Wednesday, September 07, 2005

On the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

Observations as of September 7, 2005:

I’ve heard the hurricane survivors in areas outside of New Orleans (like Biloxi, Mississippi) feel neglected due to the lack of media attention to their own personal suffering. I’m going to talk about New Orleans anyway.

The situation just seems so horrible; it’s hard to wrap your head around. The news coverage on TV, if one surfs the channels these days, is equally horrible in its lack of perspective and the constant repetition of disconnected images next to talking heads. I saw one channel showing images of looters while two talking heads discussed what amazing and riveting performances the in-field journalists were giving amidst the pain and horror. The headline above them was something like “Media coverage of Katrina.” On the ticker, they ran a series of items about Osama bin Laden and fighting the terrorists “there,” meaning everywhere else, so they don’t get us here.

I thought of the Southpark episode where Cartman kills Scott Tenerman’s parents (long story) and feeds their remains to Scott cooked in a bowl of chili. To paraphrase Cartman, after he told Scott what was in his chili, “Let me taste your tears, Scott. Yumm, the sweet taste of unfathomable sadness.”

Yeah, that’s what TV “news” reminds me of. The sweet taste of unfathomable sadness.

That being said, there have been some propaganda-shattering media moments, such as New Orleans mayor Ray Naglin’s venomous comments (if you only heard soundbytes, find the full transcripts) which may have helped spur the elephant government into action. Most entertaining and surprising was Fox “News” with an on-air expletive from a hurricane survivor and emotional explosions from usual Big Brother shills like Shepard Smith.

To see the strangest and most disturbing footage of Hurricane Katrina coverage ever, coming from Fox News nonetheless, go to "www.crooksandliars.com" and do a search for Shepard Smith. The search bar is located on the right hand side. Scroll down when the page loads and you will see the "search this site" option. Download and play. If anything qualifies as must-see TV, this is it.
Or type in this link address, current as of today 9/7/05: http://www.crooksandliars.com/2005/09/02.html

Despite moments like the above, the coverage has mostly consisted of images of dead bodies, poisonous water, leveled houses, looters, lone-holdouts, huddled masses and now, much too late, a flood of rescuers. All I have heard, mixed in with these images, are reports of martial law, violence and looting, rape and murder at the “refugee centers," reports of people shooting at helicopters, and reports of FEMA turning away doctors, convoys of boats, supplies, equipment and other volunteers.

Meanwhile, the official line remains “we’re doing the best we can and everything is going fine” and the Suits on TV pat themselves on the back while anarchy reigns. First, people who wanted to get out without cars got bussed to a hellhole; now those who want to stay or return are to be kept away and forced out at gunpoint.

The reports are not only dark and depressing, they are very confusing and full of mixed messages.

It’s hard to have a clear thought when faced with digesting all of the news and information coming out of New Orleans, in addition to the useless drivel and blatant brainwashing which comes without fail from the TV “news.”

For anything with a semblance of credibility, I suggest you rely on trustworthy print and Internet news sources. I will explore how to determine their trustworthiness at a later date.

In major events, and even in minor events, the complete story usually will not come out for some time - months or years, if ever. With all the competing versions of truth floating in the INFOsphere these days, it becomes more difficult and more important to analyze what is presented as the news and “truth.” Understanding media is key.

And with the flood of Hurricane Katrina-related stories that have in America eclipsed nearly every other news event on the planet (other than the death of a Supreme Court Justice), it’s hard to think about much else. The stories, and the hurricanes, continue.



It’s hard to get a handle on the implications of something like HAARP, whether or not it relates to this catastrophe.

So I’ve waited to comment here on the many events surrounding this most recent American disaster. I’ve read, listened, watched and tried to digest everything coming from the media machines and I’ve tried to figure out what it all means. I just haven’t been able to think clearly enough. Something doesn’t make sense about all of this, but narrowing down just what it is and why, that hasn’t been working for me.

But today I finally had a clear thought on the world’s “last great superpower.” It’s certainly not the only thought, but it struck me as simple and revealing.

This nation could and has mobilized military forces, within minutes of receiving important intelligence information, to drop strategic bombs on international targets or send clandestine operatives to move in.

We could nuke the world without sending off a single soldier.

We can and did invade a country, quickly destroy its infrastructure with “shock and awe” bombings, and have since spent more than two years with soldiers occupying the property.

If so inclined, we could send a few hundred thousand more troops to another country, mobilize all our tanks and planes and bombs, mobilize our citizens through propaganda and exponentially increase production of war materials such as depleted uranium bullets. We have the capability, proven time and again, to be the most dominant military force in the world.

Basically, we’re real good at killing people. We’ve demonstrated to the world how good we are at killing the enemy, and we even brag about it.

What have we shown with New Orleans?
Our true colors.

We’ve shown we can’t, because we didn’t, do what is necessary to save the lives of our brothers and sisters in need, in time.

Plenty of volunteers are doing their best, and praise be to them. But the American Heads of State so prepared to go to war for “freedom” and “democracy” were not prepared to help the hungry, tired, and angry crowd at the Superdome. I cannot comprehend the horrors of the hurricane or the horrors of the Superdome, neither can I comprehend why there are so many stories of armed guards blocking people from leaving decimated “refugee camps.”

Pondering America’s history, I wondered if maybe we’re just not real good at helping people, other than ourselves.

The clear thought was this: We’re real good at killing people, but we’re not too good at helping people. In other words, we’re violent and selfish.

And that, my friends, sums up much of the popular American culture and values and the many greedy, self-absorbed and ignorant Americans who adhere to such.

In the land of the free and the home of the brave, where are the brave? Time will tell.

-J.A.H.
Mentalgongfu

3 Comments:

At 11:36 PM, Blogger Unsane said...

I guess it all links back to the idea that it was a "test of faith" for those suffering, and that those who "made it" must have had the most faith. Perosh those who lacked the ability to believe in a positive outcome of the flooding.

 
At 10:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we should send all the people back to New Orleans RIGHT NOW, wall the whole damn place in, and forget about it for ten years. Let's see if human nature can handle THAT adversity. DIE HUMANS DIE!!

 
At 9:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

steve earle sung "the revolution starts now"

i think he was right but which revolution i''m not sure. not many people i know are doing anything to stop the new world order.

but hell, even if it's too late to stop it, we can always sing songs about the destruction. and we should sing the songs, as loud and as mean as we can.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home