Mopping up.

Here’s Anne Rice in the New York Times this morning:

But to my country I want to say this: During this crisis you failed us. You looked down on us; you dismissed our victims; you dismissed us. You want our Jazz Fest, you want our Mardi Gras, you want our cooking and our music. Then when you saw us in real trouble, when you saw a tiny minority preying on the weak among us, you called us “Sin City,” and turned your backs.

To be sure, Ms. Rice, there were millions of Americans sitting in numb horror in their living rooms while last week’s debacle was unfolding. Unfortunately, we didn’t hold the purse strings of the federal treasury, and anyway, we surely wouldn’t have filed the proper paperwork. I like to think voices like this are the fringey minority, but who knows?

I do know I heard a convenience-store clerk expressing outrage, sorta, over Kanye West’s comments on TV the other night. At least I think she was. It was hard to tell; the clerk appeared to be among the ranks of the New Inarticulates:

“So I’m like whoa! I can’t believe he said that. Bush could, like, say like boycott his records and his career would be like so over.”

I’m sure the prez will add that to his to-do list.

I don’t know. I want to be optimistic. Ashley says he’s moving there, whether the house he sorta-bought beforehand is standing or not: To quote Frederick Starr: “I do not intend to give up easily. Why? Because I am absolutely convinced that New Orleanians will not allow their city to become a ghost town. And I intend to be part of the renewal that springs from this determination.”

He also says the baby that’s on its way is a boy. Tentative name: Rey D’Orleans Morris.

I think Americans are basically good people, and will figure out a way to right this terrible wrong. But I also see the early talking points — it was the locals’ screwup first and foremost, etc. It could get ugly before it gets better.

In the midst of all this was some comic relief, if you’re a sicko like me — Geraldo Rivera parachuted in to do a live standup on Hannity & Colmes Friday night that was…bizarre. His un-made up face, which looked roughly used not to much by the weight of his life experience as by a drunken plastic surgeon, kept going in and out of close-up range. He was clearly losing it (you can read Jack Shafer’s take on it here) and seemed to be pulling everything straight out of his ass. He plucks a baby from its mother’s arms, and predictably, it starts to cry, a cue for Geraldo to get a little teary himself. Shafer transcribed his rant thusly:

There’s the freeway here. I tell you what I would have done — what I would still do. I would say, let them walk out of here. Let them walk away from the filth. Let them walk away from the devastation. Let them walk away from the dead bodies in here.

Then he got a grip, gave the baby back (it immediately stopped crying) and moved on to an old lady. Suddenly, he was Talk Show Geraldo again, a little chuckly: “What’s your name? How old are you, dear? Eighty-four? Oh my. We’ll get you out there so your family can see you…”

It was very strange. Although, to be sure, it felt good to laugh again. Thanks, Geraldo. Let these people go! We’ll be back after this.

Posted at 11:49 pm in Uncategorized |

7 responses to “Mopping up.”

  1. ashley said on September 5, 2005 at 8:19 am

    You gotta admit, “Rey (or Roy) d’Orleans Morris” is a hell of a lot better than Horace Boris Morris.

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  2. blue girl said on September 5, 2005 at 9:34 am

    Geraldo was definitely over the top– but I thought Shepard Smith was really great. I also have new respect for Anderson Cooper.

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  3. 4dbirds said on September 5, 2005 at 11:38 am

    Ditto Bluegirl. Anderson Cooper has been superb. Congrats on the boy baby Ashley.

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  4. mary said on September 5, 2005 at 2:27 pm

    I’ll add my thumbs up for Anderson Cooper. I saw Geraldo doing that stuff you mentioned. It was surreal. Fox News hasn’t had me as a viewer for a long time. Here I turn it on ONCE, and I get Geraldo going all weird. That’ll teach me.

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  5. vince said on September 5, 2005 at 3:35 pm

    Did you notice the New Orlean’s newspaper editorial calling for the summary firing of all the top officials at FEMA?

    In an age when newspapers write the most milquetoast opinion pieces, this one pulls few punches.

    It’s an open letter to Bush.

    (search “letter” to get to right portion of this page.

    in part…

    Every official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency should be fired, Director Michael Brown especially.

    In a nationally televised interview Thursday night, he said his agency hadn�t known until that day that thousands of storm victims were stranded at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. He gave another nationally televised interview the next morning and said, “We�ve provided food to the people at the Convention Center so that they�ve gotten at least one, if not two meals, every single day.”

    Lies don�t get more bald-faced than that, Mr. President.

    Yet, when you met with Mr. Brown Friday morning, you told him, “You�re doing a heck of a job.”

    That�s unbelievable.


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  6. joodyb said on September 6, 2005 at 6:05 pm

    “Brownie, you’re doin’ a heckuva job.”

    that’s the actual quote, which i find even more mortifying than the outright senselessness of the White House. Bush’s insistent use of puerile nicknames and old-boy patois only underscores his hollow defense of his choices for these posts. I can only hope the International Arabian Horse Association has recovered at last from Brownie’s tenure.

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  7. harry near indy said on September 7, 2005 at 8:55 pm

    as for the convenience store clerk believing that bush could tell people to boycott kanye west’s recordings and ruin his career …

    think about this way:

    bush could say kanye west is a terrible man who makes terrible records, and many, many people will go out of their way to buy kanye’s records just to spite that idiot.

    just a thought … or a suggestion …

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