Friday, September 02, 2005
The devastation in New Orleans has been more than my head can handle this week. When teen daughter and #1 son were way small, Janet and I went on a trip to New Orleans. I fell in love with the squares and the live oaks and the food and the music and the art and the free spirit of the place. Peter and I sent some $ off and the school is starting up a drive for relief boxes. It feels necessary but so insufficient. The kids are freaked out about the looting so I read Smoky Night today and we talked about getting out of control in out of control circumstances. I told them about seeing footage of women walking out of a store with stolen diapers. I don't excuse looting, but I told the kids that if you have a baby at home, you really want diapers there too. In our local paper, I read about 2 Bloomingtonians who left New Orleans with their cats and that's all. They left teaching jobs and are living with parents here in town. Their schools are gone, their jobs are gone, their home is gone, and they're happy to be alive with a place to live and a pair of shoes on their feet. In their interview they talked about the extreme poverty of their students.
I'm slowly coming to look at what has happened. I don't think my slowness is only my own fogginess. The news reports early in the week were general and full of vague comments.
Edited to add: Check out this site about how looting is compared with finding in these photos.
And you might want to read Pareti's piece about how the free market killed N.O. and will bring us all down eventually. The comparison with Cuba's hurricane evacuation is startling enough. And I slogged to a Democracy Now podcast that gave me more info in an hour than I've gotten from a week of news bites. And Michael Moore's letter to Bush is a good read too.