Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Tears for New Orleans

My worst fears are being realized. The Mayor of New Orleans estimates the death toll in the hundreds, maybe even "thousands." Will the city ever be the same? This is a fundamental blow to the life-on-the-edge psyche of this city. Perhaps the party is finally over. I hope not, but how could a city like New Orleans not take life just a little more seriously after such a tragedy.

Today on CNN I saw a picture of the 17th Street Canal, which was breached and poured water from Lake Pontchatrain into New Orleans. This was my old neighborhood while I was in college. I lived on the west side of the canal, in Metarie, LA. Directly on the east side of the Canal is New Orleans. From the picture on TV, the breach occurred on the New Orleans side, and Metarie side appeared dry.

When will the finger pointing start? I can already hear it now on Larry King: "Who's fault was it?" "What could have been done to avoid this tragedy." "Why is it taking so long to help."

In America, there's always someone to blame when a natural disaster occurs. There's no such thing as an act of God. America always needs a fall guy, because in the process of crucifying the fall guy, we maintain the illusion of being in control of nature. Afterall, if it wasn't for the fall guy screwing up, no one would have died, right? So who is the fall guy going to be? Stay tuned.

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