Monday, September 05, 2005
Several times over the past week I've sat down at my computer to write about music or movies or my city or comics or all of the above, but I inevitably paused and realized that it just wasn't gonna happen. Call me oversensitive, blame it on my CNN overdose, but it felt pretty damn pointless sending words out into a world where mayors were swearing and news anchors were breaking down, calling for an end to all bullshit. Like so many, I was resisting a compulsion to head down there and help somehow, knowing realistically there wasn't anything I could do, or should do, besides just send some money southwards.
Aside from the raw emotional impact that Katrina and it's aftermath brought on, it's been fascinating watching the shift from the initial disaster to the finger pointing, from the political posturing to the blame game and the cries of incompetence. It'd be naive to think that any of it will result in a real shift for our political landscape, but if there's good one thing (aside from better emergency planning, of course) that may come out of it, how about a little wake-up call for our mass media? A sort of smelling salt for correspondents who saw too much, who covered it too close, and can't quite surrender to their normal sleep-talking routine. Or is it naive to hope for that, too?
If you're well off enough to sit here surfing, then you've probably already done this, but it bears repeating just in case: Donate to the Red Cross. That link will make sure your money gets allocated to Katrina-specific aid. Sure, a mere click feels pretty sterile and inadequate in the face of what's gone on, but if you're not close enough to open your home to a fleeing family, then it's a good way to go.
Another way to go: Get a little music in return for your generousity, as the crew at cdbaby has over 5,000 artists donating 100% of the proceeds from sales of their discs to the Red Cross. Take a look at the list and listen to come clips.
Rather get something crafty instead of some tunes? Visit Craft Revolution, which has organized hundreds of indie craft-makers who are donating their handmade items to the cause. Like cdbaby, all proceeds will go towards the disaster recovery.
If you're so inclined, you can also make a donation to the U.S. Humane Society or the ASPCA. Both have disaster relief funds that will help them rescue the many, many pets that were abandoned or lost during the storm.
Great post over at The Big Ticket about the whole mess, if you're looking to read some more. And while there's been an overwhelming number of photos from the Gulf Coast, this particular Flickr set struck me hardest. It's a collection from other sources, and well worth a look, if you haven't already seen enough.
Out of all I've seen, there's one image that keeps sticking with me, and yet it was taken far, far away from New Orleans. And not just physically distant, but in every other sense of the word. Two full days after the first evacuation order, 24 hours after the hurricane stormed ashore, and at the exact moment while thousands were struggling to stay alive, we must never forget that this is what our so-called leader was doing...
If that picture says a thousand words, none of those words are pretty.
A few last storm-related things...
Ok, time to go outside, do a little bit of living. This is gonna sound super-corny, but if you're reading this, I hope that you and everyone around you are doing well. Because so many others just aren't.
live in cambridge, ma
on november 14th, 2008
previously: joy formidable - boston 2011
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