September 7th, 2005


on again

A very decent day off yesterday. A little of this. A little of that. A whole lot of nothing in particular. We finally wound up at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, where we sat with the Argentinosaurus and Giganotosaurus for a while, then took in the 4 p.m. Imax showing of Mystery of the Nile. It'll be wonderful when the new Georgia Aquarium opens on November 23rd. Then we'll have two geeky places to hang out on days off. Well, three if you count the Woodruff Library at Emory. But it's back to work today. Chapter Eight must be proofread before I can proceed (drum roll) to the final chapter of Daughter of Hounds, Chapter 9. I'm a bit nervous about this last chapter. I'm determined to get everything just right, just the way I want it, just the way it should be, but I'm also keenly aware that I could screw it all up by obsessing too much about getting everything just right. I need to allow Chapter 9 to come the same way that chapters 1-8 have come.

For those people still awaiting eBay books — packages will start going out again today. Once more, my apologies for the delay, but I fear it could hardly have been avoided. Speaking of eBay, let me remind you to please have a look at Christa Faust's auction of a copy of the limited-edition hardback of Revelations. Click here. All proceeds from the auction will go directly to Poppy.

Last night, Spooky and I continued our Werner Herzog binge with Heart of Glass (1976). I think the most striking thing about the film is it's marvelous grasp of the intense isolation that comes with insanity. Most of the cast members performed while hypnotized, and this creates in each character a supremely creepy sense of schizophrenic-autistic aloneness. The story of an Austrian town's descent into madness following the death of the man who held the secret to the production of the "Ruby glass" upon which the entire village's livelihood depends, wrapped in a far greater parable of apocalypse and rebirth. Afterwards, we watched a couple of episodes on Miami Ink, and then I played about half an hour of Final Fantasy X-2 (Is Waka ever going to name that damned kid?). I did a color monster doodle that needed doing so it could be mailed off to its new owner today, and then sleep came quickly. I don't think I awoke even once in seven hours, which is very unusual for me.

Here's a link to the Doonesbury straw poll. The question? How's Bush doing with regards to the response to Katrina? Now, I gotta make some doughnuts, or at least review the recipe in excruciating frelling detail. But I'll probably be writing another entry re: Katrina this evening.

  • Current Music
    Sisters of Mercy, "Lucretia My Reflection"

Addendum: out of sight, out of mind

As for as I know, Poppy and Chris followed through with their plan to enter Jefferson Parish today. I've been worried about them all afternoon.

And here I see that FEMA wants to forbid the press to photograph the bodies being recovered from New Orleans. Same dren Bush pulled with the Iraqi dead. Like, if we can't see the dead, we won't think about the dead, and then we won't vote like people who've seen dead soldiers and dead flood victims. In fact, if we don't see the dead, it's pretty much like there never were any dead. Contrast both of these cases — Bush forbidding photography of the bodies of returning soldiers and victims of the Katrina disaster — with the deluge of graphic photos we got after the 9/11 attacks, photographs which certainly helped him sell his wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Am I talking conspiracy? No, I'm talking business as usual. I think "conspiracy," in the context of the Federal government of the US has become a synonym for "business as usual."

I want to address a misunderstanding that arose yesterday, from the comments I made yesterday evening. I'm not saying that the Bush Administration should be held accountable instead of local governmental officials. I'm saying everyone who had a hand in turning this natural disaster into a natural disaster compounded by human incompetence is to be held accountable. That includes Mayor Ray Nagin, who could have ordered a mandatory evacuation days earlier than he did, and for the Governor of Louisiana, who could have seen Nagin's inaction and taken matters into her own hands. That's the human error before the disaster. Blame falls on Bush and Chertoff and FEMA and etc. after the disaster. If that's not clear, what I mean, I don't know how I could make it any clearer.

Should people live in areas prone to flooding? I can't believe how many Bush apologists are claiming that residents of NOLA had this horror coming to them because they "chose" to live where they did. No, seriously. I'm hearing this crap all over the place. Do you know how much of the human population worldwide currently lives within three feet of mean sea level? 100 million people (from National Geographic, September 2004), that's how many. And, as we saw from Katrina, people living in coastal areas much higher above sea level may see catastrophic damage. Katrina's storm surges were something like 20-25 feet. Moreover, harping about where people choose to live ignores the fact that virtually everyone everywhere lives in a potential disaster area. This gets back to what I was saying yesterday about the Earth not being static, about stuff moving around — air, rock, snow, magma, water, mud — sometimes moving quickly and with cataclysmic results. Just about everyone of us lives in the path of some future disaster, either natural or made-made. Should New Yorkers be blamed for living in a city likely to be targeted by terrorists? Of course not. That's absurd. But they did have a chance to leave after the first World Trade Center bombing, right? What about people who live anywhere along the west coast, with its earthquakes, volcanoes, mud slides, forest fires, and tsunamis? What about the plains and the southeast, where tornadoes do so much damage? What about people in Missouri and Arkansas, sitting on top of one of the most dangerous faults in North America, the New Madrid system? What about the entire state of Florida? No, of course not. To do so would be bullshit and nonsense. This is just a pathetic, desperate attempt by the arrogant and ignorant, by those lacking compassion and those who will go to any obscene length to prop up George W. Bush, to blame the victims of Hurricane Katrina for their own deaths. It's sick. It makes me more ashamed of humanity than usual (which is saying something).

Gagh. Enough of this for now.
  • Current Music
    Brian Eno, "How Many Worlds"