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bridge

The bridge is closed. OK> we know that. But what the news won’t tell you is the fact that San Francisco LIKES the bridge to be closed. Traffic is lighter, fewer iPhones are being stolen in town, Maude and Gilbert from Orinda aren’t here, and the air is cleaner.
But the news treats this like a major disaster. OK. I guess it is a problem for some, but it’s not like nobody knew it was going to be closed.
And, of course, traffic “reporters” all over the place are acting as if they were weatherpeople, making up stupid things when, in fact, everybody knows how to get here if they want to. Without reading the tv stations’ Twitter feeds, or using their traffic “apps”.
But it makes the news stations feel wanted, something sometimes lacking. Like the Loma Prieta earthquake, probably the last time local news was really necessary.
Anyway, a couple of stations have been criticized for sucking up to Caltrans so bad, and being total cheerleaders for a “fabulous” new bridge. One, in particular, “your Bay Bridge Station”, was kind of let down when “their” bridge” showed serious flaws and the opening was in jeopardy. I guess they did not do such a good job for the people while watching over the construction of “their” bridge.
Not unlike Professional sports teams, tv news people seem to attach themselves to things like this and sometimes make fools of themselves, instead of standing back and actually just “reporting” the facts. I guess that is not exciting enough. Kind of hard to add the graphics packages with twirling blue circles and swooshing noises that accompany them when you are just reporting facts without making the television station part of the story. You know. How your silly little story about construction workers fixing a flaw is so much different and better than any other station’s story about construction workers fixing a flaw. Or how your little inconsequential story of the “last car to cross the Bay Bridge” is so much different and better than another station’s story about the “last car to cross the Bay Bridge”. Even though both crews are, literally, parked right next to each other as they do the same interviews with the same paid spokesperson.
But it’s hard to not be impressed with such fascinating and hard hitting news coverage. Not unlike Shirer in Nazi Germany in 1939. Riveting stuff.
(Sometimes, in the field, I will be doing a live shot, and listening to the program through an earpiece. It is always distracting to hear Swooshing noises and fart noises as they go to the reporter. I can only imagine the colorful red stuff all over the place as it happens. But hey! What do I know about promoting the news while it is on air? I am sure that all the glitz and schmutz really helps people understand the story).

Anyway, the bridge is closed. Long live the bridge.
Now, on to the first accident, the first major day-long traffic jam because a truck carrying recycled Nike shoes overturns, and the first suicide from the bicycle lane. All soon-to-be-reported tragedies, have no doubt. Perhaps, even a robbery of a bicyclist and a subsequent tossing off by some citizen of Oakland with a lot of extra Z’s or S’s in his name. You know. A special name, that, like his “distinctive” speech pattern, makes it easier for him to get a job, and makes his life so much better. Ah, those fascinating Oaklanders. Never a dull moment. Maybe that’s just my Klanish prejudice, however.

But, anyway. Off I go to work, in a week that will see the opening of a bridge that could and should have been finished years and years ago. You know. 1989 to 2013 is ONLY 24 years! But those politicians! They really helped us all out, didn’t they? Children were born and became doctors in that time. Others, of course, were born and became serial killers in that time. You know, the ones with the swell unique names. But I digress. (Oakland always distracts me).

And a week that will include many traffic reports that will inform people that they are, indeed, stuck in traffic and there is nothing anyone can do about it. But that won’t stop the anchor people from proclaiming they have all the information you need to “survive” the temporary, scheduled, inconsequential closure of the Bridge from San Francisco to Shitville.

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