Thursday, September 08, 2005

When the Levee Breaks

Usually I don't do this, and by this I mean post about politics. First of all, I don't really think it's my strong suit as I don't have the time to find out more than what the news is telling me, to the point where I feel I can speak intelligently. Also, I figure there are a hell of a lot more people out there who can post about these kinds of things better than I can, so why not leave it to them and instead post about what I want to post about? Unfortunately, for all of us, I need to make a change to that policy, for this post anyways. I have been thinking about this post all week, and I don't think I'll be able to move past it and write about other things until I get it out there and be done with it. For those of you who don't care to read about hurricanes and inept public officials, come back tomorrow and read about my soon to be adopted daughter. She's a cutie. Still here? OK. Well, you asked for it.

What the fuck? I mean seriously? What? The? Fuck? At what point did we stop being the biggest superpower in our little corner of the universe and become, what appears to be, a 3rd rate government run by stumbling retards? Every day I read new details about Katrina and her aftermath, and every day I get angrier and angrier and angrier. Every aspect of this horrible tragedy has been so unequivocally fucked up by our fearless leader and his band of fuckwit cronies that it defies logic that this person is in charge of our country. I mean, it's not like we didn't have some idea before of how bad things were, but this is the icing on the cake. A cake made from toxic flood waters with a creamy filling of ineptitude and iced with drowned body frosting.

You would think, that when something of this magnitude happens, we'd want to step back and figure out what went wrong. Well, you'd be wrong. Sort of. The administration doesn't want to play "the blame game". They don't want to be "blame-gaming" at this point, unless, of course, the blame is pointed at state and/or local officials. A "senior Bush official" told both the Washington Post and Newsweek that the Lieutenant Governor of Lousiana didn't ask for state of emergency status until September 3rd, and had she done earlier, the federal response would have been quicker. Problem was, she asked for it on the 26th of fucking August, something recorded on the state of Louisiana's own fucking website. Louisiana's seal is Pelicans. How cool is that? Anyways, yes, we wouldn't want to lay blame on, oh, I don't know, FEMA, for waiting until after the storm had hit to propose, not send, propose to send 1000 workers into the area. And we certainly wouldn't want to take issue with the fact that said workers should "convey a positive image" about the government's response. You know what would convey a positive image? Actually fucking rescuing someone.

While we're on the subject of rescuing folks, how is it possible that Harry Connick Jr, Sean Penn, and like, every reporter ever born is able to make it into New Orleans, but the massive might of America's military can't? I have seen Harry Connick Jr. in concert and spoken, ever so briefly, to him after the show. He is many things, tall, good looking, a gifted piano player, charming performer. One thing he isn't, is Paul Fucking Bunyan. When one tries to imagine who they would want orchestrating their dramatic, wilderness rescue, Harry Connick Jr. does not come to mind. Perhaps, now he should. Ditto for Sean Penn. Were I stranded on a boat somewhere, needing a rescue at sea, I would not expect Jeff Spicoli to come to my rescue. And for all of those right wing assholes mocking Mr. Penn and saying that it was only for a photo op that he rescued those people, who the fuck cares? He could have a camera strapped for his forehead for all I care, at least he was rescuing people, which is more than I can say for your sorry ass. They had an article in the AJC about a guy who managed to orchestrate the rescue of his son, and dozens of his son's college classmates, who had been stranded in their dorm, using only a phone and the power of his mind. So he can make some calls and get all of these people brought safely to dry land, but FEMA can't figure out how to find their ass with a map and a flashlight.

But no, we don't want to play the "blame game". We don't want to be blame-gamers all blame-gaming and game-blaming and some such. Hell no! Freedom is on the march! Mission accomplished! Trent Lott may have lost his house, but don't worry, he'll build a better one! One thing, here. Is it not too much to ask that the spokesperson for the leader of the free world have a sufficient enough grasp of the English language that he doesn't have to make up words like "blame-gaming". I mean, there has to be what, two, maybe three hojillion words, at least, in the English language. Wouldn't one of them worked better than "blame-gaming".

No, we certainly wouldn't want to be blame-gaming, unless we're talking about the poor. Oh yes, those dirty, dirty, poverty stricken assholes who didn't have the common decency to get up on out of there and not die and then float down the street. Those selfish, selfish bastards. One theory is that the poor didn't leave was because they didn't want to lose out on their upcoming welfare checks. Well, I guess that's one way to put it. The other way would be that when you live check to check, the end of the month usually means that you don't have any money, so that upcoming check is the only thing that will allow you to leave in the first place. And we all know how big those welfare checks are, and that had they only arrived a day or so earlier, the poor would have climbed aboard their gilded yachts and sailed off into the sunset, champagne bottles popping in the pre-hurricane glow. Cause when I think of a group of people that has the means to evacuate at a moment's notice, I think "poor". Honestly, what kind of sick fuck can look at the utter devastation brought on these people and think, for one second, that they, in any way, deserve it simply because they don't have a lot of money? How is it possible for that person to not just drop dead on the spot because they're so fucking evil?

But it's OK. I understand. Those poor, they're just so poor, and so black and so underpriviliged that you can't feel anything but anger towards them. I mean, here you are, an average guy who wants nothing more than to drive around in his fancy imported sedan, drink 4 dollar Frappucinos and maybe give the wife a poke inbetween bringing the kids to ballet class and riding lessons. The last thing you want is some dirty poor person reminding you that your country, and possibly you by extension, isn't doing nearly enough to help those that can't help themselves. That your country left them to die in the streets or in the Superdome, or on their rooftops. Who needs that kind of a downer? It's football season!

But don't you worry, because our government is on the job! Bush is going to find out what went wrong "over time". Yay! Saints be praised! That's a relief. Let's hope that "over time" means in the next few days, because last time I checked, we're only 7 days into what is traditionally the worst month in hurricane season, a season that lasts until late November. Plus, it's not like every crack-pot fucking terrorist in the world just saw how monumentally unprepared we are, and is now thinking that maybe a WMD isn't such a bad idea right about now. Don't worry Mr. President, I'm sure the hurricanes and the terrorists will wait for you to figure out what went wrong.

Speaking of crackpots, what do antiabortion radicals and al Qaeda have in common? They both feel that Katrina was the wrath of God! Charming! You know kids, terrorism starts at home. I don't know about you, but if I were a moderate Republican, you know, an old school fiscal conservative kind of guy, uncomfortable with the way my party has been hijacked by the religious right, this comparison would make me shit my shortbread.

But again don't worry, our government is on the job, firefighters have been deployed and are patiently waiting in airports and posing for photos with the President. We can't spare people to rescue folks, not when there are valuable leaflets to be handed out. Besides, according to the Senate, things are going "remarkably well". Whew! That's a relief. Here I thought things had already gone to shit, been eaten by something that likes to eat shit, and then shat out again. And don't you worry, because even though 10 billion has been appropriated for aid, Senator Burns of Montana is on the case. According to him, the Senate is going to "ask for a little more accountability for how that money is being spent and where it is going." Again, whew! That's a relief. Hey, Senator, any chance we could ask for some accountability for the $28 million in "disaster relief" appropriated to Miami-Dade County for Hurricane Francis, when Francis came ashore 120 miles north of Miami-Dade County? Senator? Hello? Well, I'm sure he's busy. Just so we're clear, accountability for dollars? Yes. Accountability for deaths? No.

I've been watching everything that has gone down since Katrina, the good and the bad, and I can honestly say that this is the first time I've come away from this kind of disaster feeling worse about humanity. I know that there are good people out there doing good things, like donating cash, making t-shirts, and creating websites to hook families up with housing, but overall, the way that our leaders have responded to this, make me feel like we're all miserable fucking human beings. Usually I see the good that people do and it makes me feel better about humanity, but not this time. This time all I see is greed and a base defilement of the human spirit.

I am, by nature, a musical person, in that I can usually find a line from a song to help me connect with how I'm feeling. This time I've got two for you, from Led Zeppelin and Better than Ezra. I think they sum up things nicely:

All last night sat on the levee and moaned,
Thinkin’ ’bout me baby and my happy home.
- Led Zeppelin

All my rage
Sits inside
When even the finest things
Are leaving you hollow
- Better Than Ezra

Moaning and hollow. What a horrible way to be.


Dr. Forbush said...

Bush Cut FEMA Preperation Funding

The Bush administration cut the funding for FEMA pre-disaster mitigation in April 2001 just after they took office. Then they gave this money to the wealthy in their tax cuts. If these Republicans can get votes because they promise to cut taxes, they should loose votes when those tax cuts kill people...

MQ said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
k o w said...

"Shit my shortbread" you sir are a genius.

Asphyxiate said...

I was thinking about writing up my current thoughts on the blog, but you summed up my pov more succinctly and wittily than I ever could. So I'm just going to keep reading yours instead.