Katrina, Katrina: The Cattle of New Orleans

Herd of cattle

by Richard Oxman

“What’s the deal with everyone evacuatin’ the bayou rushin’ inland from Koreenah, when history shows it’s the people who are inland days after the first hit what gets flooded and killed the most of all?” — The author’s cagey Cajun cousin only getting the hurricane name wrong

Sing-songy these so-called natural disasters, Acts of God. Got that way for me some time between the release of Dylan’s “Corrina, Corrina” and today, on the Eve of Destruction.

The stuff’s not real for the vast majority of the country, and for clear reasons…which I’ll get to before I’m finished. Long before the million go homeless.

Readers tend to like historical overviews, the range of a given catastrophe, and so on. I’m more into putting something down that won’t take too long, so’s I can get out of *this* town ASAP…before *its* Horror hits.

In that vein, here’s a set of Top Ten Plus (15) Qs regarding The Big K:

1. Why’s New Orleans and other spots in Harm’s Way not prepared to evacuate local populations with mass transit…since they knew something like this would be coming down the pike sooner or later? The CEO of the LA Capital Area Red Cross claims that they’ve implemented a plan that was devised just last year…and all is looking good. Whoaaa.

2. Does the lack of National Guard #s available to help have something to do with Iraq?

3. Why, proportionately, is there so much blather about the effects on the NFL schedule (on the premise that they Superdome might be out of commission for awhile)? Where are people’s priorities? Up their Touchdown Zones?

4. Why, proportionately, are there so many people of color being housed in the Superdome amidst talk of “some people don’t have the means to leave New Orleans?”

5. If you “follow the money,” do you come up with something other than an Act of God? *People who discounted the well-documented relationship between underwater government experiments (dating back to the forties) and The Most Recent Major Tsunami out of hand should stay away from this one*.

6. Even if you don’t “follow the money,” is it possible to be highly critical of unnecessary environmental devastation which impacts on vulnerability to Acts of God, and recovery from them? Talkin’ ’bout the reduction of mangroves, etc. here. But, of course, the public school system has a vested interest in churning out individuals who can’t put TWO mangroves and TWO natural disasters together, making what FO(U)R.

7. How ’bout if you *follow the benefits*? Like, who benefits from all the street people getting cleansed? Who benefits from not allowing anyone into the Superdome for safety “unless they have three days of food with them?” And why aren’t other tall structures being utilized for everyone stranded regardless of this or that? What determines “three days of food” in the midst of the National Guard giving out H20? And, what, some rejects couldn’t be given donated items, the required quota? A way of weeding out?

8. What mysterious hand is at hand here that makes the “largest storm of its kind” ever in The Land of Obesity?

9. Why aren’t there any rules about evacuees having to ride more than one to a car? All the media shots show clogged roadways with tons of single passenger vehicles. How does this jibe with what the CEO (in #1 above) said about the recently adopted, well-made plan?

10. Why aren’t any religious leaders coming forth and declaring that those about to be drowned are being punished for this or that indiscretion?

11. Why are the major TV channels repeatedly showing some dude hammering plywood over his windows? And why are local residents saying things like “Oh, I’m staying, yes. If it gets bad I’ll go to the hospital?” And “We’re gonna ride it out on the shrimp boat, me and Sheryl. We can’t really leave.” Little Sheryl is only two something. Why did such comments pass without comment? Apparently, one out of ten houses in Houma, LA have the lights on, and a full half of the residents in its county did not depart.

12. What’s the relative value of shutting off those derricks in the Gulf vs. ordering everyone to make it out of town immediately…gas-wise? Factor in the fact that one of the reasons there are so many one-person vehicles on the road is that most families are making sure that ALL their vehicles leave town. Why am I bothered by the fact that all this is coming down on the eve of summer lesiure driving coming to an end across the nation?

13. What’s Bush’s karma that he’s gonna go down as the Prez who presided over the disappearance of New Orleans…along with the other *necessary disasters*?

14. Why won’t we get a list of the wealthy individuals (who can easily ride out the storm somewhere) prepared to return…and buy up all the wrecked property at a discount?

15. Why do people still believe their government pro-actively looks out for them? And why are they so quick to dismiss the Great Positive Value posed by Katrina for them. That Katrina’s wrath and wretched results…will result in distracting the masses from Cindy Sheehan’s shenanigans…maybe just enough to make a difference?

The thrust of that last question (and some others above) has zero to do with Conspiracy Theory, but everything to do with the Cattle of New Orleans. And elsewhere.

Better get used to seein’ huge evacuations like this Bye Bye Bayou one.

“I just can’t keep from crying” is the last line to Dylan’s song. Yes. And it’s a traditional ditty that goes way back.

dueleft@yahoo.com is where Richard Oxman will be watching the cattle crossing.