I noticed on the news that a huge typhoon (US translation: hurricane) is churning its way towards Hong Kong, after moistening Philippines and Taiwan.
I was stuck in Hong Kong during a typhoon, being unable to get a flight before operations were halted. I spent three days staring out the hotel window, watching the harbor hemorrhage boats (all fled to the typhoon shelter for which Hong Kong is famous), seeing debris fly through the air (mostly from building sites), and being bored (television is worthless). This was before I started imagining trash novel plots.
At no time did I feel threatened, beyond the chance of succumbing to boredom. I trusted the building codes and the building did not shake. Heavy rain prevented an afternoon stroll, and all shops were closed. This was a case of the bark being worse than the bite.
I tuned in Fox News to check on the progress of Hurricane Irene. During my younger years, I lived through several hurricanes of differing magnitude along the East Coast the United States. The most memorable was during a camping trip to Long Island (an area now overgrown with yuppie summer homes). Wind and rain are unpleasant, but wind and rain lasting 6 to 8 hours stretches one’s patience. I would not want to ride out a storm in with my wife: she flipped out during a thunderstorm last week.
Anyways, that’s not my point. I was struck by one utterance of a commentator forced to ramble about a slow-moving event. Being stuck in a studio in New York and waiting for the storm to visit, he and the blond helmet beside him talked about the effect on life in the city. He worried about people missing church and what they would find on Monday, when the work week should commence. He said: “...(something)...so the traders can get back to work on Monday.” Is this the most important thing in the life of New York City and the world? Those are people that make money moving other people’s money from point A to point B and back.
That comment basically sums up for me what is wrong with the US economy. Making things (ie. adding value) is no longer the priority. And, apologists in the media only encourage the demise (and criticize anything labeled Democrat).
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.