Just a note to say I’m still here. Still got the other stuff goin’ on, too. Science Girl & I saw the New Pornographers Saturday night – I may write a review, if I get time. It’s that nutty right now. Hang tight, stay loose and keep frosty, my babies.
Well, here’s the deal: there’s a lot of stuff going on, very little of which I can write about. Ultimately it will be for the good, I think, but right now it’s a pain in the ass. Also, it’s requiring me to focus my attention elsewhere.
I think I’ll be taking a little hiatus until things settle down a bit. I’m not sure how long that will be, really; if I stay true to form, now that I’ve declared a hiatus I’ll be posting five times daily. I’ll have a review of the Ramones box set to #1HS later this week, and I’ll probably post another couple of pieces up over there in the interim, but honestly, I wouldn’t expect too much here before the end of the month.
When you ask the average Joe or Jane, “what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Seattle”, most (if not all) of them will say “rain”. This is the cross we bear. Well, that and the fact that Starbucks began here. We’re sorry.
Yeah, it does rain here a bit. Our average yearly rainfall is something like 37 inches. Let’s put that in perspective, now: Boston and Detroit both average 41 inches, New York gets about 47 inches, Memphis and Atlanta get 48. You don’t think of rain when you think of those cities, now do ya? No.
We get stuck with the rainy tag not because of the volume of rain, but the frequency. We tend to get rain in just about every month of the year. And, y’know, it might drizzle a little in the morning and be dry for the rest of the day. So when things get wet here, they tend to sorta stay wet.
Thus it was that I found myself powerwashing the moss off of the sidewalk in front of Science Manor this weekend. Not for aesthetic reasons – I actually like the look of a moss-covered sidewalk (it matches our moss-filled lawn, for one thing) – but for the safety of passers-by. The moss gets quite slippery when it rains, see, and the unwary might slip and crack their coccyx bone right there in front of the house. And, while I’d hate to see that happen to just about anyone, there’s also the litigious nature of our society to keep in mind. In other words, we do not wish to be sued.
We have to do this every two or so years. (I suppose we could do it yearly but fuck it, I’m lazy.) Science Girl and I take turns spraying. It’s kinda nice to see the clean, moss-free sidewalk at the end, but the process itself is rather tedious. Like this post, really, but this is what we did this weekend.
Oh, and we saw Broken Flowersyesterday. Very good indeed. Jim Jarmusch + Bill Murray = underplayed genius. There’s some very nice ensemble work by… well, just about the entire cast, really. The soundtrack is top-notch as well. Go see it if you get the chance.
It’s much better than reading about us washing the sidewalk, I can tell you that.
Just posted a review of the new Kingsbury Manx CD, The Fast Rise and Fall of the South, over at #1HS.
I gotta tell ya, I had that thing about ¾ finished when the shit came down w/ Hurricane Katrina. After that, I really felt more than a little queasy writing something as essentially useless as a record review. Just totally lost the taste for it. The fact that the disc in question had the title it does just added to it.
The fact is, though, that this is what I do. Online, anyway. And whether I write or not, it’s not really gonna affect anything in the wide world. Folks will still die and be born, lose their homes and win the lottery. So I might as well keep plugging away, in the hope that maybe it’ll help someone in some small way somewhere. It’s not gonna feed anyone, of course, but if they’re in a position to part with a few bucks for some music, it might be sorta useful. At the very least, they’ll be able to laugh at the bad writing.
Hey, I’m back. The Stooges were pretty damn amazing, and I’ll tell you about that later. Right now I want to mention something that came to me over the weekend.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent most of the last week in a state of disbelief, anger, shock, depression, and several other emotions I can’t even name. Mostly, just a profound feeling of anger at the incompetent mishandling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and an equally profound sadness for those who’ve lost their lives, those who’ve lost friends and loved ones, those who’ve lost homes and possessions. It is an impotent feeling, one that makes me feel worthless since there’s very little I can do to change the situation. I’ve donated to Red Cross, as has Science Girl (have you?); that addresses, in a very small way indeed, the need to help the afflicted. But what about afflicting those responsible for the delays in relief? I’ve found that throwing shoes at the TV has little to no effect on the government.
I’ve spent a fair amount of time thinking of ways in which I, as a regular American citizen, can make my displeasure (to put it mildly) with the federal response to this disaster. What I came up with is enormously impractical and probably impossible to pull off. Still, it has distracted me a little from the grim reality of things as they stand, so I will pass it along in the hope that it may do the same for you.
My idea is this: a silent march on the White House. No signs, no placards, no slogans. Just a silent mass of pissed-off Americans, all dressed in black, marching behind a second line. When they reach the White House, the band stops. There are no speeches made. The entire group folds their arms and stares at the White House, in silence, for at least five full minutes. The crowd then disperses.
As I say, I doubt it could be pulled off. Somebody would have to spout off, which would ruin the entire effect. Silence is key to the whole thing. But I find the image of 100,000 angry Americans staring down the White House and its inhabitants to be very soothing.
If anybody out there thinks they can pull this together, feel free to run with it.
The last week has been a shameful, terrible reflection of what America has become. Why was the response so slow in coming? Why has the focus been on quelling looters rather than getting people out of there? Don’t misunderstand me – anybody taking advantage of this situation for personal gain is subhuman. But why leave thousands of survivors at the Convention Center without sustenance or sanitation while chasing looters? People are still more important than property, aren’t they?
Oh wait, I forgot. There aren’t thousands of people stuck in their own shit at the Convention Center. Those are just rumors.
What the fuck does Chertoff actually do? How could he not have heard of the situation at the Convention Center? How could Michael Brown of FEMA not know that people have been without food and water since Monday? Look at the disconnect between what they were saying and what was actually happening. How do they justify drawing a paycheck, sucking off the public teat, without the basic knowledge that anyone who’s paid even a cursory amount of attention to what’s going on has? Why haven’t they been clapped in irons yet?
What if, gods forbid, we actually have that serious terrorist attack on a major city they’ve been scaring everybody with for the last four years? Is this the sort of response we can expect? “Whoa, you guys are fucked. Bummer.” Because that’s just un-American. We don’t leave our people in that sort of a situation.
One of the reasons we, as a people, consent to be governed is because government is supposed to come to the aid of the people in times of crisis. In this case, our government has failed, in large, catastrophic way. Can you imagine any other US president allowing things to drag out as they have? Hell, I despised Ronald Reagan with a white-hot passion, but I don’t think even he would have let things to get this bad.
People need to be held accountable for the mishandling of this disaster.