[lit-ideas] Re: New Orleans

  • From: Paul Stone <pas@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 04 Sep 2005 10:16:31 -0400

> Press dismay at Katrina chaos
> Newspapers around the world see Hurricane Katrina's chaotic aftermath
> as a defining moment for the presidency of George W Bush.

As usual, Andy, you have lost sight of the facts, the reason, and WHAT other people have said about the case. You have tunnel vision. You plow ahead, questioning my manhood, comparing be to Geraldo? completely disregarding ANY fault of the poor sacks who are still there. I have said from the beginning that this is a pathetic mishandling of the situation by the people (Bush &C, the Governor of LA, even the emergency crews in N.O. itself). It's reprehensible that they were so lax and STILL really haven't done anything to do anything. Their subsequent denial is unconscionable and I agree, a defining point of George's [un-]presidency. His continuance of his vacation is unfathomable.

MY point was that the people there need to take a little responsibility for themselves and NOT act like criminals. They ARE in the situation they are in, so, instead of standing around, crying, feeling sorry for themselves -- acting like babies without mothers -- DO SOMETHING -- ANYTHING to alleviate the 'actual' helpless people's suffering (you know, the sick and children). Even a 5 year old can HELP out. A pregnant women who was ready to drop SWAM. The problem is that people have become so desensitized that they can't recognize a REAL danger, a REAL dire situation until they find themselves in it.

You ask me what I would do if I was in that situation? I don't know. I'm NOT in it. And, truth be told, if I had lived in New Orleans last week, I wouldn't BE in it now. Because I'm not the kind of person who gets trapped in some ridiculous situation like that.

But if I were, I certainly wouldn't stand around shooting the finger to the rescue helicopters, hanging my head, yelling on television and BLAMING others. I would be organizing things in my own little clique of people -- whomever I was stranded with. I'd come up with ideas and try SOMETHING. Like I said, the first concentration would be on getting water for everyone around me. There are many ways to do this. I'd figure out a way. There's water all over the place. Do you know how many things you can use to carry water? Do you know how USEFUL water is -- especially when it runs downhill? Do you know how many things you can turn into a boat? If I were trapped, after the first day or two, when it was becoming evident that I'd been abandoned by my government agencies, I'd probably be inclined to get the hell out of the city. I'd probably make a boat and paddle. It might take me ten hours, but I'm a big strong boy who can do endurance sports pretty well, so I'd take the chance. I'd even take some people who could also swim with me. If they WANTED to go. What's a bit of water anyway? No, I'm not trvializing the fact that there are billions of gallons of water in New Orleans right now. It's just that at this point, it's only standing water and it's not TOTALLY, everywhere. I could portage my makeshift boat across those areas that were relatively dry. I'd look for animals. I'd follow them. If the distances weren't too far, and I couldn't find a "boat", I'd fashion a sort of lifejacket and swim for it. Didn't you ever go to cubscouts? They taught us all these things.

I'm just thinking here. I'm not under duress. I'm not in that situation. I just know that if I were, I certainly WOULD NOT sit in a stinkhole with a bunch of other people and complain. And I certainly wouldn't sit there for a week.

A.A.  I was in an Indian restaurant yesterday and I have to say, I didn't
feel the same sense of being an American that I used to feel in that same
restaurant.  BTW, after yesterday's meal, excellent though it was, I was
thirsty.  I didn't drink much in the restaurant and after a while, I was
downright uncomfortable.  I can't imagine if I couldn't drink for a few
more days.

Did the fact that it was an "Indian Restaurant" have anything do with it? Or did you just 'throw' that detail in? If so [to number 1], why?

Just like the rest of the world was right about Bush's invasion, they're
right about this hurricane too.  Only Americans (and Paul Stone) blame the
people for the government's inaction.

Only people like YOU (aren't you an American?) blame the government WHOLLY for people's plight.


[insert pithy quote here]
Paul Stone
Leamington, ON. Canada

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