Wednesday, September 07, 2005

If I ramble, then I am not ranting. Right?

I have nothing to report, since I can't stop ranting and raving and sputtering in the face of all this incompetence and suffering.

There's this: via Phantom

And this:
Barbara Bush said: "Almost everyone I've talked to says we're going to move to Houston."
Then she added: "What I am hearing which is sort of scary is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality.
"And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this--this (she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them." via Suburban Bliss

And who can forget this: via I can't remember who.

Or this: via everyone.

Not too mention, apparently some cartoon is making the rounds which shows Sean Penn in a boat trying to help, and makes fun of his clothes or claims he doesn't know what he's doing. (I didn't see it) Because, hey! People are dying! But isn't it fun to sit here at our computers and make fun of people who are trying to help? Via Heidi

There are people in my life--people who are near and dear to me--who refuse to see this debacle as that. Who still insist we could never have foreseen this. Who defend the federal (lack of) response by blaming the state and local governments. Who claim the reason it took so long was that the snipers impeded our progress. Who are outraged not at the suffering, but at the fact that people looted. Who believe that--despite the dead and dying people in New Orleans--we should not move the National Guard in, because that would leave us vulnerable in other areas to a "potential terrorist attack".

I love these people. And I knew, before this disaster, that our political views differed. Generally speaking, politics are not a large part of my life. It is easy for me to see that different people will think differently. We just don't discuss things like abortion rights, gay marriage, border patrols.

But now, now I am at a loss. I can't stand to hear their ridiculous defenses one more time. I can't stop ranting at them, stop my fury.

I am not an extremist. When Clinton was caught "not having sex" with Monica Lewinsky, I was pissed. Not because I cared that much about his sex life. But because he was the leader of our county, and he did something really icky. Totally disrespected his wife and Monica, and insulted the American people by lying. Made the whole party look bad, made it easy for the religious right to get all high and mighty. Many of my friends--loyal Democrats--did not take this line. Who cares?, they said. It's not like this has anything to do with his ability to run the country. While I agree with that statement, I find it kind of irrelevant.

Where am I going with this? Oh yeah. Why can't people be honest? If your politician makes a mistake, why can't you call him on it, even if you elected him? Why does admitting that the Bush administration made some horrendous error in judgment here scare you so much? Why is everything so absolute? If you say--yes, this is outrageous. Yes, the federal response was shit-- you can still admire the way Bush handled 9/11. You can still love him for whatever other reasons there were before this (sorry, I just can't think of any). Why can't we all be outraged when our leaders do something outrageous??

If Kerry were in the white house, and somehow this still happened, I would be furious.

Look, I realize that nothing is as simple as it seems. That hindsight is 20/20. That many many people are to blame. But the reaction of our leaders just keeps getting worse and worse, it seems. And call me ridiculously optimistic, but I had more faith in my country than this. I don't believe you when you tell me it is just too hard to get helicopters in there. I don't believe you when you claim a few shooters are enough to stop the entire National Guard. I don't believe you when you say you couldn't have foreseen this.

Also, yes! It is satisfying to point the finger. It does ease my blood pressure just a little bit to say--YOU! YOU ARE THE ONE WHO CAUSED THIS! Yes, I am glad--if I am being honest--that it is Bush, and not Kerry who I get to blame.

But in the end it doesn't even matter. When this many people die, someone should be held accountable, of course. But that is not going to bring anyone back. All those people are still dead. All those survivors still have nothing.

I am sick sick sick. I am completely uninspired by my own mundane life, and even though Phantom is right, I can't think of anything worth writing about. I just sit, and stew. And stew. And delete horrendous emails from my father*. Try to block out enraging conversations with friends. Think about how ridiculously fortunate I am.

What if that happened to us? I asked Lance last night. What if there was a massive earthquake and we lost everything? If LA fell into the ocean, but somehow we survived?

We'd go live with my parents, in their nice house, where they have plenty of room and enough disposable income to easily help us rebuild. Lance works for a global company, who would do its best to find him another position.

Yes, it would be difficult to start over, but it wouldn't be that difficult. We have a safety net, because of who we are. Because we were lucky enough to be born white, and middle class.

FUCK! Why is the spell check on this thing acting so irrationally?

On that note, I end my ramble.

*edited to add: this is not really fair. I have received no horrendous emails from my father. He just told me not to be so quick to point the finger. However, he has not responded at all to the links I send him, and since I know his political bent, I am imagining what his response would be if he did decide to engage in a battle with me. Totally unfair, on my end. Sorry, Dad.

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