“Feets” Binkowski, reporting from Southern California

Oct 24, 2007 by

A Guest Post by John Doheny, visiting professor of music at Tulane University.

Here’s my friend marieoroumania checking in from Socal.

Everybody was happy and smiling and seemed thrilled to death to be sleeping on FEMA cots. Free food, free water, impromptu dance lessons, live bands volunteering, some of whom were evacuees themselves. I cannot believe how much of a party atmosphere there is there. Especially after the grimness of the Astrodome in 2005 and the governmental fuckups. What a difference some organization, some money, and some genuine giving a shit enough to plan for an awful disaster makes. Seriously. I didn’t want to leave. I saw one girl with her face painted, and asked her where she got it done, and she told me “oh, over in the arts and crafts section.” Arts and crafts section! At an evac site!

While I am of coure happy that human suffering seems be being kept to a minimum, I actually felt sick reading this. Because I know that, sure as shit, this situation is going to be used to beat us New Orleanians over the head with how much better republicans, in a rebublican state, with a republican governor, are at managing disasters. And, once again, how the fuckups in Katrina are entirely our fault for electing a democrat mayor and a democrat governor (note the subtle ‘republicanspeak’ of substituting ‘democrat’ for ‘democratic.’ In the south, when you want to insult someone, you ‘call them out of their name’).

The fact that this is apples and oranges will be glossed over. It’s not just that SOCAL has a lot more money and a lot fewer poor people. It’s that it still has large metropolitan areas that are completely unaffected. It’s that the stadium has power, and running water, and the sewers haven’t backed up and flooded the place with shit.

Are the happy Southern Californians being kept inside by armed guards? When they tried to walk away from the fires (well okay, this is socal. drive away from the fires) were shotguns fired over their heads to turn them back? And, last I heard, about 600 homes had actually burned. That’s a tragedy for 600 homeowners, but over 150,000 homes were destroyed in Orleans Parish alone.

I sympathize, I really do. And if you have time later on, check the comment strings on places like Huffington Post. The same ass-trolls clamboring for my town to be abandoned are yammering on about hollyweird liberals too stupid to run from fires. So, you know, welcome to the club.

But in the long run, especially in the MSM, this is going to get spun as a triumph for Bush and the republican governorship of california, and a further indictment of Louisiana. And that makes me almost as sad and angry as the disaster itself.

Related Posts

Share This