I'm sure you're all quite tired of me discussing hurricanes, but it seems to still be, if not the only topic of conversation in my area and on the national news, certainly on the top shelf. I've been silent about the issue of looting, except with my family, because my belief about where foraging ends and looting begins is quite simple. I will return to that point later, because frankly, I have other things I find far more worthy of my ire. So, without further ado, thus beginneth my rant proper. Adult language will be forthcoming and in huge quantities, so if you're offended easily by such things read no further.
Apparently, some shit-stain of a state legislator in my state of Alabama by the name of Hank Erwin (Montevallo, AL) has declared Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to be a punishment from Gawd. He thinks that the people of Alabama are more innocent than the people of Texas and Louisiana? He thinks that only evil people suffered as a result of those fucking storms? He thinks that he's so much better than those who lost EVERYTHING they had in this world? To modify a quote from the movie Heathers, "Fuck me gently with a chainsaw. Who does this cunt think he is? Mother Theresa?" That guy REALLY pissed me off. I know good people who lost everything. I know good people who sustained serious damage from this storm. I even know some complete assholes who suffered and some who sustained no serious damage. In the end, there are only victims of this storm, survivors, those who want nothing more than to help, and those who wish to defraud the other three groups. I want to see this motherfucker get tossed in a town hall meeting in Bayou la Batre, a shrimping town where some of the boats aren't even off land yet and where none are making a living doing the work of their fathers before them. Toss him in a room full of people from coastal Mississippi and the bayou parrishes of Louisiana and extreme east Texas and western Louisiana. Let him say that shit to those poor people. And let's see how he feels afterward. Let him really hear their pain. Let him suffer as they have. Let him have worked a lifetime to build a modest but good life and watch it all wash away. And then, let him talk about the punishment of Gawd. If there is a God, and this was his punishment, I have only two things to say to him: Your aim sucks, and motherfuck you, you stupid, sadistic fuck. Any god like that is no better than a kid with a magnifying glass burning ants.
The second part of my rant is the focus on New Orleans by FEMA and other agencies, and the news media. Yes, New Orleans suffered amazing levels of damage, and we saw heartbreaking images on our television screens from that devastated city. But they're not the only ones to have suffered. The cities of Biloxi and Gulfport in Mississippi were fucking RAZED by Hurricane Katrina. They will have to level pretty much both entire cities, as well as numerous smaller towns in coastal Mississippi and Louisiana. There's every bit as much suffering and long-term devastation outside of New Orleans as in it, and yet on the news, what do we keep hearing? Updates on stories from New Orleans, as if Rita didn't hit recently and bring its own version of hell. The people of Mississippi and the Louisiana parrishes not immediately around New Orleans, as well as the more recent victims of Hurricane Rita, have been forgotten, by government agencies, by major charitable organizations, and by the mainstream news media. Where are their stories? Where is the talk about the slow recovery they all face? Where is the talk about the death and devastation in those areas? And why is one city getting very nearly all of the attention? I know I'm not the only one who sees something deeply wrong with this fucking picture.
So, now that I've vented my spleen, there's been talk about the looting that occurred, and what even constituted looting. So, here's where I draw the line. If someone was looking for foodstuffs, even beer and alcohol, I think that constituted foraging. The food was going to rot or be washed away anyway and would've been a loss, as would the beer and booze. Besides, I'm not a drinker, but I can't blame anyone for wanting to get drunk after seeing everything they've worked for... gone. However, I also saw people grabbing microwaves, and DVD players, and other shit that they ended up having to abandon anyway when they left the city. I heard about people stealing a generator from a hospital just to keep their beer cold. That shit is looting, and that shit is wrong. So to the man with the Heinekens seen on Petty Rage, I wish you well.