Friday, September 02, 2005

Wild Vitriol

I won't be eloquent, but I am mad. Just as my singing got breathy with performance, my typing and writing skills go to pot when angry.

Partner hasn't been to be bed with me for two nights now. That's not why I'm angry-- she's glued to the television watching images of NOLA, the horrible depressing inexcusable images. She keeps saying, "We've walked down that street. We were just there. We parked there." She's floored. Who isn't?

One brother of mine left New Orleans a little over than a year ago. He hated it by the time he left-- but admitted on our recent trip that he missed it for all its poverty and crime and partying (which was mostly what he got sick of). But still he missed it. His girlfriend hasn't heard from her mother in two days. They're safe in Tennessee, but she has no idea if her family's home outside of the city is still there. And no one has anyway of knowing.

My other brother moved back to Michigan only three months ago after graduating from Tulane. He considered staying on, but his girlfriend got a job here in Michigan, and thus he came back too. God bless her. Now he and his girlfriend have friends still stranded in apartments in the city. The last text message he got from a friend noted that a tree had just come through the roof. He hasn't heard anything since then. They are both heartbroken and sick. Her family is still in Louisiana, not in New Orleans, and all safe, but none of this can be easy for her thinking of her family down there.

They're all lucky. We're all lucky. Everyone is alive and accounted for. And they all possessed just enough money to shield them somewhat from what's going on.

We all made numerous trips to visit, and we all fell in love with NOLA. How could you not? I always said it was like we weren't even in America anymore, walking the streets with our Bloody Marys, sitting by the river. We all have friends there now.

I can't stand the images. It's so wrong. I can't stand that no one seems, until today when I heard the head of the NAACP say it, to be talking about the race and class issues here.

My head spins when I hear politicians say, "Well... we told 'em to leave, and they ignored us." Implicitly this statement says, "They deserve what they got since they didn't listen." Don't tell me it doesn't, because it does.

I commented on this at Republic of T, but that particular statement pisses the living hell out of me. First of all, as a politician in the region, if you didn't know that some of your constituents did not own vehicles or were too poor to get out, you already failed in your job as a public servant. You failed. You were out of touch with the people you were meant to represent. Secondly, if you did know it, but didn't arrange for any type of evacuation for these impoverished people, you failed. Again. You failed in your job as a public servant. You let down the very people that you were meant to represent.

No matter which way you look it, failure. So I invite the politicians to keep saying the above, and hopefully people will start to realize how the politicians indicate their own failure with such a comment.

Secondly, if you, Mr/Ms politician, knew it was going to be disaster, and begged people to leave, why in the world didn't you use some of the pre-storm time to gather up basic supplies like water and basic food stuff, like rice for God's sake? Certainly there was rice-- It's Louisiana! For the love of God! I myself have two five pound sacks of LA rice!! I mean, really! You knew it was going to be bad, you say, you begged people to leave. You begged. Big fucking deal-- what did you do? What are you doing now? Saying you sympathize isn't fucking enough.

And Jesus, Mary, and Joseph?! What can I do? What am I doing? I feel so freaking impotent.

When I was in grade school, a Catholic school, we went to Mass once a week. One of my favorite songs to sing was, "And they'll know we are Christians by our acts, by our acts..." [etc]

Act. Act!

When the tsunami hit, why did I feel more confident about people being taken care then I do right now? Doesn't this strike the majority of people as awful?

And finally, I am going to tell you all something-- I think they'll rebuild NOLA, but it's going to be under the supervision of some Halliburton type of company. They'll be a federal grant, and a private enterprise will get it. God bless America. Or wait, God Bless [corporate] America. That's it. In my estimation, the government should set up some public works type of organization, not unlike the CCC, WPA, , and CWA. [See New Deal]

This way for some people who've lost their jobs, everything might not be lost. There's potential there for a wage, and rebuilding the city can only engender some pride and investment in the place, and how could that be wrong?

As for the people who think this is some sort of Divine Punishment: Well! Seriously, if these people know God's mind so intricately, how could I tell them anything otherwise? Personally, I believe to make claims about God's motivation is pretty blasphemous and treacherous. How can anyone presume to know the will of God in that way? Peuh. Please. Don't. Make. Me. Laugh.

Anything helps, and I know that most people who read this blog probably already have donated something to an organization or cans to a drive or even prayed. I guess we all just have to keep doing the same. And we have to try and promise each other that we won't be silent about the inconsideration that the people of NOLA have gotten. We have to make sure we get some answers, when the time is right, to the gross neglect this whole region has seen.

I told you I wouldn't be eloquent, but I had to get a little of what I am thinking out. And believe me you, this is merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of what I'm feeling.


Blogger dkp said...

As if you could every be anything less than eloquent; this is exactly the kind of thing I've been saying--to my partner, to my students, to anyone who will listen--over the last few days. You just say it better. Keep on saying it, because it be said almost as much as it needs to be heard.

4:34 PM  
Blogger frog said...

How is this not eloquent?

(dkp, what's that little dude in your avatar!? Ridiculously cute!)

9:00 PM  
Blogger Soul Searching said...

I don't think you could have said it any better. It's shameful. The way they are neglecting these people sickens me, and I, too, hope that the people of this country don’t forget this, or let it go, but instead demand answers. I heard people at work today creating excuses already, and it just made cringe. Few seem to recognize the racial aspect of all of this…I guess they just refuse to acknowledge it. I don’t think it’s even debatable; it’s just so black and white.

And sitting here watching it while people are living something a million times worse than anything we are fed by the media is horrible. Why should I be so lucky as to sit here in my air conditioned home with plenty of food and water and nobody dying next to me, WATCHING TV while my neighbors are living in these scary conditions? How can these reporters walk through these areas with cameras and microphones and not try to rescue every person they meet? Donating doesn’t seem like enough. What else can be done?

11:56 PM  
Blogger April said...

It's so hard to feel that anything we do makes a difference when the leadership from the top is so abysmal.

Eloquently said.

3:49 PM  
Blogger amyesq said...

Thank you. You put it extremely well. And you are so right. You and I may not agree 100% on politics, but I agree 100% with what you just said.

8:48 PM  
Blogger Katie (WannaBeMom) said...

And I keep getting more annoyed. I'll admit it here, buried in my comments, I haven't watched any coverage since last week. I had to stop because my world view was becoming too too bleak.

For now I am trying this: “tracht gut vet zein gut”

11:01 AM  

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