-by Joey Figgiani
A lot of my writing is about the negative side of popular culture. The media in particular seems only interested in exploiting any and all of the horrible news that sells advertising. But while the east coast prepares for Hurricane Irene, I’ve seen a few signs that humankind is not a totally hopeless case.
On the usually shameless Fox News channel a reporter was showing how every casino in New Jersey closed. A guy in a white t-shirt was being interviewed who looked more like a film production grip than a big business owner. The anchorman sarcastically asked him if he’d owned a raincoat. He was actually the owner of four casinos and other properties in Atlantic City.
Since New York and New Jersey’s governors made it mandatory to evacuate areas near the ocean, plenty of money will be lost. The reporter pushed for a juicy comment about how dangerous the coast was becoming and how badly the hurricane was already affecting business.
The casino owner first pointed out how this was usually one of his busiest weekends. But instead of being concerned with money he was only interested in the safety of his customers and employees. He basically told his staff and the public to stay away and urged anyone with the option to get off the Jersey island completely.
Radio station 101.9 FM has been tracking the hurricane and warning of its danger since this morning. An employee of a very successful restaurant in mid Manhattan was also interviewed. Again instead of complaining about the money being lost the restaurant was throwing a party. Since they weren’t too close to the shore line, the restaurant chose to stay open. Customers and employees were being treated to drink specials, free food and a safe place to get through the storm. The staff particularly was being encouraged to stay around especially if they lived in a more dangerous area or had nowhere else to go.
Maybe it is true that when things get really tough, New Yorkers show their best side.