Friday, September 16, 2005

Who Could Possibly Have Time to Look Through Dozens of CD's?

It's a new low. Or a new high in sheer laziness, depending on the half-full, half-empty status of your glass.

I've just downloaded an entire CD that I already own. I own it,and have for years, but I just can't muster the initiative to rummage through a shelf, a drawer and a box tonight.

Jesus, how lazy is that?!

The only consolation I can find is in the fact that this particular CD is one of, I don't know, The Three Best CD's Of All Time. So what little guilt or embarrassment I do feel is quickly rationalized by the strains of Soul Asylum's Hang Time.

There’s a ringing in my ears that’s heaven sent.
There’s a beast out on the ruins,
Some broken down lover’s lament.
It goes on and on but it won’t go away.

-Soul Asylum, Cartoon

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Seething and Crying, But At Least I'm Safe & Dry

So far this week, I've been literally unable to express myself when it comes to Hurricane Katrina and its unimaginably horrible aftermath. I can watch precious little of the near-constant reporting from what amounts to America's Third World--I just can't get my head around it, because the pictures and voices and statistics and pie charts and all of it aren't speaking to me in a way that helps me understand how Americans and the fruits of their labors have come to this end.

Tonight, I sat up late and watched hours of reports from Fox News, of all places. I sat and watched and listened to worldly, professional and sane reporters going flat fucking batshit at the sight of it. Men and women who have been there a day or two, and are already losing their grip on reality. Geraldo Riviera (who wasn't always known as a huckster with an underdeveloped sense of integrity) had been encamped with survivors at the Convention Center less than a day and by sundown was sobbing and pleading to the world to "let these people walk the hell out of here", to open the checkpoints up and let people get to the aid they've needed since Monday, August 29th and haven't gotten, no matter how many convoys they've seen rolling right above them.

It breaks my heart and boils my blood at the same time. After watching the coverage today along with the summaries of the days prior, I can't help but think that many in the governments of the US and Louisiana have shut their eyes and written off the remaining residents of New Orleans as lost causes. And why is that? Because they can't have witnesses to a bureaucracy's staggering failure? Because the President of the United States has nothing substantial to say on this catastrophe, other than belaboring the obvious and using the word recovery a million times (despite the fact that a cruise ship to Mars is closer to happening than New Orleans' recovery) and saying that we should all pray?

It's such a desperate, sickening mess that I'm nearly unfazed by the growing numbers of assaults, murders, rapes and other barbaric acts being reported. I shudder to type this, but I almost understand it (and the almost is huge) now; a human, surrounded by death and despair and misery, finding no relief from the wails of the dying and the smell of the already dead, is bound to feel dead as well. Numb to the pain that nobody's found a way to soothe right now, and deaf to the voice in your head that begs you not to be a savage.

I honestly don't see a solution coming from our leaders, those who were elected by the people to protect them from any threats to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Never thought I'd be agitated enough to rail against a President, or to vocally support one, but this relentless disaster has brought out the best of America in me and the worst of America in our President and those who help him. Wait'll the politically myopic people I work with see this.