I've reached maximum capacity at all the over-agitated media reports concerning the aftermath of Katrina. Yes, I realize there are dead bodies floating in the flood waters. Why does every AP or Reuters news story have to insert that fact into the text of every article? Yes, I realize help was slow in coming to the area, but come on people! This is the worst natural disaster in this modern age. I think the last time this many Americans were affected by Nature's fury was the Great San Francisco Quake almost a hundred years ago. Geez, rescue and response is going to take time. There's no genie in the bottle to toss her ponytail and make it all just happen.
Also seriously annoying are all the opportunistic politicians puffing up their feathers and and using a national tragedy to advance themselves or their party or their agenda. Pointing fingers never gets us anywhere, but unfortunately, Capitol City is full of AssHeads who make their politcal careers off of harping on what one administration is doing wrong and how they would have done so much better. My foot. Had this happened ten years ago or ten years from now, we'd still be caught with our pants down.
And then there's Commander AssHead, Kanye West. No matter if you agree with his impromptu, incoherent rant on last week's telethon or not, it was still unfortunate that he chose to use a fund-raising event to air his own poorly articulated personal grievances. He's a self-aggrandizing jerk who really just wanted to bring some attention to himself. In no way did his statements benefit the Red Cross (for whom he was supposed to be raising money), but just brought Kanye attention. My company provided phone support for the telethon, and a co-worker who was there said immediately after he opened his fat mouth on national TV, the phones were jammed with people calling to complain and some to even ask if they could rescind the donation they had just given. Someone needs to remind Kanye that he's just an entertainer and that free speech does not mean every type of speech is appropriate for every occaision.
Okay, ranting will cease and desist. Onto some interesting finds about NOLA on the web:
This story disturbed me but didn't surprise me. The chaos of the storm and the flooding was fertile ground for sprouting urban legend. As much as I hate to think this of people, I am sure there are more than a few folks who were desperate to see their name in print or their face on television. Cooking up a horrifying tale of carnage and destruction to sucker some eager reporter out for a salacious story is a great way to get noticed. It's unfortunate that so many of these reporters didn't take the time to adequately verify these tales before putting them in print.
I have a co-worker who has been more concerned with the plight of NOLA's animals than the people. She sent me this one. The comment about the ark just cracked me up. How is it that the zoo people got it right while rest of the city floundered? I think someone in city government should put these people in charge of disaster recovery for New Orleans. Put that in your pipe and smoke it Ray Nagin.
To get an arial view of the city pre- and post-Katrina, visit Google Maps. There's a button on the top right (in red) that says "Katrina". Zoom into the city, and toggle back and forth between this and "Satellite". It's not pretty.
Finally, it looks like the beloved Preservation Hall survived. Adrian and I sat mesmerized for two hours on uncomfortable benches enjoying some awesome New Orleans jazz. I can only hope that more historic/unique sites around the city were spared as well.