imkittymyers at hotmail dot com
Friday, September 02, 2005
HELPLESSNESS & GUILT
Because I've become saturated with the flood news, I do not watch the news, and I tolerate the Weather Channel just long enough for our local report, because I just know that they'll flip to those scenes from New Orleans. You know the scenes. And the news of those scenes. Instead, I watch Judge Judy and Becker reruns. If I had ever entertained thoughts of cutting back on cable movie channels, I dismiss them now and bless their prescence, instead. Anything to block out the news of a situation over which I have no control. To block out the utter helplessness I feel. To stop myself from thinking what if? .. I feel guilty, too. Guilty because I'm trying to avoid hearing about their suffering. Terribly sorry, old girl, if our misery intrudes upon you. We'll try to suffer and starve and die more quietly. But I can't escape; there's always something there to remind me.
This is Elizabeth Becka's backstory for her book, Trace Evidence:
[S]ince my heroine is always a thinly disguised me, she became a forensic scientist.
I came up with the bizarre drowning method used in the book because I don’t want to detail terribly gory demises—yes, even though I was surrounded by such demises every day, or perhaps because of that. You survive in that environment by not having an imagination, by not thinking too hard about what this person experienced before that final oblivion, and I didn’t want to start.
See what I mean?
George Neumayr's piece in The American Spectator may make him about as popular as a skunk at a lawn party, yet it has to be said.
Masques of Death
New Orleans was ripe for collapse. Its dangerous geography, combined with a dangerous culture, made it susceptible to an unfolding catastrophe. Currents of chaos and lawlessness were running through the city long before this week, and they were bound to come to the surface under the pressure of natural disaster and explode in a scene of looting and mayhem.
Criminals have ruled New Orleans for some time, convincing many members of the middle class, long before the hurricane, that the city was unlivable. In 1994, New Orleans was the murder capital of America. It had 421 murders that year. Criminologists predicted 300 murders this year, a projection that now looks quite conservative.
Gas prices here are rising as I type. Yesterday morning my favorite station had gas for $2.99, so I filled up my tank. A little later the price was $3.19, which is still the cheapest here. Other stations are selling it for $3.29 and up. On the bright side,
Forbes predicts oil will drop to $35 within a year
He spoke as Katrina shut down almost all the flow from the Gulf of Mexico, which provides over a quarter of the United States' oil. "I'll make a bold prediction. In 12 months you're going to see oil down to $35 to $40 a barrel," he said. "It is a huge bubble, I don't know what's going to pop it but eventually it will pop - you cannot go against supply and demand, you cannot go against the fundamentals forever." …
Mr Forbes said the whole concept of the strategic reserve was pushing prices higher. "The speculators know now that no matter what happens to the price of oil Uncle Sam is there buying almost every day," he said. "Stop the buying and in fact throw some of that oil on the open market, boy that would throw it in turmoil and send the price down."
All of which reminds me of this dialogue at the very end of the 1975 movie "Three Days of the Condor":
Higgins: It's simple economics. Today it's oil, right? In ten or fifteen years, food. Plutonium. Maybe even sooner. Now, what do you think the people are gonna want us to do then?
Joe Turner: Ask them?
Higgins: Not now - then! Ask 'em when they're running out. Ask 'em when there's no heat in their homes and they're cold. Ask 'em when their engines stop. Ask 'em when people who have never known hunger start going hungry. You wanna know something? They won't want us to ask 'em. They'll just want us to get it for 'em!
There is some really good news: Dana and her family are okay!
I heard from Dana yesterday. They are unharmed but are on their way to stay with family out of town. Just thought that anyone waiting to hear from her would want to know.
Jennifer 09.01.05 - 11:17 pm