August 22, 2006


Last night I watched the first two parts of When The Levees Broke, Spike Lee’s remarkable documentary on the aftermath of Katrina in New Orleans. It’s hard to watch, yet riveting. If you have HBO, Parts 3 and 4 will be shown tonight; and you can check the schedule for repeats. This is a well-made, heart-breaking testament to the best and worst of humanity in a time of crisis for our country – a crisis, I might add, that continues. . . . To help the public better understand the devastating extent to which the city and region have suffered and how various levels of government have failed them, Lee’s work is invaluable. It is instructive to see the President at the time in photo-ops pretending to give a shit and acting surprised by the consequences of his administration’s inaction (Ronald Regan was a far better actor), while various of his top officials are either absent (out shoe shopping, for example), clueless, or not even bothering to pretend -final proof that the term “compassionate conservativism” was never more than a meaningless oxymoron. I'll stop, but strongly recommend that you find a way to see this film that Lee calls “A Requiem In Four Acts”. Man, what a year it has been.

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On a much brighter note, I have updated my August 4, 2006 piece about Sam & The Soul Machine, the Meters and the song they both recorded. I’ve had the good fortune to speak with Sam himself, and also heard from Gary Brown, as well. To see what I found out, scroll back down to it or find it in the archives.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the hurricane left the country the aftermath completely shocked the whole nation. No one thought that such a powerful nation could be brought to its knees by a calamity like this. The reaction of the government drew many criticisms all over the world. Instead of prioritizing this great disaster the government chose to focus on Iraq rather than their suffering citizens.

2:37 AM, August 23, 2006  
Blogger Dan Phillips said...

Well put; but focus on Iraq was (is) just a symptom of the severe long-term dysfunction of our so-called leaders and the various governments. Lee's film emphasizes that this was a distaster that could have been, if not prevented, mitigated, with proper attention to basic engineering principals and social justice. Most of the Netherlands is far more below sea level than New Orleans; but they pay the price for state of the art protective systems that actually work - something the "greatest nation in the world" never even got close to doing. Like a guy said in the film, maybe Louisiana should secede from the US, claim it's rightful oil and gas revenues, just take care of itself and its people (who continue to be screwed by the powers that be), rebuild, start partying, and tell the rest of the country to kiss our collective behind. Thanks for nothin'.

I don't want to turn this into a political blog. . .then again, I did start this thread. Don't forget to vote. But now, you know, let's get back to the music. . .

10:04 AM, August 23, 2006  

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