Nips, Lips, Hips, ‘N Fingertips

{February 28, 2006}   Not-so-fat Tuesday

Never having been to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, I can only compare this year’s celebration to celebrations past based on what I see on TV. Obviously, this year’s event holds more meaning for most. Hopefully no one is there this year just to see tits. And then again, the city does need the money, and a fool and his money are so easily parted. But, as usual, I digress…

What jumps out at me is that it’s SIX MONTHS later and we as a country have moved on. We are still passing the buck, playing the blame game, turning away. We have moved on to the next big story.

Just in case you haven’t been paying attention, or haven’t seen any of the “news” coverage of the ninth ward today, it’s still a big fucking mess there. Entire blocks are still in total ruin. There is rubble everywhere. Sheets and hoses and windows hang from the trees. Homes that were destroyed are still destroyed, they’re just not full of water anymore. Instead, they are now full of mold and rats and who knows what else.

The various news channels have their typical takes on the scene: some are reporting a “Frozen in Time” city, a “Tale of Two Cities”- the spins are as ridiculous as ever. One local news channel pretty much blamed N.O. residents for voting to have some say in what is done to their homes, for not letting them just bulldoze it and haul it off without so much as a prayer. That newscaster, or whatever idiot news editor came up with that particularly demeaning and unenlightened spin on the story, has obviously never been in a natural disaster.

Yes, when you have survived death, you are glad to be alive. Yes, you are aware that your things can be replaced but you and loved ones are irreplaceable. But that doesn’t change the fact that you need to sift through your personal rubble. It’s part of a process that helps people to heal. They need to see it for themselves, to feel the loss fully, in order to let go and move on. People who don’t understand that need to work with computers, not with people. And they need to get the damn microphones out of their faces, and let someone with a heart do the talking. I’m just sick of the talking heads without hearts.

How long will it take us to rebuild one of our greatest cities? What does this say about how we treat the poor in our country? Why is New Orleans still at ground zero?

“Poverty is the worst form of violence.” ~Gandhi


I thought of this post often yesterday as I heard news reels and teasers from the tv playing in the background. Look, they’re partying… but there’s still some rubble… but look, there’s a parade. Kuddos to the folks who felt empowered enough to celebrate their heritage – but man… you’re right… why is New Orleans still at ground zero?

One of the social workers I worked with went to NO (or at least the area) to help the red cross. She said she experienced some of the most horrifying displays of inhumanity while she was there (this coming from a CPS worker!). The county she was in was giving out a stipend of sorts to people who ‘needed’ it… rich people would come down, in their beamers, dressed, clean and ask… no… EXPECT, their stipend (which was something like $1000 or something). And the kicker, she had to give it to them!!!! Greed, greed, greed… this country is poisoned by money and greed.

Boy – see what you did, you got me all riled up there! (not so hard to do 😉

Yeah, well, IMHO it’s necessary that we get all riled up, I wish more people in our country were. I was thinking we need to change the name to United States of APATHY. The acronym will remain the same so people can still wear the USA Olympic sweatshirts they got on QVC and everything.

Oh Lordy, that stipend story makes me sooo mad. In their defense, many rich people have (surprisingly) stuck around (or at least fly in to visit and work on a regular basis from their second or third home) to help rebuild the city, but they likely don’t need the stipend- just like all the fat rats that don’t need Social Security….Oh My Goddess, please don’t let get me started on Social Security today.

There isn’t enough time. It’s Good Earth Thursday (we have to go to the HFS) because DS1 informed (yelled at) me this morning: “MOM, I am ALMOST OUT of MY Mighty Bites cereal!! WHY DID YOU LET ME ALMOST RUN OUT AGAIN??” (It’s practically a state of emergency here, can you feel it?!)

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