01 September, 2005

Hurricane-related despair

Oh, god.

I don't want to be cynical about this. There's so many ways I could be - talk about the incredibly poor way our government is handling this disaster, how our leaders are shopping and flirting with celebs while the dead litter the streets of New Orleans, how this is going to ravage the American economy because of the effect on Gulf oil production and Mississippi river exports - but it's so ghoulish. And here I am wracked with guilt because I'm sitting in an office working on evolutionary biology while people sit in their own excrement in the Superdome, and water logs the timbers of the buildings of New Orleans and slowly reduces the city to flotsam.

I'm reading "Good Omens", by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. It's about the Apocalypse. A funny book, but I can't help thinking that Famine, Death and Pestilence are stalking through the wreckage of New Orleans right now (War is on holiday in Iraq). I think these End Times metaphors are strangely comforting for me, because there's really no other way to consider this rationally. If this isn't the end, what happens after this?

The usual "charitable aid" links seem worthless. You can figure out how to send money yourself.


Ghoulish is exactly the right word. I agree with almost everything you said--and feel the same way about the relief organizations. I don't have anyone directly to give to, though, and am additionally trying to keep my head about me as well while I watch all this. It's so f@#king sad, though, that it's hard to remember things like "don't give money to homophobes" that seemed a lot easier to keep hold of during the tsunami, for instance.

On an aside, the topic of your current poll is angsting me; any chance for a change? 

Posted by Saurav

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