Sandy swept up the East Coast with reckless abandon. A hybrid hurricane-blizzard superstorm, she gives new meaning to the term crazy spinster. Who could possibly help us get back to our feet after such a destructive force of nature? Turns out it’s actually Big Brother.
Most of the time, we think of Big Brother as an overreaching, freedom-squeezing, privacy-seizing government, à la 1984. That’s the know-it-all older brother, the bullying one. And we should be concerned about him. (For instance, he got into warrantless wiretapping.)
It turns out there’s this other side to him though, one we see again and again in times like these, when a natural disaster threatens huge swaths of the population. That’s the rescuing, resource-sharing, crisis-managing Big Brother. The brother you could talk to about stuff, whose know-how and eagerness to help was a lifesaver, who figured out a way to solve problems when you couldn’t. (I have one, and he’s been both at points, but much more often the latter.)
Unless you’re a person of interest in a plot to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank, that’s the Big Brother you’re more likely to encounter in your lifetime.
And we need that one. Desperately. Otherwise, we won’t be ready for or able to recover after the increasingly common roadblocks from nature and God, forces that Paul Ryan has so dutifully touted this campaign season, albeit for different reasons. Read the rest of this entry »