|Blogs > rm_MrDark71 > RhantPage|
Allow me to preface this rant first by stating I feel genuine sorrow for those effected by this disaster. My thoughts and prayers go out to those who've lost their loved ones and possessions. My only regret is that our collective concern over the tragedy doesn't begin to assuage the grief or help explain how things can go so wrong so fast.
What is Katrinamania? ..you ask? I'm not really sure. Is it the media blitz forcing mouthfuls of despair down our throats? Is it the celebrity "Care of the week to reestablish my career" rescue squads with camera's to capture "the moment"? Is it the governments Spicoliesque tardiness? Who knows or really cares at this point. I'm sick of the coverage, the phony trendy armbands, and the exploitation of the disaster that is "Katrina" None of those can erase the fact that this could all have been avoided had we properly took action in the days leading up to landfall.
Let us dissect this from a Monday morning quarterback perspective. We/They/Whomever knew 3 years ago a major storm could cause serious catastrophe to the New Orleans area so much as to predict exactly what occurred. We/They/Whomever were informed ad nauseam via the news and weather networks about the impending hurricane at least 36 hours before. We/They/Whomever have elected a government that should be prepared and ready to react when unfortunate incidents arise. Then why did this turn into such a mess?
I'll start with the flooding and foreknowledge that the New Orleans area was a virtual fish in a barrel for any sharpshooting weather anomalies. Obviously the administration fumbled the ball deep in their own territory on that play and it cost dearly, but we can't assess blame completely with them. The people of New Orleans certainly read theses reports and the dangers they were in if such a storm was to arrive. Why didn't they raise the funds needed for the infrastructure changes or even further lobby the government for these changes more aggressively. If 100,000's of people flock to Bourbon Street every year to see co-ed nipples flailing about like Mickey Mouse ears at Disneyland, I'm pretty sure a few extra wet-T-shirt pageants and tequila shooter competitions could've supplemented the fiscal needs of such a large scale infrastructure change. Why didn't the resorts and local merchants start fund raising or yes even raising the sales tax a little in these tourist area's to generate the capital. San Francisco raised their local tax 1% for 2 years(I think) and used the funding to revamp their public transportation to a state of the art system that everyone benefited from. The city embraced the proposal and the hike because they recognized the need. End result was the lowering of the tax and a new "theme park" style subway system right out of a Jetsons cartoon. Had New Orleans addressed the issue properly and encouraged it's residents to participate, they would've had a 3 year head start on Katrina and possibly beat her to the punch by being prepared.
Since we can't expect our leaders to have a pro-active approach with that much forethought, we hope they could at least react to the hourly "Moe style" slap across the face from the weather news correspondents. We know for a fact the residents ignored it or were ignorant of the situation. Nevertheless an all out military style evacuation should've at least been considered when the news of impending wraith was reported. It's difficult to accept the fact that you have to grab what you can carry and abandon your life as you know it for a miserable detention camp existence somewhere, but it's much better than being camped out on your roof for a week surrounded by a tepid malaria bisque with no assistance available. I'd rather be cooped up like "Woodstock2" showgoers than be left to watch my neighbors float by as I try to extract any liquid from my own piss a while sitting uncomfortable atop a chimney. Tragedies happen all the time. The only tragedy here is the fact that A)so little was done before hand when it could've done some good, and the incredible outpouring of generosity from the people of this great world is nothing compared to what is needed. When I mentally juxtapose the response, I can't help but think that the help provided by the government and the selfless giving of people could've changed this outcome from weeks of dismal new reports to a large scale collective good old fashioned "Help Thy Fellow American" pat on the back for all the world to see. Instead we look like a third world nation scrambling for assistance. That kinda makes me sick considering how we are the "greatest" nation on the planet.
People as a group are dumb as rocks. Funny considering we are the most advance species on the planet and even the roaches had enough sense to get out of Dodge(in this case New Orleans). My big gripe with the government is not that they didn't provide any help or warning because they did what they could with the resources set into place. If people ignore the "LEAVE NOW" warning then well hey..they did their part. The problem I have is that the system in place for this occurrence FEMA was so unprepared they looked like tourists on the beach adding suntan lotion as the Tsunami hit Sri Lanka casually joking about the good waves for bodysurfing. How can we as a nation allow people with absolutely NO APPLICABLE EXPERIENCE run such an important and vital governmental machine as Disaster Management. If we insist on continuing the trend of nepotism in politics why not put the "gift job" employees in charge of something like Olympic Committee. This way the worse thing that can happen is our bobsled team shows up late without their sled. Instead we stick with the current system that allows a town to be decimated and we can't even find our "bobsled" to go help. I hope we learn our lessons here today about the proper operation of crucial machines such as FEMA . If our country actively embraced the important things in life we would approach "Disaster Management" with as much zeal and enthusiasm as we do making sure we vote in tonite's "Survivor Finale". Wake up people and prioritize!
After Katrina we should all sit back and take a good look at our state of affairs and assess where we stand. We need to address the issues that could've turned this debacle into an unfortunate occurrence with minimal damage and grief. The government needs to be actively prepared instead of reactively responding. The so-called celebrity do-gooders should stay home and think about what they could do now to prepare the nation for the next disaster instead of racing to exploit the current crisis for their own self-worth. As far as we the American people..well not much to say really..again we collectively emptied our pantries of glazed beets and creamed corn, assessed what articles of last years Prada line would look good on a refugee, and genuinely shook our change purses into every QuickyMart glass jar labeled "Katrina" to help. Kudos' to the general population on their efforts to help the folks down there and I hope we can continue this thought process into next election time, not to spite our current administration or government but to show them that we care about these issues instead of whose nipple was exposed on national TV( not to go on a side rant but if we paid as much attention to vital governmental function as we do to whether or not Howard Stern said "balloonknot" in a non sexual manner, this rant would be non-existent).
Again let me state my sincere feelings to the colorful, fun, energetic, pridefilled, culturally rich people of N'Awlins and I hope to someday visit and have that cup of Crawfish Chowder in one of the many fine local family bistro's I've been dreaming about. I gave to the Red Cross what I could to assist and feel that further assistance can be given via this tirade. If I can make one person, no matter how smart or dumb,rich or poor, to say "hey wait a minute...we should fix this" then I would've helped in ways exponentially greater than wearing the plastic armband of the week and pretend everything is ok. Good Luck New Orleans!!!! And the rest of us WAKE UP! We almost lost "hedonists paradise", the Saints(even though they always suck) and Tabasco(selfish to think that way when people lost their lives and loved ones, but that is all that seems to jar us into cognizance and that's truly sad).
9/21/2005 9:08 pm
Yep...see dude..I tried writing somthing like this a few days ago, and I didn't do it nearly as well. You rock.|
Ohh and...^5 for the 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High' reference. Very esoteric....
9/21/2005 9:41 pm
Maybe it's the field I work in but I tend to feel that people really are capable of honest philanthropy and altruism. I do think the majority of people who have given time and money, including celebrities, did it because they can and do want to help. New Orleans is such a musically oriented town that it seems natural to me to see famous musicians giving what they can. It doesn't bother me at all if they choose to do so publicly. Right or wrong, people do idolize them and they can motivate people to do whatever they can. And on a more selfish note, I love watching the concerts. |
As far as the people of the city helping themselves I think the poverty level has to be considered and the fact that over 100,000 people didn't own cars and couldn't get or even afford gas to get out themselves has to be taken into account. And I really couldn't say what I would have done in a situation like that. I honestly can't even imagine having to muster up the courage to live through
something so devastating. I'm such a wuss.
At one point the state of Louisiana was actually granted the money to fix the levees but it was later rescinded and given over to the efforts to "rebuild" Iraq...ugh...and the terrorists win yet again.
I do believe the federal government was the major snafu in the equation and even the numbnuts in chief had to admit that. Now it will cost a whole lot more to rebuild the coast than it would have to repair the levees. Not to mention the immeasurable cost in human lives and livlihoods.
What a mess. So very sad.