Sunday, September 04, 2005

Not just for Asians anymore

WESTFIELD, N.J.--Tonight as your blogstress ponders news of the death of William Rehnquist, chief justice of the Supreme Court, she finds it difficult to avoid stumbling on the possibility that the apocalypse may just be at hand. On the heels of the destruction of the Gulf Coast and the administration's callous response--or virtual lack thereof--the political dynamic is itself one of chaotic and unpredictable outcomes. The currents are swirling against each other, and who knows what may emerge from the chiascoros.

The incomparable J. Scales writes of a musician friend still stranded in her New Orleans home, awaiting rescue. Her name is Andaiye, member of Zion Trinity, to which J. has lent her trademark basslines. J. is still awaiting word of another member of the group.

Your Webwench's new friend, Mr. Furley, has recommended some somber listening that has now become your écrivaine's soundtrack for this challenging time--two tracks by Bob Marley: "Natural Mystic" and "Exodus". Indeed, while the first is a virtually existential poem, your cybertrix has found an odd calm in its message that pain is a part of life.

Mr. Furley also reminds us that Americans could stand to learn a thing from the people of Bangladesh, who experience devastation by flood with great regularity.

For a second time, our arrogance has yielded us inept and hysterical. After 9-11, we cried that we never believed it could happen here--thousands killed by a premeditated act of malice and display of force.

Why, though, should we have ever thought that anything of the sort shouldn't happen here, when we've been mucking around the world, encouraging other countries to screw their own people for some time now? Sooner or later, some bad actor was destined to use that as an excuse to show us what's what. In an age when genocide is all the rage, why should our innocents rank higher than the people of Darfur or Cambodia?

And why on earth should we think that, somehow, our vast expanse of national real estate should be spared the sort of eschatological natural disasters that the rest of the world weathers as a matter of course? Just who the hell do we think we are? Better than everybody else? Children of a greater God?

Earlier this week, Chris Matthews explained, on MSNBC's "Hardball", said that the Bush-père/Clinton team were up to something a little something different with their New Orleans relief effort than they were for the tsunami victims. "This time, they're helping out Americans, not just people in Asia," Matthews said with incredulity.

Not just Asians. Disaster--not just for Asians anymore.

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