It is in our nature; our blood. Hence why when – for the first time in 30 years –  we are struck by what can be considered a small hurricane, do we officially name it? With a name that is statistically chosen to demand the greatest respect for the serious situation? No, the job was clearly given to Tam wae the good patter. And now history shall forever refer to that storm as…Hurricane Bawbag. Sort of poetically beautiful in a way isn’t it? Personally I love the idea of it being 100 years down the line, and on some version of BBC Scotland News where Jackie Bird is probably still inexplicably presenting, there will be a segment like “This Day in History” where they open the Facebook archive posts of everyone talking about the damage cause by Hurricane Bawbag.

And it is just this sort of sense of humour that is lacking from so many things in the world. Namely, like I said, in people across the pond in America. I genuinely believe that if we inhabited a chaotic world where Hurricanes, Tornado’s, Earthquakes and Volcanoes existed, we wouldn’t view them as forces of destruction beyond imagination, more inconvenient niggles that would disrupt us every now and then. Would we view them with respect? Hell no! Just imagine, rather than one freak occurence of a Hurricane, we would have whole seasons. Whole seasons of reports of storms named after human genitals. Tornado Alley (the area in the South and Mid-West of America that was named most likely to have Tornadoes each) year I imagine would be renamed the “Windy Tunnel” or something along those line. I would leave it to my fellow Jock to coin a phrase that would be both succinct and hilarious.

The point of this blog is less of a comment on how Americans should be trying to think of more jokes during events that I know demand an incredible amount of seriousness; more an endorsement of the Scottish people. Yes, the stereotype painted of us is not particularly a positive one: heavy, drinkers, smokers, fighters, swearers…heavy people in literal terms also; that we are a miserable bunch whose personality reflects the climate they are subjugated to year round… The list goes on.

However, speaking from an observational point of view, I think that we, as a people, are one of the friendliest, most inviting, most generally positive countries in the world. As expressed by our dearest Zimbabwean member, Arnold Bhebhe. We are not necessarily optimistic (lets not push it). But our collective psyche is one more of a jovial realism. In other words: we know our weather is crap, we know we will NEVER win the World Cup and we know that our ‘storms’ are a bit limp wristed too but at the end of the day, after 6 pints down the road with our friends, insulting each other and paradoxically becoming closer in the process…
We just don’t gee a f**k!

A miraculous survivor…

Sandy: Americans are the Lucky Ones

We are receiving round-the-clock footage and reports of the devastation Sandy is wreaking on the American East Coast. At least forty have died and thousands of homes, businesses and roads have been almost submerged in water.

But already America is starting to get back on its feet. Businesses on the east-coast are starting to reopen. Flights to New York have resumed. New York was fortunately prepared for this and despite the $30-$40billion cost of clearing up the wreckage, the east coast will be back to its former glory before long. Those we should really be concerned about are the thousands of people in the Caribbean affected by the storm. Continue reading