04 September 2008

Rising from chaos

The situation in south Louisiana seems to be improving in slow and incremental fashion. But chaos remains the order of the day in many places.

Day by day more services return, and more businesses reopen. Petrol and resources remain scarce, though, with what little is open in full resource ration mode, producing long miserable lines of (mostly) bedraggled Blacks.

And I am returning to work Monday, by some miracle. Let us hope against hope it is not merely to call us in to inform us that we are going to be furloughed, or (better yet) laid off permanently, due to the shortfalls of tax revenues and depletion of public funds. What cheer!

(For as we know the politicians, for all their bluster to the contrary, couldn't give a flivvering rat's ass about the people who do the actual work of "serving" the public.)

The lack of electricity presents a formidable barrier to the return of normalcy. My apartment remains without power and remains ruined by storm damage. Dat's the price you pay for renting a cheap apartment, I guess.

Oh, and two days of humidity has killed my laptop, and perhaps interrupted the orderly flow of blog updates here. Hooray!

So for now it looks like I will be making my residence in a shelter or some such facility. 

Entergy has finally produced some actual time estimates to power restoration in EBR Parish: 90% restored by September 17, and full restoration by September 24. Still unacceptable, but at least we are not facing months and months of powerlessness as I had feared a few days ago.

It's been over 40 years since the last big storm in BR, so dat's over 40 years of tree growth that had to fall and cause destruction of the electrical grid.

With my luck, my battered neighborhood will be one of the last places to be restored. Racism and bigotry reigns supreme everywhere, but especially in disasters.

Ten dollars for a bag of ice is understandable in these situations. (Dat's just economics at work.) But outright refusal to sell needed items to people of color because "these things are needed for our people" is absolute bullshit.

I am not going to name names or places, but suffice it to say that most people are assholes (as usual) when it comes to their darker skinned "inferiors." Say what you will about disasters bringing out the best in human nature. That line is total, complete bullshit.

In any case, it will be a while before things are back to normal here. Do not believe the media and their cries of "all clear"; they are of course all focused on New Orleans, which was only relatively lightly scathed. (Power should be totally restored in the NO area by this weekend.) The total media blackout on the spawning crisis in the rest of Louisiana, especially the rural parishes which are rapidly approaching total collapse, is proving fatal.

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