Freeway Closure Part of Larger ‘Bad Karma’ Media Gridlock

It doesn’t really matter if any of the worst-case scenarios articulated in endless TV, radio, Internet, and newspaper coverage of “Carmageddon” actually pan out or fizzle this weekend. From bloggers fearing the worst ahead of the annual Oscar telecast to handsomely named weathermen blasting out “Storm Watch” warnings worthy of a Roland Emmerich movie cameo, LA media loves a good doomsday story.

Especially if a report can be put together without actually talking to the experts, digging up historical precedents, and couching Carmageddon in some scientific modeling. Sounding the Rapture-like alarm is, quite simply, Paddy Chayefsky-grade gold.

We’re already mad as hell about living in a city that forces us to be dependent on cars, but when a small portion of our asphalt prison is taken away, we become even madder. Westside Angelenos have generally reacted to the prospect of Carmageddon the same way people in other portions of the U.S. of Aamco do when a politician threatens to amend their right to bear arms.

Whether Carmageddon 2011 proves to be worse than Carmageddon 2012 (yes, we get to do this again next summer) or simply as preposterous a conceit as the most recent Emmerich guilty pleasure starring John Cusack, again, it don’t really matter. The satellite van brigade will soon be busy chasing down SoCal’s next schadenfreude story.