Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Friday, September 5, 2008

Somewhere Else

"I think we risk becoming the best informed society that has ever died of ignorance."
-Reuben Blades

"Well, that's what happens when you live underwater."
My ear caught that remark this week just as Spouse and I tucked into a buffet lunch during a respite from a long car journey.
No, the speaker was not delivering an account of fish. Nor was his area of expertise embedded in marine life- instead, it was in his magnificent ability to judge the plight of storm-wracked people from his masterly position at a leather-cushioned booth.
He was fixated on a nearby television screen, where a wind-whipped reporter was detailing the destruction that wicked Hurricane Gustav was showering on the Gulf Coast of America.
Coming late to the discussion by way of overhearing, one could not say for absolutely certain whether the chap was on his third or fourth- or goodness me, his fifth- plate of heaped chicken wings, but it is presumable to suggest that he was referring specifically to the population of New Orleans, who live at or below sea-level, and that he thought those people should just live somewhere else.
They should just live somewhere else, so that their homes might not get so tattered and so awfully wet the next time a detrimental entity like Gustav comes knocking.
They should just live somewhere else and take the opportunity to use up the troves of money Mr. All-You-Can-Eat envisions they have stashed away.
They should just live somewhere else.
Friends, we must write and inform them immediately. No more living underwater! It is so outmoded nowadays to wait around for one's house to float away on a wave, especially considering the erratic nature of weather patterns.
Oh, those bright, invigorating sparks of creativity that save the planet from tumbling around us!
And if the world does happen to fall apart- we could always move away.


Barb said...

What a great exposé on the so called merits of the victims of Katrina and now Gustav just up and moving away from New Orleans.

I too have been guilty of thinking: "Why do they continue to subject themselves to the torture of loss, by living in an area so far below sea level?" Who of us could leave our homes and family only to try to set up a entirely new life somewhere else. And whose to say that that somewhere else would be an entirely safe haven?????

Instead of sitting in a restaurant like the patron you overheard, just vocalizing about these people moving away, maybe we all should take the example of people like Frank Stronach and Oprah Winfrey who went out of their way to help these people to re establish and continue living where they were born and want to live.

Well, enough of my goings on.

Bravo for this terrific post and bringing to light these types of thoughts.

People like this person who so thoughtlessly made this comment need to stop and think for a moment - what if this was me???

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Barb, thanks for your insightful comments. For me, it wasn't about one man but a prevalent attitude of 'bad things happen to other people, not me' which serves only to isolate us from each other. We have so many ways of cutting ourselves off from neighbours- apartment, town line, state line, country, continent- it's endless, really. It's always someone else. I know there are good people who care and who work to eliminate such thoughts from society but for the most part we're all guilty of drawing lines to protect us from events so that they seem unconnected to us and distanced.
Moving one's home to an entirely different area is not as easy as suggesting it, and for some, completely impossible to accomplish.
"help these people to re establish and continue living where they were born and want to live." I like your words very much- that's a very good start, to move away from the quick and offhand comments that help nobody.
I appreciate your thoughts on this.

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