Saturday, September 03, 2005

I haven't written anything about New Orleans here yet. Partly because much better writers than I, obviously, are already writing about it, partly because it's not just my quality but also my content - I don't have anything to say that I haven't already seen. And partly just because this has been overwhelming. I mean, it's unreal. I read somewhere - sorry, no link, couldn't find it again - about a woman who couldn't fit on a bus out of the city, so she begged people on the bus to take her baby with them. We'd think a little less of a movie that had such a clich├ęd scene, but it's happening. FOX News anchors were on the verge of tears in some videos I saw.

I started writing this post several days ago but stopped because a) still wasn't sure that what I had to say was worth it, and b) thought I'd wind up looking like an ass. But since then I've gone from anger - why the fucking fuck did it take so long for help to get there - to despair. It's entirely possible that I'm looking at it from too close, especially since I've barely gone outside my usual channels, but it looks at the moment like this won't matter. I mean, it looks like the morals of this story, both the obvious ones and whatever new ones are revealed, will be ignored. Bush slashed the funding to FEMA and appointed as its head a friend-of-a-friend who's greatest accomplishment until then was getting fired from the International Arabian Horse Association? What do you expect, the federal government can't do anything right. The problem was too big for state governments and it says right in the charters of FEMA and DHS that being the first responder and/or organizer to this stuff is their reason for existence? But the Democrats in Louisiana didn't do everything perfectly, so the feds are off the hook.

I'm sorry. My disconnect from local issues and disinterest in the Missing White Girl of the Week means that I get most of my news from blogs, which is probably bad in general and certainly isn't helping here. And the more mainstream media really is noticing that FEMA fell through as well as many other problems, which seems like unusually good coverage to me. But when I see people attacking the federal government in general rather than the administration that's running it into the ground, when I see people as outraged by reaction to the government's conduct as to that conduct itself, when I read that Bush is trying to appoint Roberts to Chief Justice in the middle of all this...

I saw a quote I liked somewhere - again, sorry no link.

"If one good thing comes out of this tragedy, it will be the repudiation for decades of the idea that people who don't believe in government have any place running the government." --Jeffrey Dubner

The jury is still out on whether or not that will happen. Unfortunately.

On a lighter and more personal note - when I was a kid, I didn't like having such a weird name. It got twisted all kinds of ways by other kids - not necessarily that they wouldn't have made fun of me anyway, but it was easy ammunition, and for that matter chances are most of them didn't mean any harm by nicknames in the first place - and it's a pain having to spell it for everyone. But lately I've come to appreciate it more and more. For example, I can always tell when a caller is a telemarketer. And right now, well, the girlfriend of a good friend of mine is named Katrina. That will never happen to me.

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