Sunday, August 9, 2009

Katrina - another viewpoint

It's been a while since I added anything to my Katrina research. This looks really interesting and long:

Baghdad on the Bayou: Final Report on Deception and Diaspora in New Orleans

Feb 17, 2008, by Georgianne Nienaber

"The old river in its broad reach rested unruffled at the decline of day, after ages of good service done to the race that peopled its banks, spread out in the tranquil dignity of a waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth."
--Joseph Conrad

The citizens of New Orleans, southern Louisiana, and the greater Gulf Coast were sold down a river of lies as surely as Marlow faced the heart of darkness in deepest Africa when he boarded a steamer on the Congo River. By the time a hurricane named Katrina came along, the lies were so immense that all of America found it impossible that anyone could concoct deceptions of such magnitude. The lies were Orwellian in scope and degree—political leaders told deliberate lies and actually came to believe the lies for a time, ignoring or burying the facts until the facts cried out for resurrection—along with the dead piled against the levees or swept out to sea. Human empathy, respect, responsibility, and knowledge of what was seen and unseen were abandoned along with all reason. The doctrines of depopulation and disaster capitalism murdered morality in the halls of power and commerce—doctrines were built upon the twin pillars of political expedience and deception and finally cloaked in tenets of the Constitution. The lies recruited fear, fear morphed the Mississippi River into an enemy, and humanity became the victim.

Political expedience favored wealth and commerce, and deception ginned up anguish--anguish that craved a fairy tale ending because tragedy demands explanation and resolution.

Today, row upon row of fake, pink, plywood miniature houses dot the scarred, flooded, moldy landscape of what was once a neighborhood in the lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. Promises of $150,000 homes, courtesy of Hollywood celebrities, are sprinkled across the devastated plat like so much fairy dust. Humanity claps its collective hands, hoping the fairy will appear and the dead will rise from the sepulchers of Acadia and from the bulldozer tracks that buried bone and mummified flesh. Humanity invented the fairy tale because reality is too heartbreaking, the truth too hard to bear, and without the happy ending people cannot sleep through the dark night.
Did a search for "communitarian" at oped news, there were three returns, first is
"So, Who the Hell is Norman Thomas?" and (why was he quoted by Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Barack Obama's first nominee to the Supreme Court):

Anyone who, without preconception, examines the life of Norman Thomas emerges with the sense of a deeply moral and morally subtle man who called himself a Socialist - even while he was repudiated by myriad Socialists - because he believed that a communitarian philosophy is truer to democracy than the everyone-for-himself libertarianism that represents the opposite pole in American politics. (boldface added)
And here's a Manifest for communitarian change:

No comments: