Wednesday, September 07, 2005

I gather that part of the bureaucratic and political strategy for avoiding responsibility for the New Orleans debacle is to repeat the "no one could have anticipated" line. Sure, most reasonably educated folks aren't going to buy it, and no one who lived anywhere near New Orleans would, but there is a sucker born every minute and that's the audience.

If you want to talk to such folks, point not to the N.O. Times Picayune articles of last year. Point not to the special report in National Geographic magazine a few years ago. Point rather to this:

National Geographic's Cyclone! (1996)

It is a nice little documentary film about hurricanes and tornadoes and explains how they work, what they do, and what they have done. The benediction is a computer animated look at the "nightmare scenario": New Orleans hit straight on by a decent-sized hurricane. In the video you can see film of what happened last week.

The film is 9 years old.

I taped my copy off television back in the day. I was living in Hattiesburg, Mississppi, at the time.

In related news, I have heard Barbara Bush comment that it is "scary" that so many of the refugees are contemplating staying in Texas and that they've got it pretty good there in the shelters. Given that Bar is and was always a perfect symbol of the ruling class, grandmotherly propaganda notwithstanding, I will only comment as follows:

1) The refugees have been traumatized and are so desperate that they think Houston is nice, and that IS scary.
2) (but seriously) Last night on German TV a young woman and her daughter both said that they were happier in the shelters than in N.O., because in the shelters they were surrounded by people who CARED WHETHER THEY LIVED OR DIED, unlike in N.O., where it was every man for himself. This I take as a comment on the abject poverty they left behind. Fuck Barbara Bush BUT it really is true that there are lots of people in the US for whom a cot on the floor of the fucking Astrodome and a bag of MREs is puttin' on the Ritz. And that is a crime.


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