Riding the Crest of Untold Suffering

Clearly the topic of the day is Hurricane Katrina. But first, some context. Over the weekend, I had heard that the storm was heading inland and that New Orleans (among other towns) were, more or less, bracing for impact. So with that in mind, on Monday I headed north to a good friend’s camp, to hang out, let the kids run around, and help with some minor construction work.

So I remained largely ignorant of the impact and devastation of this storm. It wasn’t until a telephone call with my obviously shaken wife on Wednesday that it began to dawn on me how bad things are getting. entire towns have been wiped of the map; millions of people are now homeless; the sporting goods (ie, gun) section of Wal Marts are being looted; martial law has been declared; 80% of New Orleans is underwater. The list goes on and on. Total devastation, and the chaos that goes hand-in-hand with a population of house-pet automatons, utterly ill-equipped to deal with such devastation.

I have long been convinced that society as we in fat America know it cannot sustain itself. I don’t mean to be “gloom and doom” here, but the fact is, our lifestyle of extravagance, cars, cheap and plentiful produce in February, has a cost. And we are beginning to see some of the evidence of this cost. Ironically, many Americans believe that this cost is measured by the immediate impact of Katrina upon gas prices. This of course is short-sighted at best. America’s (and the world’s) addiction to petroleum may well be the direct cause of Katrina, not to mention last year’s tsunami, the terror attacks of 9/11, and who knows what other cataclysms of tomorrow.

The question in my mind is not if, but when our social structure collapses, and how I and those close to me will deal with said collapse. I have no doubt that it will get ugly, especially when Americans so deeply rooted in gun culture will release their fear, anger, and desperation through violence.

The martial law bit worries me, for what I hope are obvious reasons to any of my readers. Things Political continue to spiral downward, where those in power seek to consolidate that power in response to tragedy, riding the crest of untold suffering.

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