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Saturday, September 17, 2005

"Take a hint."

I am tired and confused and I don't feel very well. And I just got back from grocery shopping, which was difficult because I had forgotten both my list and my glasses. This difficulty was compounded by the fact that the store had been completely rearranged; so not only could I not find anything, I couldn't see and I wasn't sure why I was there to begin with. The walnuts had been moved from the baking aisle to the candy/popcorn aisle, the dried fruits are now the proud neighbors of the fresh fruit, and strangely, there were no bananas whatsoever. But this has nothing to do with anything.

The big news is Katrina. You don't even have to call it "Hurricane Katrina", anymore. Just plain Katrina will do. People may never name their kids Katrina again. The horror, sense of loss, and emotional devastation borne out of the images of the suffering victims has been at least partially replaced by anger, disbelief, and frustration surrounding the authorities' poor response. Every morning since August 28th I've woken up surprised to find Bush still in office (admittedly, that "Good morning! Here's your coffee! Bush is still The President!"-feeling isn't new for me...it's just stronger these days). What happened in the Gulf Coast was nothing short of catastrophic, and the administration's reaction can only be described as pitifully lame. The Governor and Mayor of New Orleans, the Bush camp, FEMA, and even the Red Cross are all pointing fingers at each other. There will be plenty of time to lay blame--right now the only important thing to concentrate on is getting appropriate aid and services to where they are needed.

New Orleans is receiving 94.5% of the media attention. This is understandable. New Orleans is (was?) more than just a major American city; it is (was?) a cultural institution. Jazz funerals. Louis Armstrong. Gumbo. Need I go on? There's a great deal of devastation out there, it's important that it is not overlooked. Care should be taken so that other affected areas do not fade from memory.

Now, for me, Katrina has been nothing but a positive force. Very, very, very few people can say that, and I feel both lucky and guilty. That record-setting hurricane swept up a terrific guy and displaced him right smack dab in the middle of my livingroom. No one is more surprised by this than me.

But that's another story for another time.
posted by missbhavens @ 9:53 PM |

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