Sunday, September 04, 2005Orleans Perish
Some things are just too big for a blog.
A kid barfing in a van is prime blogfodder; it's small, you can hold it in your hand, and amusing synonyms render almost anything you write instantly successful. It's essentially pointless and meaningless -- that's why it's so easy to blog.
On the other end of the spectrum, you've got the profound failure of a society's leaders, the preventable deaths of thousands of people, and suffering on a scale that the human mind refuses to imagine. I've been turning the twin disasters in New Orleans over and over in my mind for days, and at the end of it I'm no closer to having something coherent to say about it than I was on Monday morning. It has immense meaning -- the implications are huge and far-reaching -- and the point is of the most important kind; writing about it seems so useless, and it seems almost impossible to do it justice, but maybe it serves some purpose in the end. Everyone I know has done everything they can in practical terms; all we can do now is document the atrocities in preparation for fixing everything that went so horribly wrong.
Far better writers than me have already produced pages upon pages of words on the subject -- so many that I can't even begin to link to them all as a poor substitute for coming up with some of my own. Books will be written on the subject -- some of them have doubtless already been started. We'll be talking about this for as long as we talked about 9/11, and quite possibly longer... the real magnitute of this disaster dwarfs 9/11 in its effects and ultimately, I fear, in loss of life as well.
I have read and listened to everything I could find over the last few days. I listened to the Mayor of NOLA plead for help and berate the failures of government that have led to the death of a city; I listened to usually self-righteous, obnoxious talking heads break down in tears and talk back to their clueless studio-bound colleagues; I listened to the pleas of people begging for help to find missing loved ones, begging for food and water, begging for delivery to a safe place. And I listened to a purported president spout half-interested platitudes for the benefit of cameras.
As I said before, I do blame Bush for every single death that's occured since Katrina left the Gulf Coast. I blame him for the weakness of the levees; I blame him for staying on vacation for fucking days instead of taking action (and that goes for Cheney and Condi, too); I blame him for gutting FEMA; I blame him for placing at the head of FEMA another incompetent asshole who seemingly made every single decision with the intent to make things worse; I blame him for the failure of Washington to answer Governor Blanco's urgent requests for help until it was far too late; I blame him for his failure to use the vast resources at his command until it was wise -- in PR terms only -- for him to do so; I blame him for claiming that nobody could've known on one hand, and for blaming the victims for not evacuating themselves on the other; I blame him and all his fucking ilk for wanting a federal government so weak it was unable to act in the interests of its people, and thus sacrificing thousands of lives to their cause. I blame him for that fucking cake and that fucking guitar and for every rat-eaten corpse floating through the bowl of toxic shit stew that used to be New Orleans.
We've just had a second 9/11, and this time, instead of blaming Osama bin Laden (or whatever other brown person Bush takes a fancy to), I'm focusing every ounce of blame on George W. Fucking Bush. He and Osama are exactly the same as far as I'm concerned; the deaths of thousands of Americans make them equals.
Bush left New Orleans for dead; regime change begins at home.
PS: Timelines, timelines, timelines, timelines. And all of them damning.
PPS: I'm so ashamed for my country.
PPPS: Boy, I sure am glad this administration has done its utmost to maintain good relations with the UN. Thank god some people still realize what the term "international community" really means. |