This week Hurricane Katrina exposed the obvious shortfalls in American society, demonstrating in the most dramatic manner how rampant capitalism stumbles so easily into an apocalyptic despair, and how like anywhere else in the world it’s the poor that suffer most.
I’m amazed to see those people who even before the hurricane had nothing, pulling the stars and stripes from the water and flying it aloft, the symbol that more than any other represents a nation divided. Despite my head shaking in a way I can see why, maybe people need something to believe in at a time of dire desperation, if everything is gone at least pride and identity can be salvaged.
The reality of their leader will surely tarnish any comfort the victims may derive from token gesture nationalism. George Bush, never the sharpest tool in the box, epitomises an America run exclusively by obscenely wealthy white businessmen for their own ends. A society that prides itself on raw power, free enterprise and widely held myths surrounding entrepreneurship and the lack of social class. The very same society that can launch astonishing military campaigns anywhere and against anyone who incurs their displeasure, yet is incapable of helping its own people on the doorstep.
Now the Bushmeister, talking slowly enough to prevent all that shit spilling from his gob, announces that he will personally oversee the inquiry.
Almost every American I have met has had about them the endearing qualities of friendliness, honesty and humour, and it’s for this reason that as a body of people I have always held them in high regard. A naive view maybe, but despite their slightly embarrassing demeanour I can’t help but see a general level of decency. With this in mind I refuse to believe that the people of New Orleans where left to their fate because they where black or poor, more probable is the idea that America sees itself as invincible and would simply not believe that it could spiral into third world chaos.
Despite all that’s happened it’s good to see that they haven’t lost any of their brilliant, if unintentional sense of humour.
“Don’t call us refugees. Call us survivors, or heroes”.