I have trouble sometimes keeping the past in the past, and nothing aggravates that problem more than a shared monumental moment but one that I’ve sorted sideways of how history sees it.
We are awash (deliberate choice of adjective) this week in Katrina retrospectives (this one I find especially excellent for much and many reasons to include who created it) because it has been ten years since that hurricane turned so many lives upside down.
From what I’ve watched and read, many of those who survived the types of horrors I tend to think of only when describing Third (or Fourth) World nations are still struggling long after the last of the TV camera’s lenses were capped and the uplink trucks chased off over the horizon in search of their next ninety-second circus.
We tend to like our endings three ways: simple, neat and wrong. Maybe I’ve missed it so far, not the first time that would have happened, but there’s a report or a program we’re going to catch real soon on the lessons we learned and the ones we still need to learn about how we responded to Katrina, right? I hate to say 'I sure hope so,' but what else can be said?
Tens of thousands, if not more like hundreds of thousands, of people, are living with and through the hellish aftermath of all the sins of commission and omission that went on a decade ago. But the more things change or appear to, the more they stay the same. The immutable object has now become the irresistible force. And the machinery behind the scenery is now one and the same.
‘They’re selling postcards of the hanging; they’re painting the passports brown. The beauty parlor’s filled with Sailors, the circus is in town…and though her eyes are fixed upon Noah’s great rainbow, she spends her time peeking into Desolation Row.’