[lit-ideas] Re: New Orleans

  • From: "Andy Amago" <aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 4 Sep 2005 11:08:12 -0400

> [Original Message]
> From: Paul Stone <pas@xxxxxxxx>
> To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Date: 9/4/2005 10:16:36 AM
> Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: New Orleans
> 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? 

A.A. I said Geraldo cried and you impugned his tears.  Ever see the
commercial that says It takes a man to be a dad?  I.e., macho men are
cardboard cutouts of men, cartoon men.  If you impugn his tears, then
you're a cardboard cutout.  But we resolved that one.

> 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
> 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
> done anything to do anything. Their subsequent denial is unconscionable
> 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
> 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
> the 'actual' helpless people's suffering (you know, the sick and
> 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.

A.A. You're right, except that the government acts like a bunch of
criminals too and that's considered fine.  You're also not allowing for
trauma.  When 9/11 went down, it was only an office area that was
destroyed.  The survivors went home.  These people had no homes to return
to.  When one is dazed, one doesn't think well.  Your arguments are the
same arguments that question why Jews didn't stand up and do something
against the Nazi guns.  Well, why didn't they?  Too used to sucking on the
mother tit?  Or maybe traumatized and terrified and dazed?  

> 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
> in some ridiculous situation like that.

A.A. Assuming you left, what would you come back to?  Your house is gone. 
Your job is gone.  Your clothes are gone.  Your car is gone.  Your friends'
houses and jobs and cars are gone.  Jobs in the entire area are gone.  You
escaped, now what?  How do you pay for a hotel?  How do you buy food?  This
country has abandoned you, Paul.  Left you to free market forces to do the
best you can.  While they do what with the $33 billion allocated to them?

> But if I were, I certainly wouldn't stand around shooting the finger to
> rescue helicopters, 

A.A. They were giving the finger to the helicopters who weren't stopping. 
I bet you wouldn't be angry as hell either.

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
> around me. There are many ways to do this. I'd figure out a way. There's 
> water all over the place. 

A.A. Correction, there is toxic waste water filled with oil and battery
acid and decomposing animal matter and you name it 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
> 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. 

A.A. And of course you'd have a a map in your back pocket so once you got
in that sturdy little boat you'd know exactly what direction Houston or
another dry city lay.  That's after you surveyed the area and saw which
burning buildings to avoid.

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
> 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
> 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.

A.A. In the cub scouts I went to I learned how to rub sticks together. 
Nobody ever taught me to make water wings.  What a country, asking us to
rely on our cub scout training in an emergency for which there exists a $33
billion agency. 

> I'm just thinking here. I'm not under duress. I'm not in that situation.
> 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
> a week.

A.A. You're an extraordinary person.  Noah could have used you.

> >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?

A.A. It absolutely had everything to do with it.  I admire and respect
Indians.  I am firmly convinced that all humans have the same intellectual
ability, and Indians' are now a rising star in technology to our setting
one.  Still, I'm an American.  To date I was proud to be an American, to
live in a country where kids don't beg in streets, where it's not every man
for himself.  Now our government is insisting that the strong survive, that
dog eat dog, every man for himself, the devil take the hindquarter, like in
India, where entrepreneurial 10-year olds form banks so the adults don't
rip them off.  Now Sri Lanka scrapes together $25,000 to send us to help us
out because our wealth and power left us to rot.  Yes, it had everything to
do with being in an Indian restaurant.

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

A.A. The government is the people.  Who the fuck is the people if not the
government.  By your definition we should get rid of cleaning crews and
garbage collection and everything else and make citizens responsible for
taking 100% care of themselves.  

Andy Amago 

> paul
> _________________
> [insert pithy quote here]
> Paul Stone
> pas@xxxxxxxx
> Leamington, ON. Canada
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