Sunday, September 18, 2005

Embryonic Streams of Consciousness

So this is my first post. Why am I doing this? My ideas are no better than anyone else's; indeed, you can see from the name of my blog that they may be a lot worse. What's a dumb okie got to say about anything that someone else hasn't already thought of and already articulated in a much cleverer way than I ever will? For a clever blog, you are much better off going to my all time favorite, charismatic megafauna .

I'm a transplanted Okie who lives far, far away from Louisiana, but I did get to where I am via a small conservative southern baptist convention liberal arts college in the middle of that state, where i did manage to lose my religion in the literal, not the southern, definition of the phrase (although i had many occasions to lose it that way, too, back in that former life). Although I lived in Louisiana, I never made it to New Orleans, mostly because i had shacked up with the worst of the potato version of so-called human beings. But that is a different story for another day.

Several days before Katrina hit, my friend Bologna called and asked me, "have you ever been to New Orleans?" "No," I replied. "Well, you never will," said she, who works for an international news agency and ought to know things like whether or not, in the wake of the hurricane, I would ever have the chance to bear my little breasts in the hope of receiving plastic beads in return, listen to jazz, or walk Bourbon Street. Her partner, also in the news business, predicted 25,000 deaths. Several days before the hurricane hit, Bologna was saying I will never see New Orleans and Bo was saying that 25,000 would probably die. Don't tell me, Porgie Pie, that you didn't know. You knew. And you didn't care.

Today I filled a "shoe box with love" to mail to evacuees in need of toiletries. If you want to do the same, go here. Doing this makes me feel good, like I did something; and crappy too, because this is all I have done, thus far. Filling a shoebox with toiletries does not get me off the hook of for my bit of collective responsibility, to respond not just now, but well into the foreseeable future. Responding to Katrina with a shoebox full of tampons and shampoo seems like pissing into the Atlantic. It's pitiful, embarrassingly small. Where are people going to be in six months, 1 year, six years? Where are those of us who give shoeboxes of love now going to be then? What will we be doing to do our bit?

Yes, I encourage you to go fill a shoebox and send it to Grambling. But don't stop there. It's a start, but it is not enough.

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