Monday, September 12, 2005


The devastation to New Orleans has been well-documented, I mean CNN hasn't stopped for the last two weeks, and even 9/11 mourning, a time when the US media sucks up to the Bushes was accorded little coverage. Iraq is a long way away from America, but when the devastation finally hit home with dead bodies on the streets, the US media seems to have gotten its backbone back, Bush apologists seem to have nowhere to run, even FOX News is killing the Republicans. The work Joel Johnson, the erstwhile editor of Gizmodo (he is still posting on Gizmodo) is doing in NOLA is phenomenal and his blog is a great way of finding out information. I have been following Joel's blog for some time, but some of the pictures, like the dead body he posted makes the tragedy hit home.
Dubya is famous for sitting around a stool when 9-11 happened (reading My Pet Goat), this time he was chillin' at his Ranch at Crawford, Texas when Katrina came. And now the rebuilding contracts are going to Haliburton. However, the US media is question all this, why is aid so late, why are Americans dying and why does racism still exist? And then Mommy Bush goes and says that the poor displaced people of New Orleans are getting a better life than before. Yeah right - I would really like to see Michael Moore's take on this! Here are 25 of the stupidest quotes about Hurricane katrina made by US politicos, some of them would make Lalu blush! I am a person cynical of the way Indian government's handle tragedies - where politicians try and jump over each other in promising ex-gratia payments (which never come) but for gods sake, we are hardly this incompetent at handling tragedies. The Tsunami was something that few people could have predicted and while Bombay gets rains, few people expected a cloudburst of the magnitude that hit the northern suburbs of the city (even though I still doubt the numbers). Katrina was coming, the radar screens showed it, NatGeo wrote about it in October 2004, this was predicted and yet no-one did anything. The US President might be the most powerful man on earth, but by god he is also one of the most idiotic. That said, several of the comparisons floating around Indian blogs about how great Mumbai is and how this city coped up to the rains better, well guys, Mumbai is used to heavy rain and this time because the deluge was bigger doesn't mean common citizenry isn't used to it, people have questioned the Western concept of poverty comparing it to India, I don't understand how you can compare life in a slum beside the train line in Dadar to an urban ghetto, countries and societies are different, and I still think if Mumbai's rich were given a weeks warning of an impending disaster they would have all flown away (I'ld bet that VT-TAT or VT-AMA would be the first planes out) as well like NOLA's rich (and white) population, but thankfully the Indian Railways is around, but evacuating Mumbai would be a nightmare. It doesn't make NOLA less great than Mumbai, Mumbai is Mumbai and NOLA is still the city with Bourbon Street. Have a JD for NOLA and the French Quarter. However, if you are in the US, please do go have a drink for New Orleans, at 'Save New Orleans Cocktail Hour' at any of these bars. Cheers, NOLA will come back.... And it would help if the US Administration allowed aid to flow in faster!
Some links....
But then again, we hardly live in an Utopian world do we? This is an interesting article on the ten most unrealistic Utopia's in Literature. Of course, it doesn't include the world inside Prakash Kamat's head.
I'm sure that this site is a dirty little secret among Art History students, but the Web Gallery of Art has one heck of a lot of paintings.
This weekend I was seeing a Backstreet Boys video on VH1, now I know that is rather pathetic of me to listen to pop music, but I have to give it to the guys, they have ripped apart 80's metal culture totally in their new video, "Just Want you to Know". Don't watch it from a musical POV, just watch it!
Somebody has gone and implemented the original Super Mario Brothers in Javascript, some people are even more vella than me!
These are two interesting collections - Cigarette Packs from across the world (strange, I wonder how some of them smoke?) and WWII Art by Roy Huxley on Matchbox snap-on kits, I even had two or three of these.


thalassa_mikra said...

Your post is far more nuanced and well-written than the articles I've seen in the New Orleans disaster. Not once in the marathon Tsunami coverage in many American networks did commentators talk of "incompetent, basket-case" third world governments. Sure they focused more on American and European victims rather than brown folk, but this sort of gloating that seems commonplace in the Indian media now was absent.

Sure the incompetence of the administration needs to be highlighted and criticised in the strongest terms, but these cheap brownie points off "we're better than you" are so pointless.

K said...

Thats exactly what some bloggers don't get, people suffered thanks to the incompetence of a leader, people suffer in INdia thanks to the incompetence of leaders, you know how it is to suffer, don't try and say 'Our poor is more poor than your poor'.