The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Friday, August 15, 2003

"SUPERPOWER WITH A THIRD WORLD GRID"
That would be the United States, in light of the massive power blackout in the Northeast that has observers around the globe taking (relatively) playful digs at the predicament.

The "superpower" quote was from former U.S. energy secretary Bill Richardson, who I guess would be in a position to make that assessment about the power grids that juice this country. (While the term "Third World" is effectively descriptive for backwater conditions, I wonder: Didn't the Third World cease to exist when the presumed "Second World" (the former Soviet bloc) went down? Then again, try telling that to some poor starving bastard in Ethiopia.)

My favorite zing:

"Now we understand why they (Americans) have been unable to get the electricity running in Baghdad," said 47-year-old engineer Ghassan Tombin in the Gulf Arab country of Dubai.


I don't think anyone should read too much anti-Americanism into these reactions; I think it's more just an opportunity to take a playful shot. Hey, what else can you do in a situation like this, where the majority of people got inconvenienced more than harmed?