"Pay close attention to that man behind the curtain!"

Saturday, September 03, 2005


The looters. The looters! They're stealing stuff in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina! People are shooting at rescue helicopters!

What the fuck?!

I have some guesses.

People are desperate. They're in fear for their lives. They're hungry and thirsty. Their homes are underwater. Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink. It's full of chemicals and human waste. Where do you think everybody is urinating and defecating? There's more pollution in that water than you could imagine. [UPDATE LINK]

The grocery stores aren't open, so you can't buy groceries. How long would you wait before you broke into a store to feed yourself and/or your family? What if you or your children have a chronic disease and your medicine is all underwater? Would you break into a pharmacy? Does waiting longer make you a better parent -- or does it make you a worse one?

The governor of Lousiana, Kathleen Blanco(-in-the-brain-o) says that you will be shot if you are caught looting. Wouldn't that just make you feel like a wounded animal that has been cornered? What would you do? (And by the way, with storm damages in the billions, do you really give a flying fuck on a rolling doughnut if somebody steals a TV from Wal-Mart?)

Can you imagine being stuck on the roof of your home in one of the inundated areas where helicopters pass by again and again and don't ever pick you up? What would you do? At what point would you shoot a gun to get their attention? How many times would you allow them to ignore you before you tried to get the boat for yourself? How desperate would you have to be before you started thinking, "Hell, I'm gonna die otherwise. Maybe if I shoot at that motherfuckin' chopper, that'll get their damn attention"?

Pretty desperate? Then perhaps you have an idea of the situation in New Orleans.

In normal times, these kinds of things present ethical dilemmas. But these are by no means normal times.

The rats. The rats! They're eating the dead in the streets of New Orleans. Police have abandoned their posts. Things are exploding. Nothing to eat or drink, nowhere to sleep or to shit. No way out. Nobody helping. Time is running out.

How would you feel? Can you even imagine? If you weren't quite sure what disenfranchisement meant before, the treatment of the victims of this storm ought to make it crystal clear.

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