Okay, so there will always be someone ready to take advantage of a tragedy, and it pisses me the hell off. It's almost a relief; I've been feeling so indescribably odd, watching death and devastation from the comfort of my couch, that it feels good to get pissed off.
Here goes: put down the TV. Put the TV down. You don't have electricity. Put down the Rolex, put down the Playstation. The entire world has collapsed for hundreds of thousands of people, and your first thought is, Hey, free electronics! Fuck you. Fuck you, put the TV down and go fuck yourself again. And when you're done doing that, go to a shelter and see if they need help passing out blankets. Help your neighbor sift through the rubble of his house to see if any of his possessions made it. But if you can look your friends and your neighbors in the eye, if you can see the terror and the sorrow in their eyes and then think, Oh, I'm totally hitting up Wal-Mart, go fuck yourself right now.
And to jump on a post from our friend Doug, this one's for the media: there's a difference between a TV and a loaf of freaking bread. I don't particularly approve of stealing stuff, but I think that in a situation where you have nothing in the world and none of the stores are open anyway and the bread is just sitting there going bad, you're not unlikely to get a heavenly Mulligan if you go ahead and take it. There are looters, and there are people trying to feed their families. You can usually tell them because the looters are the ones grinning into the TV cameras as they run out with a DVD player under each arm. My suggestion? Interview them. "Sir, what's your name? And what kind of discount did you get on that DVD player?" Make a nice video record of everyone committing crimes so that when the authorities have some free time once the recovery is through, they can go knocking on doors, saying, "Hello, Mr. Johnson? Is this your stupid-ass face grinning on TV as you steal a DVD player from Wal-Mart?"
My dear mother made the point that if ever there was a time to call in the National Guard, this would be it. They're easy to find. Just take a left turn at Kuwait and keep going until you see the smoldering pile of nascent democracy.
And finally, here at home, there are the gas stations that have started charging upwards of three dollars a gallon, citing anticipated fuel shortages. I'm not buying that shit. No matter what happens to the supply in the future, I know that the gas running through your pumps right now cost you $66 a barrel. Now, some stations, realizing that they only keep about ten days' worth of gas on hand at any given point, are doing things like limiting customers to $10 worth of gas, and I support that. No reason not to make it last as long as you can. But if you're charging $3.56 for a gallon of gas that was $2.56 just the day before, that's price gouging, and you can go fuck yourself, too.
People freaking disgust me sometimes, I swear. I'm getting a bicycle. Out.