Thursday, August 30, 2007

Remembering Katrina

Over Me
Two years ago tomorrow, Hurricane Katrina was finally blowing clear of New Orleans. But the destruction and death left in its wake, well we're still not over it yet. Nearly 2,000 people died as a result of the storm countless others were left homeless and continue to drift through the unnavigable maze of trying to get back a little of what they lost. If anything, the storm and the aftermath highlighted the incompetence of the current U.S. President, who rewarded dozens of important government jobs based on patronage and not on experience. Which is why the most pertinent job skill on the resume of the knucklehead he appointed to run FEMA was as executive director of an Arabian horse association (from which he was forced to resign).

I don't know enough about the politics of this to know how much the local government was to blame vs. the feds. I know mistakes were made and people died and one of the greatest cities ever was laid to waste -- and some say may never comeback. I also know that New Orleans was fucked up some before Katrina. I still harbor hope that somehow, some way the lessons learned on the local, state and national levels will get learned but good. Maybe it will eventually translate into making places like New Orleans better and fixing the problems of poverty and joblessness and all those other things that continue leave a good portion of our own in hopeless despair, the kind of hopelessness that makes them wonder if help will come when they call for it, not when. Alas, that hope is tenuous at best. But I'm trying to keep it alive.

My friend and fellow blogger, UBM has been streaming Katrina videos and tunes all week. Surf on over and check them out.

On this solemn moment of remembrance, I've uploaded a couple of my favorite songs to my Vox stash. The first is from the live concert for Katrina that aired last year (and is available on iTunes). Norah Jones gets a lot of flack (I've heard her called "snorer" Jones) but I think she's got a little something going on, and she has the proper musical genes. Sometimes it comes out like on this tune though I'm betting 10 years from now, she tears this song up in a way she doesn't do here.

And here's John Hiatt's classic "Feels Like Rain." One of the best New Orleans songs I've heard from a guy from Indiana. You can not listen to the first guitar lines of this song and not melt into it. Come on, I dare you.

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