Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Katrina and the Surge

I'm not at all shy about admitting my creepy inclination to hope for the worst in natural disasters. In that I'm no different from newsmen, bloggers and people everywhere; we just want to see what Mother Nature can do when she gets really pissy. I think even the most decent and altruistic among us are fascinated by the raw power of natural disasters, and while there was a collective sigh of relief when Katrina reduced from a Category 5 to a 4 and diverted east from New Orleans, there was also a bit of a groan of disappointment. Not that anyone wanted to see people die, exactly, but there's a reason the possibility of such massive destruction is big news.

That said, I don't think even the sickest among us wanted to see what's happening to New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast now. The human toll is somehow more awful to contemplate and painful to watch in slow motion, isn't it? Even today, 9/11 is so shocking and sudden that people struggle to fathom its effects, but the idea of what it will take for New Orleans and surrounding areas to recover from Katrina is all too vivid.

I suppose we can thank God that puff of dry air knocked the hurricane off course and reduced its fury. And that those of us who don't live there can rejoice that we aren't part of the misery. If you donated to the Boxing Day Tsunami fund, and even if you didn't, please do the same or better for your countrymen and women.

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