Friday, September 02, 2005

Basic necessities

So, when you can't sleep and you can't blog, what do you do? In my case I watch cable TV and play Monopoly at

I was thinking a lot today about the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Things sound like they are getting pretty desperate in the gulf region devastated by the hurricane, particularly in New Orleans.

I have no desire to belittle the tragedy, so please, I hope no one takes it that way. But I am stunned by how the world for the survivors of that tragedy has changes in just a few days. All our modern conveniences don't mean shit right now. Fuck cell phones and pagers and computers and DVD players and cable TV and, well, frankly anything that runs on electricity or needs gasoline to operate. In the blink of an eye the clock has rolled back more than a century in time. It is Darwinian survival of the fittest.

People who survived the storm are dying in the streets and in attics and in rescue shelters. Our society has gotten so soft that we can't get by without air conditioning and refrigeration and electricity. Live is prolonged by modern science, medicine and other conveniences that we have all come to take for granted. I'm not sure I could survive in the post apocalyptic world the unfortunate citizens of New Orleans and other Gulf communities now find themselves in.

Fuck the ATM, people need to know how to hunt and gather and find water and shelter in a place where all such things are in short supply and mobs rule the streets.

In a strange way, I admire the people who are doing the unthinkable just to survive another day. God bless those people and may the cavalry arrive to carry them to safety as quickly and efficiently as possible.

It was not so long ago that I had never been east of the Mississippi River. But in the last few years I had the great fortune to visit Georgia, Tennessee and Florida and meet some wonderful people. I have also had several friend and coworkers from my last few jobs relocate to jobs in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and the Gulf region.

For the last few years the threat and reality of hurricanes has meant much more to me than the ever have earlier in my life, in no small part because I have friends who now live in harm's way each hurricane season. And the hurricane seasons of last year and this year have been so frightening and devastating.

My heart aches for my friends, and those who nearly became part of my family, and the talented former coworkers and colleagues who are far too close to this devastation. I miss them all and my heart aches for them, their families, and for those in and around the most severe devastation. May you find the comforts we all take for granted very soon: the comfort of friends and loved ones, a safe place to sleep, food to eat and water to drink.

And may the rest of us never take for granted those simple things, usually so easy to find, which can mean life or death when they are not so readily at hand.


Ari said...

I agree: I think we all need to keep a base level of knowledge of survival skills. Not that anything would make this situation better, but still. We are too dependent on technology.

GRT said...

Guys, you're letting all levels of government off too easy.
There were enough hours of warning for someone to have started preparations for the hours after the storm hit.
Bus companies could have been alerted, the Navy could have begun steaming towards the Gulf, the National Guard could have been mobilized.
Technology warned of the potential; humans ignored the warning.

3rdtimesacharm ( 3T ) said...

Just wanted to say that I miss your posts. (NOT A GUILT TRIP)

I am just letting you know I look forward to reading you each day.

Hope all is well in your corner of the Pacific NW.


ERL said...

i really can't think anymore about katrina right now, so i will say this. i love monopoly.

The G-man said...

I guess I've sort of taken an unplanned vacation from blogging. I haven't been reading many blogs lately either. There's an incomplete blog post still in draft form. It's a bit ironic that sometimes the more I think and feel, the less I have to say.

Kudos to all who have made contributions to Katrina relief efforts. Be safe all.

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