In the aftermath of the hurricane, came complaints about hype: Was Hurricane Irene a disappointment?
Media analyst Howard Kurtz says yes. After all, Irene wasn't even a hurricane when it made landfall in NYC. Other New Yorkers are equally dismissive: A NYC gossip site called Irene The Sudden Sex Celebrity without Much Bang. Scallywag wrote:
she’ll more than likely be the sexy hot dame that tantalized us and left us a smidgen disappointed that we didn’t get to experience the type of rude shock that we were told to look out for.
An anonymous texter had a similarly sexualized reaction to the storm:
Last night in my drunkenness I bought hurricane supplies which included a jug of wine and a bouquet of flowers. Apparently I'm going to woo Irene.
Even Susan Orlean, The New Yorker writer, saw the storm as beddable (on Facebook).
If Irene were my boyfriend, I'd say enough with the foreplay, dude. The moment has passed.
When we add all of these risk factors together, we can say with a great deal of confidence that in the future, there will be more and more events like Irene. We can comfort ourselves by saying that this particular storm was not necessarily caused by global warming. Or we can acknowledge the truth, which is that we are making the world a more dangerous place and, what’s more, that we know it.
Maybe if Kolbert was looking at the natural world through the TV screen, for entertainment. she'd react differently.