Friday, September 02, 2005

Old Orleans

I don't have a lot to say. It's unfathomable. Last night I heard Stone Bryant or Phillips talk to someone there who said that he got a clear handle on the situation when he caught himself saying to a co-worker "when we get back to the States."

2 things.

1. I keep thinking "isn't this a J.G. Ballard story?" Why is that my rubric for catastrophe? This isn't - anyone who's read any J.G. Ballard will tell you that this isn't at all that kind of thing. But I persist in thinking it. Obviously, it's a testament to the fact that I've grown up so privileged that my schema for "rioting/destruction/anarchy" comes from a British man's book about bored rich people amusing themselves. Excuse me while I get another glass of Chardonnay.

2. What does it mean that the vast majority of these people are poor and black?

3. Should that be "black and poor?"

4. Can we all, by which I mean America, agree that the way that this has played out indicates both a government incapable of dealing with non-overtly-politically-significant catastrophes, and an extant civil state, or states, in which American citizens have been left in such a state that they shoot at their rescuers? Dear God, forgive us.


Blogger g odoreida said...

1. I don't know, this doesn't strike me as completely un-Ballard. Take the environmental conditions of The Drowned World and the social conditions of Crash and there you have it.

Ballard seems eerily prescient sometimes, in his titles if nothing else; in The Drowned World the world is drowning because of sunspot activity, not greenhouse emissions, but same dif; and in Memories of the Space Age the Space Age ended because of some sort of weird spaceborne disease (actually I don't quite understand what's going on there), whereas in reality it ended because we don't care, or there was no point to it, or something--but it's still ended.

4. Yes.

3:43 PM  

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