Considering only eight or so people read this site, there is typically no point in writing about serious matters, whether they be political, religious, sexual, culinary, emotional, neurological, or any other adjective that desribes something that aflicts people. However, I feel compelled to write something about what is currently occurring in the Gulf and specifically, in New Orleans. Now, I realize that me writing a little something here is right below driving home with a box of Wheat Thins and taking a nap on my sofa on the futility scale, but so be it. Let me vent and get some things of my chest, if you don't mind. And while you're at, be my guest to stop reading now and go about your day, as the following will surely be boring, rehashed in the days to come, and pitifully wrong-sighted once this whole mess continues.
For one thing, I am really fucking angry. (How angry are you??) Well, I already told you. I'm really fucking angry. I'm angry that I feel so completely ineffectual and useless and that the only recourse I have is to give some money to the Red Cross. But watching people die - uh, actually fucking die!! - on the side of a road because no medicine, food, or supplies can get to them really chaps my cushy-Los Angeles-job ass. I am appaled at our government. Specifically, our President and his Cabinet. Of course, I've been no fan of Bush, but I am also not one to put blame on the shoulders of those who do not deserve it. However, his response to what has happened and continues to happen is just so typical (emphasis mine, der) it makes me want to actually be a better person or at least a more courageous person, a person so courageous he could easily imagine punching that grinning Nero in the fucking maw and wear his shattered teeth like an elastic bracelet and then shove something disgusting, like, say the fecal matter floating through New Orleans, in his smirking little mouth.
But Bush didn't cause the Hurricane just as God or Allah or the gays or the hot little college girls going wild (mmm...) caused it, and I don't begrudge him the fact that this is a horrible tragedy that no President would want to fall on his watch. But guess what, head-honcho-senor-in-chargo? You're the Big Cheese. You're the Man. We look to you in times of trouble and as Americans tend to gauge our response and actions on your behavior, your words, the faces you make, your posture - we're even watching you as you carry your well-groomed dog on and off planes during National Emergencies. And it adds up. And it adds up. And when the Nation sees you playing guitar on the TUESDAY after the hurricane hit (Sunday night/Monday morning), well, guess what? Sorry, lost my train of thought. Oh, right. Fuck. You.
Let's go back in history. Remember that Clinton guy? He sure was a prick, huh? Loose-moraled and opportunistic. I bet if this happened on his watch, he'd be out at some nightclub dancing with interns and getting blowjobs from hookers!! Actually, history tells a different story. One, unfortunately, we can now only hope would have been repeated by this President.
But like I said earlier, I don't blame Bush for what happened. The hurricane would have happened anyway. And to cart out the fact that we are at war and New Orleans would have been saved if only - oh, if only!! - some of the money we are spending in Iraq were diverted to engineering projects designed to fortify the levees seems particularly erroneous. The fact is, people have known about the problem inherent in the topography of New Orleans for centuries and the thing standing in the way of properly protecting the city was not George Bush but the political process in our country, a process that always and uniformly rewards quick results. What sort of a politician introduces long-term, expensive projects that benefit the next mayor, or the next governor? The sort of politicians that lose.
Still, Bush's response and the response of our Homeland Security and FEMA has been pathetic and ridiculous. This is what we've been paying millions (billions) of dollars for? This is how our government has fortified and streamlined our resources so as to assuage our fears in a time of anxiety and "war"? By doing fuck all? I'm sorry, for this, I really am, but color me, uh, non-plussed.
What this has led to, as we have all seen, is chaos and anarchy. Left behind after the evacuations were the elderly, the incapable, and the poor. Most of them were black. Any racists out there who think that this is just black people being black certainly hasn't been to parts of southern Ohio or Indiana, or West Virginia or Tennessee, places where similar sights would certainly occur if some section of the state found itself underwater - albeit, the ragged and overweight and wheelchair-bound would be white, not black. They would also be in the possession of guns, roving the countryside in gangs and getting while the getting is good. You can count on that. Being poor and desperate and resorting to tribal allegiance knows no color.
Which brings me to this: watching the footage the last couple of days has further solidified my previously tenuous belief that I need to acquire a gun. Maybe not right now, not this year, but at some point. We live in a society where guns are not only allowed, they are owned in massive proliferation, by preachers and criminals and schoolteachers and doctors. What's the point of denying myself a weapon to protect myself? The scenes coming out of New Orleans are chaotic, and there was a two-day warning for people to evacuate. If a massive earthquake hits the west coast, if there is another terrorist attack (specifically if it is a coordinated attack), or if heaven forbid China or some such nation gets the idea in 20 years or so to stick a thorn in our side, then I'd like to have a gun.
To those who say that it is silly to have a gun for whatever reason, I say, I don't care. The nature of the world is violence and chaos and disorder and I'm a grown man and that means I can have a gun. And as I walk from the ashes of some bombed-out or earthquake-rattled city with my belongings in a backpack, I'll have a gun with me. That might sound paranoid and apocalyptic, but you know what? After seeing what has happened in New Orleans, I think it's foolish to think that that scene couldn't be played out in another American city. Dresden was destroyed. The whole of Japan, obliterated. New York could have taken a much worse hit than two jets ramming into buildings and someday very well may. There will be another Great War in the next 50 years, and natural disasters, if you believe some scientists, will only increase in frequency and intensity. We saw what happened after the tsunami. Imagine a massive earthquake in San Francisco. Gas lines breaking, fires destroying city blocks, possible flooding. Then the guns come out and the looting begins and the exodus - but to where? What if the bridges crumble? Even if they don't, cars will be useless as people walk over the three bridges. It may sound like a nightmare scenario but compare it to New Orleans.
Sometimes we have to be reminded that this is what panic and desperation looks like, writ large. In the future, I'll have my gun.
Or my guitar, if I ever get elected President.