New Orleans

by Rob Horning

31 August 2005


I have nothing especially insightful to add about the tragedy in the Gulf coast region, but it seemed ridiculous to say nothing about it, to go on as if nothing happened. Its effects will be felt for a long time, and they will be national: gas prices will probably reach record highs, for one. And the obliteration of everyday life for millions of people will continue to yield fresh unfathomables. It’s impossible to imagine what the people who used to live in New Orleans must be going through. Their city is gone, as is all of their property and every aspect of everyday life that anchors a person, giving them a field of taken-for-granted things, which is necessary to even begin to live, to pursue any sort of goal beyond survival. Those fortunate enough to have been able to evacuate to other cities must be wondering if they should just try to find work where they are now, because there may not be anything to return to. The refugees, already impoverished, now with nothing—what will become of them? What sort of social safety net will catch them in a country currently run by people who insist that those who suffer are in general personally repsonsible for it? Americans will likely rise above that mentality to cope with this tragedy and hopefully remain at that level of sympathy in the months to come.

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