20050904

White blogule to "this is America"

My last visit to New Orleans was a business trip in the gloomy days before the invasion of Iraq. In the early hours of the morning, I would stroll the decaying streets of the city, empty but for the occasional hobo, wild cat or mad dog, thinking to myself no one is awake in this country. Each individual is living his own life and in an illusion of unity, the masses are blindly following a warmonger faking compassion and cynically heralding moral virtues. No one realizes the country is falling apart.
After that, I would come back for breakfast and then walk to the Ernst N. Morial Convention Center before the opening of the gates, crossing Tchoupitoulas under freeways obviously knitted by giant spiders on crack, wondering how such an urbanistic nonsense could deserve sounding like a memorial.
The other day, at the same angle, the TV would show people passing by corpses without even noticing. Up the 90, in the Superdome, women and kids would be raped in public. In other parts of the state cameras couldn't reach : chaos, anarchy, cannibalism, the collapse of the idea of society itself. And these words echoing on and on : "this is America, can you believe it ?".
Such things can happen anywhere anytime, but never at this scale. The saddest point is I'm not even surprised. Sad, yes. Because I love the US and have this special feeling for Louisiana and New Orleans. Not puke smelling Bourbon Street New Orleans but abandoned New Orleans, where long before Katrina came, ghost cities would pretend to exist in the present time.
Beyond the humanitarian tragedy, the realization of America's social collapse may leave even bitter marks.

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