As if reports about the potential threat of a nuclear meltdown in Japan aren’t enough to drive me to despair, enter The Experts.
Every news bulletin unearths its own expert on the situation at Fukushima. He is usually from some obscure university such as the School of Miscellaneous Panic Studies in Antarctica. The interviewer asks him for his considered opinion based on his considerable knowledge of nuclear power only to hear:- “Well, it’s too soon to tell.”
The desperate interviewer prods Dr Mumbles for an atom of information, a sound byte perhaps? but no, the expert pleads ambivalence. “We don’t have enough information as yet,” he explains. “I would be loathe to predict the outcome of this situation.”
“But the situation looks pretty grim, doesn’t it, Dr Mumbles?” prods the interviewer.
“Well, yes… and no, although it’s too soon to tell,” Dr Mumbles responds. “It all depends on…”
“Thank you, Dr Mumbles,” interrupts the interviewer before going back to shots of the steaming nuclear reactor.
“That was Dr Mortimer Mumbles from the University of Antarctica expressing concern over the extremely grim situation at Fukushima.”
What was all that about? I ask myself. They could have interviewed me, and I would have said “Dunno, but it ain’t lookin’ good.” But I wasn’t asked because I don’t have the cachet, the info, the insight, the expertise. My dunno would lack credibility, I guess. However, it is comforting to know that I’m not alone.