Tuesday, September 27, 2005

More on Katrina

I am riveted by Operation Eden, a blog by Clayton James Cubitt (also known as siege when he publishes at Nerve). He's a professional photographer and his photos are stunning. Equally powerful is his writing, especially now that he's writing about his family trying to recover from Hurricane Katrina. If you're interested in what's happened in Louisiana and what's happening now, his site provides a frequently updated and strangely beautiful depiction of life there.

I was stunned today when watching the evening news and I saw Michael Brown defending the job he did as head of FEMA during Katrina. He genuinely seems to have had no clear understanding of his role there or the capabilities or responsibilities of his organization. And there are still so many problems getting help to people who need it, the progress is so slow. I think that one of the tragedies of this hurricane that may persist for years is that people lose hope that their government or the people in this country care about them at all. When people are demoralized this way, what happens to their commitment to their fellow man and their obligations to society as a whole? When the next disaster strikes, why should they care?

I love Operation Eden because it provided a way to provide a little relief to a specific family. I could also see how one family and one community was responding to this tragedy. This family is not necessarily more deserving than any other for donations, but I was so motivated to give because of their story and the way it is being told. And the response of this family is not and should not be representative of the response of the survivors as a whole. But both the family and this site are precious and valuable -- they are worthy of admiration and support. I hope you visit. You won't be disappointed.

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