On interstate 435 around Kansas City they have erected these large electronic signs over the highway at several points along the route I drive to and from work everyday. Now once in awhile these display some useful information, such as “Accident Past Metcalf, Right Two Lanes Closed” or “Construction Ahead,Expect Slowdowns”. Of course, quite often they display these messages on a sign that is past any exits you could have used to leave the highway and avoid the problem, but once in a while they give you enough warning to do something about it. Most of the time these signs though are used to thwart Darwin. They proclaim 'Extreme Heat Warning”, “High Ozone Warning”, or “Amber Alert, Tune Radio to Local Station for Information”. Now I don't really need to be told its hot outside. I don't need the government or the local news warning me that its hot and I shouldn't go out in a field and stare directly at the sun while wearing black and not drinking any fluids. I know its hot out, I will survive without them telling me how. Despite a total lack of warning from the government about not shoving an ice pick through my eye I still have two good eyes, I think I can figure out the whole heat thing.
The Ozone alert also kind of annoys me. What the hell am I suppose to do about it. Not fill up my gas tank during the day, mow in the evening, carpool? These are all suggestions the freaking sign beams into my brain. Well, I fill up my gas tank when it gets empty, since its usually on the way from or too work it tends to be in the evening or morning, but when it comes down to it, I will fill up when I need it. I also usually tend to mow my lawn in the morning or evening. You know why? Because its freaking hot outside, if they had been paying attention to the Extreme Heat Warning they would know that.
The Whole Amber (Red/Orange/Mauve/Chartreuse) whatever warnings are a different matter. They probably aren't telling me anything that should be intuitively obvious to a fern. However, it all strikes me as being so Orwellian. Lets have the government telling me how dangerous things are. And lets not have them just tell me in plain English, no lets have them use some arbitrarily selected color coded system so it all sounds good in a sound byte and that the short attention spanned, mentally challenged, reality-tv watching American public can grasp it without being troubled with thinking overmuch. Unless the alert is something along the line of “Big Freaking Plane loaded with Snakes is about to Crash into downtown KC” I probably won't change my behavior any. Some vague warning that terrorist activity may be on the rise somewhere don't get me all worked up. I actually think these don't serve any more purpose than trying to frighten the public into voting for Republicans (which I probably am voting for anyway, quit trying to scare me into it, you had me at giving tax breaks to the rich).
Oh well, for now I will keep driving by and hoping one tells me to sing Doo Wah Diddy.