Saturday, September 03, 2005

Katrina Bloggers Dividing the Union?

monday, 8/29 - unctuous: marked by a false or smug earnestness or agreeableness.
tuesday, 8/30 - evanescent: fleeting.
wednesday, 8/31 - venial: capable of being forgiven; excusable.
thursday, 9/1 - capacious: able to contain much.


I'm not having sex, but if I were, surely, I'd be yelling out "ah shit." "Oh God!" "Katrinaaaaaaaaa-hh!!!." At which point I'd roll over onto my side of the bed and ask for a cigarette before having to explain why I felt the urge to scream out the name "Katrina" when, obviously, that wasn't my lover's name.

"Oh... that bitch."

On Monday morning, after Katrina skirted by New Orleans, there was an unctuous feeling that the city would survive. Or, at least long enough to let the storm flow out of harm's way, anyway. The levees appeared strong enough to hold back the initial storm surges and the bulk of the remaining New Orleaneans escapted the storm in sanctioned buildings.

Evanescent hope still hovered above the Superdome crowd, on Tuesday. Surely, help would soon arrive to carry them away like maidens in distress. They would be whisked away to some happy neverland of unending sunsets and then the world's problems could, once again, be limited to 3rd-world countries and the Middle East.

On Wednesday, the venial no longer was. The relief delay turned stranded against themsevles. By Thursday, the news had focussed every lead to cater the public angst and disappointment in the government's unwillingness to help the helpless. The city of New Orleans and the world learned just how capacious the city's levee system wasn't and started to question a venal government. The flood waters rose every day with the sun and hope drowned on Bourbon Street.

Now, as I've used but all but one of my Dictionary.com words of the week, I question even the objectivity of the "random" daily words. I look at them now, and, in hindsight, can see a bitter sense of irony at how they seem to encompass this entire week.

Friday, 9/2 - trammel: something that impedes activity, progress, or freedom; also, to hamper.

She's been around more blocks than the newspaper delivery kid. She's on everyone's mind and tongues: Newspapers, radio, television, and the Internet. In the last week, Katrina has cybered with every internet media pundit. And, like the prostitute promising her heart's love to every jealous john, she has turned us all against one another.

And, I don't know where it all started. There are white-collar Democrats gleefully pointing-out the errors of the Republican administration, white-collar Republicans saying we're doing everything the hostile, stranded New Orleaneans will let us do, and the idealistic hopefuls, half the country away, cheerleading the Red Cross from their leather Barcaloungers. It's sad, but the media is probably the point of dissention.

Bloggers, Internet investigators during "Rather-gate," and citizen heroes during the Asian tsunami and 7/7 London bombings, are now turning personal agendas into nation-wide separation and are dictating the news coverage. Each network, fearful of the grassroots control these blogs have over "big media", has to comply.

Since the blogging generation flipped the real-time coin on its head, everyone has become extremely critical of everything. It's good to that most people are question the truth in everything said and printed. This overly-critical culture the internet has spawned a generation of sayers and typers and we're all losing sight of what's important.

No doubt, someone at the local or federal government level "dropped the ball." It's easy enough to say that from my comfy office chair. I-35 to Dallas and Austin is just blocks from my house and is completely passable. I-10 into New Orleans isn't. Helicopters can only re-locate so many individuals at a single time. Boats must stick to water-based tributaries to circumnavigate underwater streetlamps, trees, and buildings. And, the stranded are not all in a single group waiting at a bus stop; they scattered throughout the city, and how do you tell the dehydrated and starving that they have to wait because they're not as close to dying as others?

The bulk of those left behind are poverty-stricken, African Americans that could not afford to leave when the mandatory evacuation was ordered. There's shooting, and looting, and raping and killing going on in the streets. Honestly, what are these people going to do with a stolen large-screen television? They're trying to survive. Everything has to re-built. People have lost everything, but most importantly, they've lost themselves. Given the choice, the looters would happily trade-in stolen televisions for a bus-ride to Houston or Dallas or whereever shelter, AC, food, and a future is offered. Instead of figuring out a way to keep me from stealing a television from an abandoned Wal-Mart, figure out a way to get me the hell out of Dodge!

Yes, finger-pointing should be done and someone needs to take some responsibility for the New Orleans relief and rescue clusterfuck, but is now really the time? Instead of looking for and retriving survivors from the floodwaters, everyone is seeking out fall-guys.

This blogging generation has an idea or perspective that they think is completely original and that, alone, qualifies them to be journalists. The problem of a country full of journalists is everyone is too busy reporting to do anything physically tangible. Ever seen that episode of Seinfeld where they get thrown in jail because they were recording a mugging instead of helping the victim? - the good samaritan episode. Well, we're a Seinfeld society. Everyone's too busy patting themselves on the back for putting their "voice" of concern out over the internet that we've all forgotten that 'talk is cheap,' and it's easy to fake an orgasm.