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Lost Frogs (The Katrina Coverage Here)





Watch the news channels in Sydney long enough and you start to think that what has happened in Katrina's aftermath is that the poor and black people that live in New Orleans have been left to die after being branded as savages, while George W. Bush tells the rest of the country, "Don't use gas if you don't need it. We're working to get those pipelines back to full capacity so y'all can drive to the supermarket."





There is a heap of media coverage of the disaster, naturally, and off the web, the talk is about how people are doing bad, bad things, pausing only to note that some sort of rescue is going on. Good thing there's the net. But the thing that I think while watching both is how strange it is that so much footage and coverage has come out, but how so little aid and help has gone in. I though the same thing during the Tsunami.

The first photo is from flickr, the second a news service. But I like the first: it was taken after Katrina, and it's sad and humane and speaks to the human element that has been lifted and tossed and ruined. A lost frog clinging to a window for safety, for life, for someone to come and rescue it. It doesn't care about race or politics or the price of gasoline. It just wants to be safe.

Comments

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ironed_orchid
Sep. 2nd, 2005 05:48 am (UTC)
I guess that it's easier to transfer information than to move supplies.

Another thing is that while we have power and access to the media coverage, the people there don't, so news has to mostly travel by word of mouth and that creates all sorts of confusion and rumour.
benpeek
Sep. 2nd, 2005 06:10 am (UTC)
yeah, i know info is easier to move than aid. i guess i just find myself looking at these photos and wondering if the people who took them, who have the footage, couldn't be doing something to help? i mean, they're moving, they've got transport in some cases... just that sort of stuff.
ironed_orchid
Sep. 2nd, 2005 08:24 am (UTC)
Yeah, I hope that people who are getting in to take pictures and make tv reports from the scene are also making some effort, at least to help the police and army etc to communicate with one another and with the people who are still stuck there. However, I remain rather cynical.
benpeek
Sep. 2nd, 2005 11:24 am (UTC)
However, I remain rather cynical.

as do i, as do i.
joey_j0jo
Sep. 2nd, 2005 07:49 am (UTC)
Australia sent the US 10mil and 20 experts to help. *sigh* This is horrible.
benpeek
Sep. 2nd, 2005 11:23 am (UTC)
we sent them aid? how odd.

the american government has done a horrible job with this. if the howard government treated any part of australia like this, i think we'd all drag them intot he streets for a beating.
joey_j0jo
Sep. 2nd, 2005 12:03 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I agree. Bush is, just wow. I mean, I really thought the US was going to help these people, but they just left them without food or aid or anything. I feel like I should do something, but I can't, you know?
benpeek
Sep. 2nd, 2005 12:06 pm (UTC)
i'm sure the US will eventually make things right. aid and everything will get in. it's just a real shame that there is a shoot to kill order for security in the area.
bodhichitta0
Sep. 2nd, 2005 11:45 am (UTC)
I will preface the following statement with the fact that I am a card-carrying optimist. George W. Bush could withstand leaving thousands of poor people in New Orleans to die of thirst and heat exhaustion. After all, he didn't care about their pregnancies, ventilators and minimum wage before. He will not be able to withstand gas being $5 a gallon, the tourism industry's shrieks (big holiday weekend here) and the outrage of the middle class American as he/she tries to fill up his/her half-ton vehicle.

If he comes through this unshredded and unscathed, I will be very, very surprised.
benpeek
Sep. 2nd, 2005 11:59 am (UTC)
that's really quite depressing for a number of reasons, isn't it?
bodhichitta0
Sep. 2nd, 2005 12:05 pm (UTC)
It is too depressing for words. It's why I escape from the real world so much in my books. If I start to think about how corrupt our country, hell our world is, it just makes me want to cry.

And for something somewhat unrelated--people mock Ted Kennedy (senator, JFK's brother) here a lot and W used him against Kerry in the election. But Ted Kennedy has consistently fought for universal health care, a higher minimu wage, subsidized housing, job training. Any ONE of those things would have made this tragedy less. We are seeing the class fault lines of America on our TV sets, those who had money, a car, a place to go, went. The trapped poor people are dying.

Lansing is setting up for 1500 refugees here. My husband and I will do what we can. *sigh*
benpeek
Sep. 2nd, 2005 12:09 pm (UTC)
those class lines have never been more racially divided, too. the amount of suffering black people is huge--i think i've seen more black americans on the news in the last couple of days than i have int he last couple of years.
bodhichitta0
Sep. 2nd, 2005 12:12 pm (UTC)
Absolutely. New Orleans is 60 percent African American. Detroit is 80 percent African-American. I only know because there was a report that came out recently and both New Orleans and Detroit were listed as two of the poorest cities in the country.

The surrounding areas of those cities however? Average income, 4x what it was IN the city.

White outside, black inside--like a reverse oreo from hell.

Can I sigh again?
benpeek
Sep. 2nd, 2005 12:26 pm (UTC)
i'd certainly sigh.
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