“The storm is here,” said the governor. Everyone looked out their windows and said, “Hey, he’s right!”
Bulletin, bulletin, bulletin! Bulletin, bulletin, bulletin! The sun did not come up this morning, huge cracks have appeared in the earth’s surface, and big rocks are falling out of the sky. Details twenty-five minutes from now on Action Central News, kids!
–George Carlin, Take-offs and Put-ons, 1967
First Harvey, now Irma. Leave it to a woman to be forced to pick up after a man, even though an unimaginable gulf exists between them. What else is new?
Speaking of news, we have embedded 42 reporters who are now reporting live from the hardest hit areas. You know where, right? The areas where everyone was ordered to evacuate. Luckily, reporters are not well known for listening to reason.
“Hey, boss. You know that hurricane that’s about to hit the mainland?”
Ah. The big city. There’s no place like it, amirite?!
I’m currently working on a theory that seeks to explain the vast breadth of experiences found in the big city right down to the smallest nooks and crannies. I think I’ve found a model that does just that.
We decided to leave our house. We piled into the car. Seven turns and six miles later we were at Powell’s Books. We left our car in a truly frightening multi-level parking garage and made our way inside. An elevator whisked us up to the third floor. I shuffled over to the farthest corner and stood in front of books about architecture. I pretended to be interested. Suddenly, invading my space, someone crowded in. Yes, I was attempting to physically exist in the sole location in the Cosmos where they wanted to be. I was bad.
Which came first? Bad polling or Donald Trump? Perhaps that’s a question best left for philosophers and besides, this isn’t a post about He Who Must Not Be Named. (I can’t promise he won’t come up again, though.)
Actually, this post is about polls themselves. As a little piggy who built a house out of straw, I feel I am eminently qualified to discuss and conduct polls of my own. I find the arcane craft of polling science to be an art form.
What is a poll? It’s basically just a fancy word for asking a lot of jerk faces about their opinions.
On an episode of Seinfeld, a comedian wakes up in the middle of the night and laughs. He’s thought of a joke. He scribbles it down on the handy notepad he happens to keep on his nightstand. The gag, of course, is that the next day, he can’t read the note and can’t remember the joke.